April 23, 2016

(STATS) - Chattanooga has built up its talent base to such an impressive level that it can withstand losing a three-time conference player of the year.

The Mocs have been there and done that, having lost three-time Southern Conference defensive player of the year Davis Tull after the 2014 season. This year, they will replace three-time offensive player of the year Jacob Huesman.

So spring practices were an important time for new starting quarterback Alejandro Bennifield to take command of the offense.

The left-handed dual-threat, who played well in limited time last season, staked his claim in the Mocs' annual spring game Saturday at Finley Stadium. He completed 10 of 19 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, but with two interceptions.

Chattanooga has won at least a share of the last three SoCon titles, finishing 9-4 last season after falling at No. 1 seed Jacksonville State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Coach Russ Huesman's Mocs return nine starters on offense, led by running back Derrick Craine and offensive lineman Corey Levin. The defense, which returns seven starters, is strong in the secondary and pass rusher Keionta Davis is back to terrorize opposing quarterbacks.

Chattanooga will open the 2016 season on Sept. 1 by hosting Shorter.

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