Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

The Other Side: A preview of the Chattanooga Mocs 

Courtesy of UT Chattanooga Athletics
UT Chattanooga running back Reggie Davis (#36) runs for a touchdown.

The No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) is set to take on the Chattanooga Mocs (7-3) this Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The last time the teams faced off was in 2016 when the Crimson Tide outscored the Mocs 31-3. The Crimson White sat down with Lexi Foley, Assistant Sports Editor for the University discuss the game.   

Nichols: What has the atmosphere been like on campus this week?  

Foley: Honestly, Chattanooga is a basketball school. We’re a basketball school with a decent football team. They were super excited about football when it was like full football season. But after our loss to Furman, people have kind of turned their heads more towards basketball, especially with the team being undefeated in their first three games. They just beat the ACC team for basketball. So, everyone’s getting a little more excited about basketball right now. 

Nichols: During practices and press conference this week, what has the message been from players and from coaches? 

Foley: In general, the players have been pretty excited about this year. Our quarterback, Chase Artopoeus, is one of the best ones that we’ve had in a long time. He’s composed, he knows how to take care of the ball. The defense has gone through some injury. They started off really strong and then a couple of people got hurt. Then obviously, being out and getting hurt has impacted the offense. I think the team has done a really good job of being ready and coming back from all those injuries. They’ve done a really good job of all of the people who had to step up, they stepped up. But they’ve really just been trying to focus more on getting to the playoffs. If they have a good showing at Alabama, that means that there’ll be a better likelihood of them getting to the FCS playoffs. But it being in the hands of the committee right now is just like everyone’s on the edge of their seat waiting to hear from the committee.  

Nichols: Jalen Milroe is coming off a record game of four rushing touchdowns against LSU. What can the Mocs defense do to put a stop to him? 

Foley: That’s a great question. And if I was a football player, I’m sure I’d have a better answer for you. I think we have some really good defensive players. [Edge rusher] Jay Person is going to be a huge player for us this coming game. It’s also, … I don’t know exactly how Alabama plans to play the game, but the likelihood that we really deal with your big-time players for very long is fairly low, in my opinion. I think we’ll have to adapt as quickly as we can for as long as we can and go from there. Our defense isn’t used to an SEC speed, and so it will definitely be an adjustment. But we’ve got really good players. They’re strong, they’re tough-minded. I think all they’re going to have to do is just scrap and hope that scrapping is going to turn out in their favor.  

Nichols: Chattanooga is coming off a home loss to Furman last weekend. What can the Mocs do to recover and end the season with a win on the road? 

Foley: The players have been really putting their heads down and working. They have just been, A, using the rest week, especially because they didn’t get their bye until a week [ago]. I don’t know what week we’re on now, but having that long of a stretch of no break and just continuous travel, continuous play took a toll on their bodies. You could definitely tell towards the end like they were just tired. I think having that bye and being able to reset has really helped them just be able to get into that mindset to come into the game. I think just rest and just the determination to want to play well is what’s going to help them the most. 

Nichols: These teams have faced each other just three times in the last 15 years, with the Crimson Tide coming out on top. What can the Mocs do to flip the script this time? 

Foley: Again, I’m not a coach, I’m not a player, so the expertise on football isn’t mine to say or on the team. I’m not in that locker room discussing that stuff. But I think having the players that we have this year is going to be a huge help. It’s one of the best teams that I’ve seen since being here. Again, we have a really composed quarterback. We’ve got a running back roster that’s pretty deep. Our wide receivers are making plays that they need to join. [Wide receiver Jamoi] Mayes has been a huge playmaker this year. I think it’s just taking our strengths and really trying to channel them.  

Nichols: Bryant-Denny Stadium is known for being pretty loud. What can the Chattanooga team do to silence the fans and make big plays? 

Foley: I think that’s just something that you learn when you’re a young athlete. As you get older, obviously, the audience gets louder and louder. The bigger the audience gets, obviously, the more exciting it is. The easier it is to get distracted. But when you’re at the level that these athletes are at, they just have to train themselves to know how to keep it quiet. … I think that’s just a mental game. Most of these athletes are really well trained on how to keep their head in check, I guess, when they’re playing. 

Nichols: Are there any key playmakers we could be looking out for this weekend? 

Foley: Obviously, our quarterback has been phenomenal all year. Chase is going to hopefully continue to perform the way he’s been performing. He’s been doing great. He should be able to make some good plays out there. [Running back] Gino Appleberry has had a lot of good runs in the past couple of weeks. Jamoi Mayes always knows how to make a play, and we might be out there making some plays. On the defensive side, Jay Person is always a great player. [Linebacker] Alex Mitchell, [defensive back] Kameron Brown, people like that, they’re going to make some plays, hopefully. 

Kickoff is set to take place at 11 a.m. in Bryant-Denny Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.  

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