By Peyton Gray, Sports Editor-
The Chattanooga Mocs football team is ranked No. 9 in this week’s Stats Perform FCS Top 25. UTC moved up two spots from No. 11 after their 20-18 Southern Conference win Saturday at Furman — who fell seven spots to No. 20.
The Mocs haven’t seen a No. 9 ranking since 2016 and that was before the Rusty Wright era. The 2016 ranking came in the FCS Playoffs when they played Sam Houston, who as it happens, currently sits at the No. 5 spot.
Additionally, Ty Boeck received the Stats Perform National Defensive Player of the Week and the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Boeck totaled eight tackles and two key takeaways: his first career interception and a fumble recovery. He assisted the Mocs in limiting Furman to just 170 total yards — a team that averaged more than 367 yards in three consecutive wins against Chattanooga.
The Mocs are 3-0 in the SoCon and 3-1 overall. The lone 13-10 loss came to Western Kentucky in the fall of 2020. Undefeated in the SoCon, the Mocs have bested Wofford, the Citadel and Furman.
UTC defeated Wofford by 11, went into overtime with the Citadel and won by two against Furman on a fourth-quarter Skyler Wilson field goal. Though the Mocs have no trouble moving the ball down the field, they sometimes struggle to get it in the endzone.
Challenges should always be expected in an unprecedented spring season. The fact they are playing without running back Ailym Ford, quarterback-turned-tight end Chris James and star wide receiver Bryce Nunnely could be related. However, the Mocs are winning football games.
They also count very few backward-looking habits as virtues.
“Sometimes performances don’t go your way,” quarterback Drayton Arnold said. “I’m not upset about it. I’m glad I got to wake up this morning and go out and do what I love.”
The Mocs now turn their attention to their next SoCon matchup: Mercer. The Bears will be visiting the Scenic City Saturday, March 27. Kickoff is scheduled for noon and fans will be welcomed back to Finley Stadium.