The push began on the first play from scrimmage, when University of Tennessee at Chattanooga running back Keon Williams cut through a hole for five yards. It was the beginning of a very good day for the Mocs' offensive line Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Williams had five carries for 42 yards and a touchdown on the opening drive of the Mocs' 42-14 rout of Georgia State. UTC ran for 46 of the 70 yards on the 12-play drive. A tone was definitely set.
"It felt good out there," senior right guard Kevin Revis said. "We finally played as a group."
The offensive line, which struggled in UTC's 31-21 season-opening loss to UT-Martin, pushed around Georgia State's front all game. That paved the way for the Mocs to rush for 401 yards, led by Williams' 147, and gain 509 yards in total offense.
Quarterback Jacob Huesman had time to throw on the rare pass play, going 9-for-13 for 84 yards and two touchdowns, and he also ran for 84 yards and two scores.
"They were incredible today," Jacob said of the line. "They did a great job staying on blocks and getting to the second level. When you consistently are getting seven or eight yards a run, that shows how well the offensive line is getting to the second level and staying on their blocks."
The Mocs ran the ball on 60 of their 75 plays, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. Jacob and running back Derrick Craine had long runs of 26 yards, Terrell Robinson had a 25-yarder and Williams' longest was 24.
Revis delivered a big, path-clearing block about six yards down field on Jacob's 26-yard touchdown run that made it 28-0.
"They love getting out in space and doing stuff like that," Jacob said. "The look on his face was priceless back on the sideline. We called that little draw play and got Kevin out and he made a great block."
Mocs coach Russ Huesman said Sunday that the defensive line didn't do everything right, but it was effective in disrupting Georgia State's offense through the first three quarters, as the Mocs built a 42-0 lead, because of how hard it played and how physical it was. The line accounted for two sacks and five quarterback hurries.
"We were pretty stout up front, but there were too many mental mistakes," he said. "I thought they played physical, which was good, and they were harassing [GSU quarterback Ronnie Bell], but we've got to get better for sure."
Georgia State coach Trent Miles was mighty impressed with the Mocs' defensive front and overall defensive performance, which held the Panthers to just 30 yards rushing on 17 attempts.
"We tried to spread it out and run and couldn't get movement," Miles told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We tried to pack it in and run and couldn't get movement."
Huesman said the most important thing that may have come out of the win, other than the Mocs' first victory of the season, was the physicality UTC demonstrated.
"We played physical on both sides up front, offensively and defensively," he said, "and if you do that, you've got a chance."
The Mocs are off today and will begin preparing for Austin Peay on Tuesday.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...