What happened to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga "pro spread" offense that looked pretty effective against Jacksonville State in week two and super-dynamic against Glenville State in the third game of the season?
Where was it Saturday in the Mocs' Southern Conference opener against No. 18 Appalachian State?
"I didn't think we played great, especially on offense," a soft-spoken Mocs coach Russ Huesman said Sunday afternoon following UTC's 34-17 loss to the Mountaineers. "I think we got away from the things that we want to do offensively."
The Mocs (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) had 427 yards of offense against Jacksonville State and 477 against Division II Glenville State. Against the Mountaineers (2-2, 1-1 SoCon), UTC had 71 yards at the half, 116 after three quarters and finished with 270. UTC gained 112 on its final two drives, after trailing 27-10 midway through the fourth quarter.
UTC quarterbacks Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson, two spread-suited players that may be the Mocs' best ball-carriers, had a combined 14 rushing attempts, including four sacks. Meanwhile, they threw the ball 35 times.
The offense looked more like the pro-style system UTC utilized with B.J. Coleman than the spread system the Mocs have worked on since last spring.
"We've got to get back to that and we will," Huesman said of the spread. "We need to look more like we did in camp and the things that we were doing with this offense. No question about it."
Huesman said he had a discussion about Saturday's play-calling and the offense in general with offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield on Sunday.
"Satt and I spoke this morning and we've got to get back to what we were doing. We will and it just didn't look like our offense out there," Huesman said. "I wasn't overly pleased with the direction of our offense on Saturday. Not only the execution, but also what we were doing with it.
"Satt knows that, and we'll plan on getting that fixed and doing the things that we can do with this offense."
Jacob Huesman said it was UTC's first-down inefficiency that ruined a lot of the drives. Of UTC's 27 plays on first down, 21 went for three yards or less and 12 went for no yards or worse.
"It's tough to come back from drive-killing plays," Jacob said.
Wide receiver Marlon Anthony, who broke out of a slump with five catches, caught a 7-yard touchdown pass on UTC's second drive. The Mocs added a field goal in the first quarter for a 10-0 lead.
"And then it just stopped," Anthony said of the offense. "I don't know what happened. Coach Satt was trying to take the blame for it, but he was calling good plays and we were not executing."
The Mocs will have to figure things out quickly because they visit No. 14 The Citadel (3-1, 2-0) this Saturday.