The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team wrapped up Spring Practice with the annual Blue & Gold Spring Game today. The Blue team, consisting of mainly the No. 1 defense and No. 2 offense, scored a 24-10 win in the scrimmage at Finley Stadium.
“I thought it was good,” stated head coach Russ Huesman who welcomed a crowd of nearly 1,000 to Finley today. “Obviously our first defense looked really good. I thought offensively we executed well and did some good things. We got some deep shots…we didn’t do that at all last fall.”
Junior quarterback Jacob Huesman looked good early, completing his first five passes to get the White Team inside the red zone. However, a fumble on the 18 was recovered by senior defensive end Davis Tull, stopping a promising opening drive.
Freshman Alejandro Bennifield took over for the Blue Team from his own 15 and orchestrated a 10-play scoring drive. He was 4-5 for 62 yards on the drive that was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run by Scottie Fleming.
Huesman opened the next possession with one of the top plays of the evening. He hit sophomore receiver C.J. Board over the top for a 70-yard connection to the five-yard line. The White squad could not punch it in, and settled for a 21-yard field goal by sophomore Henrique Ribeiro.
Freshman Tyler Roberson handled the Blue Team the next time out and put together an eight-play scoring drive of his own. He was 3-3 for 24 yards in the air and carried the ball three times for nine yards. He put the Blue Team up 14-3 with a six yard run up the middle.
After a three-and-out from the Blue offense, Bennifield was back under center for the White squad. On the fifth play of that drive, he connected with sophomore receiver Riley Davis over the top for a 60-yard TD strike. That gave the Blue Team a 21-3 cushion that would last through halftime.
The intermission today was highlighted by the return of the 2013 senior class. They were the first to receive their Southern Conference Championship rings during a ceremony at midfield.
Coming out of the break, Roberson took over for the White Team and had a nice nine-play drive. He hit senior Taharin Tyson for a two-yard TD play, closing the gap to 21-10 in favor of the Blue Team. The final points of the day came on what would be a career-long 47-yard FG from senior Nick Pollard.
Board took home offensive MVP honors after posting 111 receiving yards on six catches. Sophomore Keionta Davis was everywhere on the defensive front. He was the Spring Game Defensive MVP after logging a tackle-for-loss, a pass-breakup and two sacks. Davis also earned the Bob Davis Winter Warrior Award after the game. That award honors the hardest worker during offseason conditioning and spring practice.
Fleming led the team in rushing with 43 yards and a score on eight carries. Riley Davis had a nice day with four catches for 90 yards and a touchdown.
“I think we improved. We looked better,” said Huesman. “I think the backup quarterbacks looked really good again…that’s two scrimmages in a row. They’re both athletic and doing well.”
Huesman was 9-16 passing for 137 yards while Roberson was 10-12 for 54 yards and a scored. Bennifield finished with 205 passing yards and TD, connecting on 15 of 21 attempts.
Pollard had a very good day on special teams. Not only did he hit a 47-yard field goal, but also his two punts measured 54 and 56 yards.
2014 Chattanooga Football Blue & Gold Spring Game
Scottie Fleming – 8-43, TD
Marquis Green – 3-24
Derrick Craine – 4-22
Tyler Roberson – 7-30, TD
Xavier Borishade – 2-11
Taharin Tyson – 2-9
C.J. Board – 1-6
Keon Williams – 1-3
Alejandro Bennifield – 10-(-8) – Sacked three times
C.J. Board – 6-111
Riley Davis – 4-90, TD
Malcolm Colvin – 3-44
Keon Williams – 2-27
Eric Foster – 3-26
Xavier Borishade – 2-17
Derrick Craine – 1-14
Taharin Tyson – 2-13, TD
Tyler Chancellor – 2-11
Tommy Hudson – 1-12
Troy Dye – 2-8
Scottie Fleming – 3-5
Kevin Niethammer – 2-5
Alphonso Stewart – 1-3
Nick Pollard – 54, 56
Henrique Ribeiro – 37, 42, 43