published Monday, October 31st, 2011

Small errors doom UTC in loss

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's offensive numbers in Saturday's 14-7 loss to Furman were the Mocs' worst of the season by a wide margin.

UTC's passing game was almost nonexistent, while the running game struggled to break free for big yardage. In the end the Mocs (4-5, 2-4 Southern Conference) finished with a season-low 169 yards of offense -- 61 yards less than the 230 they managed at Nebraska in the season opener.

In his third start, quarterback Terrell Robinson had his first rough outing. He carried the running game with 87 yards on 32 carries, but was 1-for-7 passing for 3 yards, with two interceptions and a fumble on a sack.

"We just didn't play good as an offense," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said after the game. "We didn't block anybody, obviously Terrell didn't have his best game, but I don't know how much help he had out there."

On Sunday, after reviewing the film, Huesman said the Mocs had numerous opportunities for big plays. But small mistakes kept them from happening.

"We had 1-yard gains that if we just block our right guy or do our right technique, they're 20-yard gains," he said. "It makes you sick as you watch, how if you just do the little things. There were a couple of times they whooped us, and I understand that happens. But the little things make a big difference."

Robinson had three good runs, two for 13 yards and one for 16, but he mostly had to settle for short gains of less than 5 yards. And he paid the price for each of his carries because the Paladins (5-3, 4-2) delivered a lot of big hits.

He said afterward that he took more big hits Saturday than in any game he'd ever played.

"That's part of the game, you're going to get hit around and knocked around," he said. "I just went out and tried to keep going. You've got to be tough in this game."

Saturday was the first time UTC's offense had been significantly stymied since Robinson replaced B.J. Coleman at quarterback in the second quarter at Georgia Southern on Oct. 8.

In nearly three full games leading up to Furman, Robinson had rushed for 301 yards and three touchdowns, while throwing for 325 yards and six touchdowns, with one interception.

Furman was well prepared for Robinson and UTC's offense, and the Paladins aggressively attacked the line of scrimmage.

"Furman game-planned well," Robinson said. "They pretty much had an answer for what we were coming at them with."

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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