Tonight was the third practice of the spring for the Mocs, who are welcoming back 45 lettermen and 19 starters from last year's 6-5 team that finished third in the Southern Conference at 5-3. Ten of those returning starters are on the defensive side of the ball and seven of those defensive starters were on the field tonight for the Mocs. That experience may have given the defensive unit the edge in the contact drills.
"I thought the defense looked good," stated head coach Russ Huesman, who is running his third spring at UTC. "We ran around pretty good and we looked fast on defense. I thought the offense was a little sloppy today, but I like how we looked on defense."
Freshman Davis Tull and sophomores Chaz Moore and D.J. Key all made plays during the team periods that got their teammates going. Tull, a defensive end, broke though the line and made a stop on the ball on the first contact play of the night. Key and Moore each came up with multiple big hits on the evening.
Although there was some hitting tonight, full contact will start on Wednesday. "Tomorrow we will start tackling," explained Huesman. "Today was just all thud. Tomorrow won't be much...maybe our last team period will be live."
Huesman did point out that a young and inexperienced offensive line could have been one reason the defense looked so good. UTC is trying to find replacements for three starting seniors who graduated off of the offensive line from the 2010 squad.
"We have young kids up there on offense," concluded Huesman. "We will come around and they will get better on the offensive line. I think today the defense got the better of them. That is spring practice. That is the way it always goes. Tomorrow the offense will probably get the better of the defense."
Chattanooga is back in action on Wednesday night at Finley Stadium. Practice begins at 7:30 p.m. (E.S.T.) and it is open to the public. The Mocs' first full scrimmage of the spring is set for Saturday, March 5 at 7:00 p.m. at Finley Stadium.