University of Tennessee at Chattanooga safety Dean Haynes is still recovering from a fractured foot bone, an injury sustained during the third practice of the preseason. He hasn't so much as jogged since.
Coach Russ Huesman said he doesn't expect the North Carolina State transfer from Northwest Whitfield High School to be ready to play for a few more weeks.
"I would say probably he'll be ready after the open [date on Oct. 6]," Huesman said. "If he's not, I could potentially kill somebody, I think."
Huesman said Haynes will see his doctor today and ideally start practicing next week and suit up for the Mocs' Southern Conference game at Furman on Oct. 13.
Because he's missed so much time, Haynes will have a lot of conditioning work to do, and he'll have to get back up to speed with what UTC is doing defensively. He follows the defense in practice and gets mental reps, but that's not the same as being on the field.
"When he comes back he gets plugged in," Huesman said. "He's got a lot of catching up to do."
The Mocs (1-2, 0-0) head into Saturday's SoCon opener against No. 18 Appalachian State (1-2, 0-1) pretty healthy overall. Linebacker Wes Dothard, who left Sunday's practice with an ankle injury, practiced Tuesday and will be ready to go.
Citadel still focused
The Citadel surprised a lot of people with its 23-21 home win over then-No. 3 Georgia Southern on Sept. 8. The No. 14 Bulldogs then shocked them by going to Kidd Brewer Stadium last Saturday and thumping then-No. 7 Appalachian State 52-28.
The Bulldogs, picked by the SoCon media and coaches to finish eighth in the nine-team league, are 3-0 overall and atop the SoCon standings with a 2-0 start. Coach Kevin Higgins said his team has thus far handled the success and attention very well.
"We have worked real hard at not listening to the noise and making sure we focus on the task at hand," he said during Tuesday's SoCon media teleconference.
The Citadel visits North Carolina State on Saturday.
Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore made no excuses for what happened last Saturday. Both ASU and The Citadel were coming off big wins -- the Mountaineers beat Montana the week before, and the Bulldogs edged GSU -- and he said The Citadel simply outplayed his team.
"They just really gave us a thrashing," he said. "We could never get back in the ballgame [after the Bulldogs jumped out to a 31-0 lead]."
Elon coach Jason Swepson was released from a Raleigh, N.C., hospital Sunday after being admitted last Friday with chest pains. Defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham served as interim coach in the Phoenix's 48-14 win over West Virginia State on Saturday.
"He'll be back to work with us tomorrow," Elon assistant coach Chris Pincince said on the teleconference.
Elon plays Saturday at Georgia Southern.
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 ...