Photo by Olivia Ross
By Peyton Gray, Sports Editor-
Despite unusual circumstances that the majority of collegiate athletes haven’t experienced before, the Chattanooga Mocs football team began a spring football season with a victory. This win took place Saturday against the Wofford Terriers.
The entrance to the field to start the game was unlike any other — no fans — only families of players. But the Mocs saw no need to benefit from home-field advantage, as they defeated the Terriers 24-13.
The win is notable, of course, but it’s not the only accomplishment the Mocs can add to their day.
For starters, the Stats Perform FCS Top 25 ranked the Mocs at a commendable No. 18 for the first time since the 2018 season. Additionally, this is the first time the Mocs have been ranked under Rusty Wright.
Other than being in the spring, UTC could have every reason to believe their season would be anything but noteworthy.
In January, the Mocs star receiver, Bryce Nunnelly, entered the transfer portal. The two-time all-Southern Conference selection passed UTC legend, Terrell Owens, for all time career receptions in the fall against Western Kentucky.
Missing, perhaps, one of UTC’s top 10 all-time receivers, the Mocs demonstrated a stellar offense.
Senior Reginald Henderson caught seven passes for a career-high 102 yards. This encompasses the fact that he had an Odell Beckham Jr.-like catch in the endzone that was ruled out-of-bounds.
The Mocs can also boast elite play from the defensive side of the ball.
With 2.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles, Devonnsha Maxwell set the standard for the defensive line. This performance placed him on the Stats Perform FCS National Players of the Week.
In addition to the offensive and defensive play it takes to win a football game, special teams play a significant role. UTC proved that Saturday.
The special teams side of the ball forced multiple turnovers — two specifally — within the Wofford five-yard line.
This victory proves the UTC determination to compete when in a spring semester. It may be novel, but it’s a football season, a season in which UTC will compete to the ultimate capacity.