Mercer lost at home on Saturday, falling to 20th-ranked Chattanooga, 22-10. The result moved Mercer’s overall record to 4-3, 2-2 in the Southern Conference, while Chattanooga is 5-2, and 4-1 in the SoCon.
Coming into the game, the Mocs averaged more than 40 points per game, but the Bears’ defense was able to hold them to nearly half that on Saturday. Lance Wise ‘24 led the Bears again in tackles, tallying 13 with one for a loss. Marques Thomas ‘25 and Savio Frazier ‘25 both had season highs of eight tackles each during the game.
The Bears’ defense also had two sacks, one each from Brayden Manley ‘27 and Richie Coffey ‘24, as well as five QB hurries. The defense also allowed just one touchdown against a team that had averaged more than four in its first six games of the season.
Mercer’s offense struggled throughout the game, finishing the game with 0 net yards on the ground, which factors in the 40 yards the team lost from the five sacks it allowed from the Mocs. Despite Chattanooga allowing about 25 points per game coming into Saturday, the Bears were unable to complete many drives early on. In the first half, the Bears had four three-and-outs, a lost fumble, and a failed fourth-down conversion. Throughout the game, the team managed to gain an average of 18 yards per drive.
Quarterback Carter Peevy ‘26 threw his second interception of the season, the first since the second game of the year at Ole Miss, and the team had two fumbles. Head Coach Drew Cronic talked about the impact of turnovers at a press conference following the game.
“You can’t turn the ball over. We left a lot of stuff out there right before the half, that was a killer,” Cronic said. “You gotta come up with some kind of points, a field goal. We should go into the half, 9-3.”
With less than a minute to go in the second quarter, the Bears’ defense was flagged with a personal foul that gave Chattanooga a first down, allowing them to set up a field goal before time expired in the half. The drive started for the Mocs after Peevy fumbled in the red zone with two minutes left in the half.
Through the air, the duo of Devron Harper ‘24 and Ty James ‘24 had another strong game on Saturday, hauling in 234 yards collectively, with James adding the lone touchdown of the game for the Bears. On his end, Harper made the best of his opportunities as he averaged nearly nine yards after the catch, ending the game with 125 yards from scrimmage.
Mercer will host Wofford on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. The Terriers have yet to win this season, sitting at a 0-7 record, 0-4 in SoCon. Mercer has bested Wofford in the team’s last two meetings, outscoring them 87-21.
Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.