Even University of Tennessee at Chattanooga linebacker Gunner Miller was able to get in on the scoring fun Saturday in the Mocs’ 42-10 rout of Austin Peay at Finley Stadium.
It was that kind of evening for the Mocs, who in front of an announced crowd of 9,189 enjoyed their second blowout win in as many weeks. UTC had 509 yards of offense in the Sept. 7 42-14 thrashing of Georgia State and gained 412 against the Governors, who have lost to Tennessee, Vanderbilt and UTC to start the season.
Miller’s interception return for a touchdown — the second of the senior’s college career — put UTC up 35-7 at the end of a dominating first half. It was the most points the Mocs have scored in a half since 2000.
“I think we’ve got a lot of great players on this team,” Miller said. “[From] when I came in five years ago, the talent has completely changed. It’s only going to get better, and we’ve just got to learn how to win games, win the big games.”
The Mocs have their third 2-1 start under coach Russ Huesman (2009 and 2011) and just the program’s fifth since 2000. UTC is off this Saturday and will go for its third win on Aug. 28 against Georgia Southern in Statesboro.
“We did what we had to do. We did what we were supposed to do,” he said. “We’ve got good players, and when you play with good players, those are the kind of results you should get.”
Running back Keon Williams, fresh off a career-high 147 yards and a touchdown a week earlier, finished with 106 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, including a 25-yarder in the third quarter that made it 42-7.
Williams wasn’t UTC’s only offensive standout. Wide receiver Tommy Hudson did a bit of everything, the least of which was receiving. Hudson finished with three carries for 63 yards, he had a key block on a third-down screen on UTC’s second scoring drive and he caught a pass for 8 yards.
Hudson also was effective returning punts, with a long of 15.
“It’s awesome,” Hudson said of making plays in numerous areas. “There’s no feeling in the world like it.”
The Mocs scored on their opening possession, gaining 8 or more yards on six of the eight plays in the 76-yard drive. Marquis Green took a handoff, bounced to the right side and scored a 9-yard touchdown to make it 7-0.
UTC’s defense forced a quick three-and-out and the offense was soon back in business. A 19-yard pass from Jacob Huesman to tight end Faysal Shafaat — it was an up-for-grabs lob that the 6-foot-5 Shafaat grabbed over a 5-10 cornerback — gave the Mocs a first down at the 9 again.
Williams scored on the next play, fighting through several would-be tacklers to get into the end zone.
Austin Peay got on the scoreboard late in the quarter with an 8-yard touchdown run by Tim Phillips. The Govs’ drive was kept alive by a 23-yard completion on fourth-and-8 at the Mocs’ 39. Coach Huesman said the defense Saturday was “decent.”
A 36-yard kickoff return by Chaz Moore got the Mocs’ next drive going. It ended with an 8-yard Terrell Robinson touchdown catch, which made it 21-7 with 13:30 left in the half. The score was set up by a 24-yard Hudson reverse. Robinson led the Mocs wideouts with six catches for 53 yards.
One of the offense’s few mistakes — an interception inside the Govs’ 20 — was immediately corrected by Miller, who picked off an Andrew Spivey tipped pass and returned it up the left side for a 20-yard touchdown to give UTC the 28-point halftime lead.
The Mocs’ defense held the Govs to 210 yards and made seven tackles for loss. Moore had seven tackles, including 1.5 for lost yardage.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him 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 ...