MOCS GAME IN BITS & PIECES
Mercer return specialist Stephen Houzah was his team’s only “offensive” threat. His back-to-back kickoff returns of 73 and 91 yards set up each of the Bears’ touchdowns.
Mercer had more kickoff return yards, 177, than total offensive yards, 149. Bonus stat: UTC more than doubled the Bears in total offense with 309 yards.
Houzah’s second kickoff return came seconds after the Mocs had taken a 9-7 lead with just more than two minutes to play, and considering how bottled up the Mercer offense had been to that point, the game appeared to be in UTC’s hands.
A strange sequence of events cost the Mocs seven points in the second quarter. Noseguard Derek Mahaffey intercepted a screen pass and returned it 61 yards for an apparent touchdown. However, he was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty before he crossed the goal line, so the touchdown was nullified. The Mocs were also called for a second 15-yarder for a player leaving the sideline to celebrate. The drive ended with a missed field goal.
WHAT IT MEANS
Because the playoffs were basically out of reach anyway, the game’s main significance is a bad loss that will sting for a while.