published Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Chattanooga Mocs linemen, Williams working well together

UTC's Keon Williams (22) gains against Austin Peay.
UTC's Keon Williams (22) gains against Austin Peay.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offensive linemen like to see their running backs be successful. For two straight weeks, that's been a good combination.

Led by Keon Williams' 106, the Mocs ran for 270 yards in Saturday's 42-10 victory over Austin Peay. Williams, who had 147 yards in the previous week's 42-14 win over Georgia State, scored three times. It was his first multi-touchdown performance since Oct. 9, 2010, when he scored twice against The Citadel.

He had nine carries for 68 yards in the first half Saturday.

"I've been gaining a lot of confidence from our offensive line," Williams said. "They tell me before every game that they're going to help me get 100 yards, but everything I've done is all for the team. We're happy where we're at [heading into the bye week], but there's always room for improvement."

UTC coach Russ Huesman has been pleased with Williams' recent production.

"Keon ran unbelievably today," Huesman said. "He's been big-time for us, running hard and breaking tackles. At this rate, if he continues to work, the sky's the limit for him."

Regular occurrence

Saturday's game was the first in a four-game series between UTC and the Governors. The Mocs will visit Austin Peay on Sept. 13, 2014, and the teams will go home and home again the following two seasons.

This was just the fifth meeting ever between the in-state schools separated by about 180 miles on Interstate 24 -- the first since 1968 -- and the Mocs have won all five. The Mocs will play three in-state opponents next year: Austin Peay, Tennessee and Tennessee Tech.

First-year Austin Peay coach Kirby Cannon said he liked the series with the Mocs.

"It should be a rivalry," he said Tuesday. "We recruit against them heavily in East Tennessee and northern Georgia. It's a pretty easy trip from Clarksville to Chattanooga, and I think it's a natural that we play each other."

Tough road

This was the Govs' third straight road game to start the season -- they opened with losses at Tennessee and at Vanderbilt -- and they're not done just yet. Austin Peay, picked to finish last in the Ohio Valley Conference, will play at Ohio University next week, is off the following week and begins OVC play with its fifth straight road game, at Eastern Kentucky.

The Mocs, whose only trip out of town in the first three weeks of the season was a visit to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, are off next week and open Southern Conference play on Sept. 28 at Georgia Southern.

A silent Lott

Mocs defensive end Derrick Lott sat out the second half of the game Saturday after registering an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty late in the first half. Huesman said Lott will be ready to go against Georgia Southern.

Extra points

Mocs safety Zach McCarter played for the first time this season, making three tackles. He started the final six games of 2012 but has been out with a knee injury. ... UTC's women's basketball team received its 2013 SoCon championship rings before the game. ... The Mocs are yet to attempt a field goal through three games this season. ... Sophomore tight end Troy Dye had his first career reception, a 16-yarder late in the first half to set up the Mocs' fourth touchdown.

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