Volunteer Roadshow Game Preview: Meet The Mocs
By Luke Thomas
CHATTANOOGA, TN– Jeremy Pruitt’s University of Tennessee Volunteers have gotten off to a truly horrific start to the 2019 football season that quite frankly nobody expected. After a stunning 38-30 loss to the Georgia State Panthers followed by a heartbreaking loss to Brigham Young in double overtime the Vols are still looking to get their first win of the 2019-20 season. Tennessee’s 3rd opponent of the season provides a great opportunity to get that key win, as they appear to be an easy victim. It’s time for Volunteer fans to get familiar with their friends from down I-75; the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs.
The Mocs have a brand new head coach following the departure of Tom Arth, who left to be the new head coach at the University of Akron. The new head coach, Rusty Wright is a familiar sight for fans of Chattanooga as he played for UTC from 1992-1995 as a Tight End. Here’s an unsettling fact for fans of UT about Rusty Wright, he has some deep connections to the Georgia State Panthers who stunned Tennessee a meer 2 weeks ago. It turns out that Wright coached with Shawn Elliott from 2016 to 2018 as his LB Coach and Special Teams coordinator. Now could that just be a coincidence? Absolutely, but it’s extremely intriguing and something Vol fans should know about. To say the least, Wright did a solid job with Georgia State. Not only did he do a great job at locking down offenses that played the Panthers, he also set records fewest points per game, fewest yards per rushing attempt, and fewest rushing yards per game.
So far this season UTC is 1-1 with a 24-10 win against Eastern Illinois and a 41-20 loss to Jacksonville State. Starting at Quarterback for the Mocs will be senior Nick Tiano, a transfer from Mississippi State. The Baylor High School graduate is listed at 6’5’’ 240 pounds and is a former 3-Star recruit. The former Bulldogs quarterback doesn’t have the mobility that Georgia State’s Ellington had but still has the ability to run around if given the opportunity. Chattanooga’s best wide receiver is Bryce Nunnelly who is on the preseason Walter Payton Award watch list. Those two will be the guys to watch in this game and if they play great… well just remember the old saying “Any given Saturday.”
If you’re not able to make it to Neyland Stadium on Saturday then you can watch the Volunteers kickoff against the Mocs at 12:00 ET on the SEC Network or Come to Our Watch Party at Tennessee Tap House in Knoxville.