|October 17, 2019||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Final|
|UTC||TD||08:59||Ailym Ford 6 Yd Run (Victor Ulmo kick)|
|ETSU||TD||13:08||Will Huzzie 32 Yd Pass From Trey Mitchell (Tyler Keltner kick)|
|ETSU||FG||09:25||Tyler Keltner 29 Yd|
|ETSU||FG||00:10||Tyler Keltner 43 Yd|
|UTC||TD||10:33||Ailym Ford 14 Yd Run (Victor Ulmo missed kick)|
|UTC||FG||00:14||Victor Ulmo 30 Yd|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||UTC|
|3rd Down Conversions||5-14||7-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||1-1|
|Passing (Comp-Att)||148 (16-28)||184 (18-29)|
|Rushing (Att)||124 (28)||244 (43)|
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 16, 2019) – The ETSU Buccaneers football team will hit the road for a Southern Conference showdown at Chattanooga on Thursday night at Finley Stadium. Kickoff for the Rail Rivalry will begin at 7:04 p.m.
Date: Thursday, Oct. 17
Location: Chattanooga, Tenn. | Finley Stadium
Teams: ETSU (2-4, 0-3) at Chattanooga (3-3, 2-0)
Weather: High: 68 Low: 42; Sunny
Game Notes: ETSU
Live Stats: gomocs.com/livestats
Live Video: ESPN+ – Chris Goforth & Scott McMahen
Live Audio: WXSM Radio
Radio Personnel: Jay “Voice of the Bucs” Sandos, Matt Wilhjelm (color analyst), Robert Harper (sideline)
The two teams will be competing for The Rail Rivalry trophy that was introduced last season with the Bucs claiming the award. The trophy stands as a symbol of the heritage of both cities’ history in the railroad industry. The trophy is made from a former piece of railroad that once connected Johnson City and Chattanooga and weighs 108 pounds which represents the halfway point of the 216 miles that separate the two cities. The trophy also measures five feet, seven inches in length, representing the 57 years since the team’s first meeting in 1961 when the trophy was introduced a season ago. The Bucs claimed the first Rail Rivalry meeting last season, upsetting then No. 24/20 Chattanooga at Greene Stadium by the final score of 17-14.
Work of Art
Artevius Smith has been a one-man wrecking ball as of late. In the last three games, Smith has caused four turnovers and registering 23 tackles. Smith has been a steady force in the defensive back position, leading the Bucs in tackles with 39. However, Smith recently gained conference recognition after being tabbed as the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Furman. The Alabama native finished with just five tackles, but gained the award after forcing his first career fumble that led to ETSU’s only touchdown and later picking up his second fourth-quarter interception in as many games. Smith rode his momentum from the Austin Peay game into Greenville, a game where he led the Bucs with nine tackles and picked off his first interception of the season that led the the Bucs claiming the 20-14 victory. In ETSU’s most recent outing against Wofford, Smith picked off a hail mary as the last play in the first half went in favor of the Bucs. Smith has now intercepted the ball in each of the last three showdowns.
On this date
The Bucs are 2-4 all-time when playing on Oct. 17. ETSU’s first-ever contest on this date came in 1970 as the Bucs defeated Chattanooga by the final score of 21-17 in Johnson City. The second Oct. 17 win came in 1981 as ETSU defeated Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C., 34-23. Since then, the Bucs have dropped four consecutive Oct. 17 matchups with the most recent one coming in 2015 when the Bucs traveled to Macon, Ga. and dropped a 52-0 contest to the Mercer Bears.
