B.J. Coleman will never be an Armanti Edwards-like quarterback, capable of devastating defenses through the air and on the ground.
However, the junior's increased mobility this season has helped the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offense become one of the best in the Southern Conference.
"He's made some plays with his legs, whether he scrambled for key first downs or moved out of the pocket and threw the ball to an open receiver," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "That was a big emphasis coming in for him [this season], not to just stand back there and if it's not there throw it to the third row in the stands."
The Mocs (2-2, 1-1 SoCon) play at The Citadel (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday. The Bulldogs now run the triple-option offense and Huesman was asked at his media luncheon Wednesday if Coleman would be a good option quarterback.
"No," Huesman replied with a smile. "We like B.J. for what he is."
Coleman was, in fact, an option quarterback at McCallie, but he admits he was by no means the lead runner.
"One thing that benefited me was I had two phenomenal backs, but I was quick enough to get up in there and get 7 or 8 yards a pop," Coleman said.
Coleman has thrown for 1,123 yards this season, with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. In four games, he has 23 rushing attempts for minus-3 yards.
Those rushing numbers include the eight times he's been sacked, for minus-52 yards, so when he's actually run the ball he's gained 49 yards in 15 attempts. Not great, but he's picked his spots well.
Eight of his runs have resulted in either a first down or a touchdown, including a 13-yard run on third-and-12 against Jacksonville State and a 10-yard run on fourth-and-8 against Eastern Kentucky.
Coleman will need to be nimble Saturday because the Bulldogs are tied for the league lead with 15 sacks. He's been sacked eight times, just one fewer than all of 2009, but he easily could have gone down at least eight more times if he hadn't had the quickness and confidence to bail out of the pocket.
"I'm by no means the fastest or the quickest out there," Coleman said, "but it's just a step or two here or there that makes you better."
Defensive tackle La'Nard Carr (knee) practiced Wednesday and is questionable for Saturday. ... After being suspended for the Western Carolina game, backup linebacker Wes Dothard and backup safety Briant Henry will play against the Bulldogs.