published Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Russ Huesman likes Chattanooga Mocs' effort, concerned about mistakes

UTC coach Russ Huesman watches a scrimmage at Finley Stadium.
UTC coach Russ Huesman watches a scrimmage at Finley Stadium.
Photo by Angela Lewis /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team played well in some areas during its first preseason scrimmage Saturday and showed a lot of room for improvement in others.

Afterward, Mocs coach Russ Huesman told his team that the effort was good but there were still too many players who needed help getting lined up before a play.

"I can handle the physical aspect of it, if you miss a block and those types of things, but not getting lined up and not knowing how to line up is inexcusable," he later said. "I liked the effort and I think our kids want to do well."

Here are some highlights and notable items from the scrimmage:

Top play: The first touchdown of the scrimmage was a 37-yard completion from quarterback Jacob Huesman to true freshman wide receiver Xavier Borishade, who came back to the ball, got separation from cornerback Will Johnson and took off up the right sideline for the score. Honorable mention would be a 36-yard Keon Williams run up the right side.

Top players: Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson looked good at quarterback, running and throwing; tight end Faysal Shafaat made a couple of good catches; Williams ran hard and well; defensive tackle Derrick Lott did what he usually does; cornerback Kadeem Wise made some plays.

Quotable: "It's going to be incredible. It's going to feel like heaven. I'll go to church, I'm going to try to get some sleep, I'm going to try to do laundry -- everything that I couldn't do during the week. And I've got to study the plays." -- freshman receiver Xavier Borishade on a day off today

A good sign: The offense was able to move the ball at times, both in the passing game and with the running backs. Defensively, there were stretches when the Mocs' front seven took over and didn't give the offense much of anything.

A not-so-good sign: When the offense did put together a nice drive, including the first one of the scrimmage, it sometimes stalled in the red zone. And then came the kicking game, which had a lousy day. Nick Pollard missed a 29-yard field-goal try wide right on the first drive and later bonked an extra-point off an upright. Henrique Ribeiro missed a 49-yarder. In a simulated overtime, both players made field goals of more than 30 yards.

Spectators: RB: Taharin Tyson (hip), Kenny Huitt (shoulder); WR: C.J. Board (knee), Tray James (concussion), Alphonso Stewart (knee), Bryant Belew (ankle); DT: Chris Mayes (knee); S: D.J. Key (foot), Dean Haynes (ankle).

Up next: After going virtually nonstop since reporting for preseason practice on July 30, the Mocs catch a break today. They get the day off and will resume practice at 7:45 Monday morning.

For more Mocs coverage, see tomorrow's Times Free Press. You can also follow beat writer John Frierson on Twitter at

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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