Bye, Bye, Bye
The Bucs are coming off a much-needed bye week, allowing ETSU to rest and heal injuries as we close out the season with six straight games. ETSU holds an all-time record of 13-18 when coming off the bye week, including 1-3 since the return of football. The Bucs are also 0-2 when that first game off the bye week is Chattanooga. ETSU dropped contests to Chattanooga in 1985 and 1990 when coming off the bye week. Since football’s return to campus, the Bucs lone win after a bye week came in 2016 when ETSU defeated Western Carolina at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Thursdays Aren’t New
ETSU has played its fair share of games on Thursdays, holding an 8-7 overall mark when playing on a Thursday. ETSU’s first game on record on a Thursday was on Oct. 27, 1938 when the Bucs outlasted Tusculum, 19-6. ETSU has squared off with Chattanooga once before on a Thursday, as the Mocs defeated ETSU on Nov. 25, 1976 by the final score of 23-14. That contest in 1976 was also played on Thanksgiving Day. In 2003 and 2015, the Bucs competed on six Thursdays between the two years, holding a record of 2-4. ETSU’s most recent Thursday contest was a 38-7 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan on Oct. 20, 2016.
The Rivalry extends back to 1961 and has proven to be a staple in the Southern Conference. Neither team has truly run away from one another in this rivalry. The Mocs cling to a 22-19-1 advantage in the all-time series, despite falling to ETSU last season in Johnson City by the final score of 17-14. In the last 10 meetings, the two teams are dead even at five wins apiece. When playing the contest in Chattanooga, Tenn., the Mocs hold a 14-8 advantage over the Bucs. The Blue & Gold’s last win in Chattanooga fell on Nov. 11, 2000 when the Bucs handed the Mocs a 24-22 defeat. As mentioned earlier, neither team really gains a lengthy advantage, with ETSU’s five-game winning streak from 1992-96 marking the longest winning streak by either team in the history of the rivalry. Chattanooga’s longest streak was a four-game streak from 1980-83.
The Mocs are entering the Thursday night contest off a bye week themselves. Chattanooga is 3-3 on the season and 2-0 in Southern Conference action heading into the rivalry showdown tomorrow night.
Offensively, the Mocs are led by quarterback Nick Tiano who is 76-of-145 on the season for 955 yards (159.2 per game) and five touchdowns. Tiano has thrown seven interceptions on the season which could pose a problem against a hungry ETSU secondary. Ailym Ford has emerged onto the scene, carrying the ball 62 times in the last two games for three touchdowns and 311 yards. Ford has accounted for 557 yards on 122 carries, averaging 92.8 yards per game and crossing the pylons five times on the season. Bryce Nunnelly appears to be the go-to receiver for the Mocs, hauling in 26 of Chattanooga’s 82 receptions for 355 yards and three touchdowns.
The Mocs are surrendering 31.0 points per game to opposing offenses and 420.8 yards per game. Ty Boeck leads the Mocs in tackling with 53 tackles on the season and two forced fumbles. As a team, Chattanooga sits in the middle of the SoCon in rush defense (201.7) and pass defense (216.5).
Thursday’s game will also be broadcast on ESPN+ with the team of Chris Goforth (play-by-play) and Scott McMahen(color commentary) providing the call.
The Buccaneer Sports Network (BSN) will provide ETSU fans with complete pregame, in-game and postgame coverage on the Bucs’ flagship station WXSM-AM 640 and affiliate station 104.9 FM NASH ICON.
The BSN begins its pregame programing one hour and 30 minutes prior to kickoff with the 30-minute long Tennessee Lottery Tailgate Show, followed by the Randy Sanders Pregame Show Powered by Ford which will lead up to 30 minutes prior to kickoff. The Appalachian Orthopaedic Countdown to Kickoff will then lead into the final moments before kickoff.
The broadcast team of “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos, color analyst and former ETSU quarterback Matt Wilhjelm, sideline reporter Robert Harper, and studio hosts Mike Gallagher and Don Helman will provide ETSU fans all the information they need to complement their game-day activities.
At halftime, the crew will have the Zaxby’s Halftime Show, while fans can tune into the General Shale Post Game Show for a full wrap up, with game statistics, players and coach interviews, and other post-game information.
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For more information on Buccaneer football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football page.