"This wasn't that bad," stated head coach Russ Huesman. "The last Saturday scrimmage when it was raining was way worse than this. It felt like there was more rain then. The balls were heavier and wetter. It got raining fairly hard, but not bad for the most part."
Action began with the No. 1 offense taking the ball on its own 25-yard line and marching down to the defense's 13 in 16 plays. Freshman Nick Pollard (Nashville, Tenn.) connected on a 27-yard field goal for the first score of the afternoon.
Chattanooga's defense was without a number of starters who were out with different injuries. Defensive linemen Chris Donald (Huntingdon, Tenn.), Nick Craig (Carrollton, Ga.), Josh Williams (Griffin, Ga.) and Jesse LoScudo (Cleveland, Tenn.) have been out all spring, but Michael Slowey (Brentwood, Tenn.) was also on the sidelines recovering from a concussion he suffered in Friday's practice.
Senior linebacker Ryan Consiglio (Franklin, Tenn.) was held out today and sophomore Gunner Miller (Chattanooga, Tenn.) continues to wear the green, no-contact jersey. Senior Jordan Tippit (Huntsville, Ala.) and sophomores D.J. Key (Centerville, Tenn.) and Chaz Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) were also out of the secondary.
"Unbelievable," described Huesman when asked about the situation on defense. "We had a bunch of folks out today, but they are fighting. (Defensive Coordinator) Adam (Fuller) is doing a good job of playing with what you have. The good this is that (freshman defensive lineman) Devin Scates (Memphis, Tenn.) is getting a ton of snaps, (freshman defensive lineman) Keyon Reed (Palm Bay, Fla.) is getting a lot of snaps...(freshman defensive lineman) Zack Rayl (Englewood, Tenn.), (freshman linebacker) Muhasibi Wakeel (Decatur, Ga.)...I am sure I forgot a few of them."
The first group scored again on its second possession, getting back-to-back big plays from its passing and running games. On first-and-10 from his own 40-yard line, senior B.J. Coleman (Chattanooga, Tenn.) hit classmate Joel Bradford (Chattanooga, Tenn.) for a 38-yard gain. Sophomore Keon Williams (Chattanooga, Tenn.) followed that up with a 21-yard rumble down to the one-yard line. Williams punched in the next snap for the touchdown.
The defense stepped up on the next possession when sophomore C.J. Murrell (Hendersonville, Tenn.) picked off Coleman. It was one of two interceptions on the day for the Mocs' defense.
Coleman finished the afternoon 15-27 passing for 229 yards, one touchdown and one interception. His lone scoring strike was a 70-yard hook-up with Bradford. Having some fun in the rain, Bradford turned around and starting playfully taunting a few of his drenched teammates as he headed across the goal line. The officials tried to implement a new rule that actually goes into effect this fall that negates a score if taunting takes place before the player crosses the goal line.
Bradford led the receivers with five catches for 152 yards and the one touchdown. Freshman Desmond Walker (Atlanta, Ga.) led the running game with 59 yards on 12 carries. Williams ended with 50 yards on 11 carries of his own.
"We are just trying to see who makes plays," explained Huesman. "Who can take the proper steps. Fundamentals. Anytime you scrimmage, or anytime you say it is 'tackle,' you hope fundamentals don't go out the window. Sometimes they do, especially for the young guys."
The Mocs have two practices remaining on the spring schedule. They will be in helmets only at the Murphy-Haugerud Football Practice Complex at Scrappy Moore Field on Monday at 3:30 p.m. (E.D.T.). UTC will be in full pads for the final practice on Wednesday at 7:20 p.m. in Finley Stadium.
The Blue & Gold Spring Game, presented by the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown, is set for Saturday, April 2. Action begins with a FREE Kids Clinic at Finley Stadium at 1:00 p.m. FREE Admission, FREE hotdogs, popcorn and Coke will all be a part of the festivities with the game kicking off at 3:00 p.m. Further details will be available on GoMocs.com early next week.
INTs - C.J. Murrell, Nick Yazzie
PBUs - J.D. Dothard, Robert Harrison, Ty Stannard, Kadeem Wise
Sacks - J.D. Dothard
Safety - J.D. Dothard
TFLs - Nick Davison (2), J.D. Dothard, Wes Dothard, Shane Heatherly, Zack Rayl, Devin Scates
Nick Pollard - 1-3 FGs, Made 27, Missed 38, 50