The University of Tennessee at Martin football team will make the trek to the opposite corner of the state with a matchup at system member No. 15 Chattanooga on Saturday, Sept. 16. Kickoff from Finley Stadium is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST and can be watched on ESPN3.
The Skyhawks (1-1) enter the contest off a 45-23 setback at Southeastern Conference foe Ole Miss their last time out. In the contest, UT Martin jumped out to an early lead scoring less than four minutes into the contest while holding a pair of nine-point leads in the first and second quarter, respectively. While the Skyhawks’ magic eventually faded away, UT Martin still managed 334 yards of total offense – which ranked as the most yards of total offense allowed by the Rebels to a FCS opponent since 2012.
Posting yet another standout performance was junior running back Ladarius Galloway who put on a show in his home state of Mississippi with 24 carries for 188 yards and a touchdown en route to earning adidas Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player and Newcomer of the Week honors. Averaging 7.8 yards per carry, Galloway totaled 197 yards of total offense while becoming the first UT Martin player to tally back-to-back 150-plus yard rushing games since Don Chapman in 2006. He currently ranks second nationally in rushing yards (345) and rushing yards per game (172.5), fifth in all-purpose yards (197.5 per game) and ninth in rushing yards per carry (8.41).
As a team, UT Martin currently leads the OVC in nine statistical categories as a team including total offense (395.5 yards), rushing offense (242.0 yards), rushing defense (73.5 yards), sacks allowed (one), field goal percentage (100 percent), kickoff coverage (40.9 yards), opponent third down conversion (26.1 percent), opponent fourth down conversion (0.0 percent) and time of possession (33:40). The Skyhawks also rank first in seven individual categories for a total of 16.
UT Martin head coach Jason Simpson is currently in his 12th season at the helm of the Skyhawks with an overall record of 73-55. Simpson currently ranks tied for seventh in OVC history in career victories while serving as the league’s longest active tenured head coach. Chattanooga is coached by Tom Arth who possesses a 40-11 overall record while currently holding a mark of 0-2 in his first season leading the Mocs.
Chattanooga (0-2) enters the contest ranked No. 15 nationally in both the STATS Top 25 and FCS Coaches Poll despite sitting winless on the season after dropping matchups against FCS No. 5 Jacksonville State (27-13) and FBS No. 12 LSU (45-10). In spite of a slow start to the season, the Mocs boast 10 players who garnered preseason all-conference honors by the Southern Conference. Included in the 10 are four first team selections in defensive back Lucas Webb, defensive lineman Isaiah Mack, linebacker Dale Warren and offensive lineman Josh Cardiello.
The Mocs are led offensively by quarterback Nick Tiano who has completed 38-of-75 attempts for 392 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Running back Darrell Bridges has tallied 20 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown while receiver Joseph Parker has notched 12 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, Tae Davis paces the squad with 21 tackles while Mack’s 2.5 tackles for loss are tops on the team.
Saturday’s contest serves as the fourth meeting between UT Martin and Chattanooga. The Mocs hold a 3-1 series advantage despite the Skyhawks notching a road upset in their last matchup, 31-21, on Aug. 29, 2013.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 or via the WatchESPN app at the link above. Fans can also tune into Mix 101.3 FM to hear Tom Britt (play-by-play), Chris Brinkley (color) and John Abel (sideline) provide analysis. WUTM, UT Martin’s award-winning student radio station, will also broadcast the game locally on 90.3 FM. Links for both radio broadcasts, along with live stats can be accessed through their respective links above. For in-game updates, follow the Skyhawks on twitter @UTM_Gameday.