published Saturday, April 20th, 2013

UTC to show 'vanilla' offense in Blue-Gold game

Blue and Gold game

When: Today, 2 p.m.

Where: Finley Stadium

Admission: Free

What's happening: The UTC football team will wrap up spring practice with a scrimmage. The No. 1 offense and No. 2 defense will take on the No. 2 offense and the No. 1 defense.

Extras: At 12:15, UTC will host a clinic for players ages 14 and under. Starting at 1, free hot dogs and sodas will be available.

Marquis Green burst loose for a 60-yard touchdown in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's second scrimmage of spring practice last week. He's hoping for another long run today during the Mocs' Blue and Gold game at Finley Stadium.

"When you're going against our defense, you're always trying to get out there and make something big happen," Green said Wednesday.

Whether any of the Mocs' running backs produce big plays remains to be seen, but they will get plenty of opportunities. Today's annual end-of-spring game will wrap up UTC's 15 practices in intentionally unspectacular fashion, coach Russ Huesman said.

"We're going to really water down the offense, big-time, because we're not going to show anything," Huesman said Monday. "There's going to be no moving parts, and we're going to hand the ball off and throw the ball. Defensively, we're going to line up and play defense."

UTC opens its season on Aug. 29 against UT-Martin. The Mocs have a new offensive coordinator in Jeff Durden and some new twists to their spread attack, and Huesman doesn't want what UTC is doing to get out before the Skyhawks visit Finley. That's why the two spring scrimmages were closed to the public, though Mocs Club members were allowed to attend.

"We're not going to do anything we're doing out here [at practice]," he said. "You can call anybody you want out there in the free world and tell them to come watch. This will be as vanilla as a spring game's ever going to be."

Not exactly a compelling call for Mocs fans to go to the stadium.

"I'm going to let our marketing department handle excitement," Huesman said. "Right now my job is to win a football game."

Just because it's vanilla doesn't mean players won't be competing and coaches won't be evaluating. It will be the last spring game for rising senior Gunner Miller, who said UTC's No. 1 defense will try for stops and turnovers as it always does.

"I think as far as bragging rights, you can't really have any because we're not having a [No. 1] defense versus the [No. 1] offense," Miller said, "so as long as your unit plays well, you're going to have some bragging rights over the unit you played against. In that sense, we want to play well so we can brag all summer."

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

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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