University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman said following Friday morning's practice at Scrappy Moore Field that most of the Mocs' starters have been identified. What he and his staff are trying to determine now are the rest of the first-teamers and the key backups.
"The bottom line is, right now we've probably got, out of 22 starters, we've probably got 15 or 16 kids that are playing to the level you've got to play at," he said. "You've got to find those next six, and then the next eight after that. That's what we're trying to do."
To that end, the Mocs did a lot of scrimmaging Friday. Some All-Southern Conference veterans, such as linebacker Wes Dothard, cornerback Kadeem Wise and safety D.J. Key, were kept on the sideline to allow more plays for backups.
The offense and defense had their share of good plays and mistakes. With the Sept. 1 opener at South Florida fast approaching, UTC doesn't have much time to find the players it can count on this season.
"We need to identify players and get players playing and making plays," Huesman said. "We aren't going to win with 15 good ones. It's not going to happen."
Mocs offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield normally isn't shy about running around at practice. Whether it's for fun or to make a point to a player, he's often on the move. But his running days are on hold for a while.
While running a route after practice Thursday, Satterfield suffered what he described as a "ruptured calf muscle" in his right leg. Friday he was in a boot that went up to his knee.
Left guard Synjen Herren was held out of Friday's practice because of a bad bruise on his left leg. Huesman said Herren was kicked Thursday but didn't say anything about the painful contusion until Huesman saw it after practice. ... Fans can "Meet the Mocs" at Finley Stadium at 1 p.m. today. The autograph session will last an hour and the team will practice at 2:30. UTC will scrimmage at Finley at 6 p.m. Sunday.