CHATTANOOGA—The Chattanooga Mocs held their weekly press conference Tuesday on anything but a normal Tuesday. The news came fast and furious as the 18th-ranked squad prepares for No. 13 Austin Peay in Saturday’s first round of the FCS Playoffs.
Senior edge Jay Person got word late in the morning that he’s a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award which goes to the FCS’ top defender. It’s his second straight season as a finalist finishing eighth in 2022.
That’s not his only repeat. He found out in the afternoon he once again earned Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. Person is the 9th since 2009 for the program and first back-to-back since Davis Tull in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The three have come to the Scenic City with Person in 2022 and 2023 following all-time SoCon sack leader Devonnsha Maxwell in 2021.
“Really, it’s just a blessing to be able to get that award,” Person smiled. “But there’s a lot that comes with it. Just work hard not only in season but all year. All I can really do is thank everybody around me.
“My coaches, my teammates and everybody sticking with me throughout the whole process.”
The Mocs in the All-SoCon Squads:
1st Team: DE Ben Brewton, DB Kam Brown, WR Jamoi Mayes, Edge Jay Person
2nd Team: P Clayton Crile, OL Griffin McDowell, DT Marlon Taylor, C Reid Williams
Coach Rusty Wright began the press conference.
Offensive tackle Griffin McDowell and Person soon followed.
Saturday’s game time is scheduled for 3 p.m., Eastern time, on ESPN+. Tickets in the “Mocs Block” are on sale on GoMocs.com through 3 p.m., Wednesday.
Week 13: #18 Chattanooga (7-4) at #13 Austin Peay (9-2)
Game Time: 3 p.m. (ET) | Location: Fortera Stadium; Clarksville, Tenn.
Series: 6-1 (History) | Media: ESPN+ | Mocs Sports Network | Live Stats
Game Notes (when available): UTC Media Center
The week’s stories leading into Gameday Saturday: Sunday | Tuesday | Wednesday
Notes to Know…
- Chattanooga is 18th per Stats Perform & No. 19 in the AFCA Coaches Top 25. Austin Peay is 13th in the former and 10th in the latter.
- PFF College ranks the Mocs performance to date 29th in all of DI with a 90.9 grade behind James Madison (T26) and ahead of Ole Miss (30). Offense is T27 (85.2).
- 5th FCS Playoffs appearance for UTC (1984, 2014, ’15, ’16, ’23): 3-4. 2nd for Govs (2019, ’23): 2-1.
- 8th nationally in Red Zone offense, 38 of 42 (.905). Best on record at Chattanooga? 2013 – .903 (28/31).
- 8th nationally in Time of Possession (32:57)…currently third best in school history and most since 33:45 in 2014.
Record: 3-4 | Years Seeded: 2014 (8)
Date: Round | (Opp Rank) Opponent (UTC Rank) | Result
11/24/1984: 1st | (10) @Arkansas State (17) | L, 10-37
12/6/2014: 2nd | (21) Indiana State (8) | W, 35-14
12/11/2014: Quarters | (1) @New Hampshire (8) | L, 30-35
11/28/2015: 1st | (14) Fordham (7) | W, 50-20
12/5/2015: 2nd | (1) @Jacksonville State (7) | L, 35-41 (ot)
11/26/2016: 1st | (23) Weber State (9) | W, 45-14
12/3/2016: 2nd | (1) @Sam Houston (9) | L, 36-41
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