UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman to try to play

UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman to try to play

October 11th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sportscollege

UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman acknowledges the crowd's cheers in this file photo.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback B.J. Coleman said he is doing everything he can to get his sprained right shoulder ready for Saturday's game against Western Carolina.

As he left McKenzie Arena on Monday afternoon with his right arm in a sling after going through three rounds of rehabilitation with the Mocs' training staff, Coleman was in good spirits and optimistic about being able to play fairly quickly.

But he doesn't know if he'll be ready by Saturday.

"The good thing is that [the injury is] not terrible at all," said Coleman, who has started all 28 games in his UTC career. "I'm kind of day-to-day and I'm going to try to play."

Coleman breathed a big sigh of relief Sunday when all the tests -- which he said included him spending about two hours total in an MRI machine -- came back negative.

"I feel much more relieved to know that it's not serious," he said. "These things happen and a lot of players play [with the injury] that aren't quarterbacks. If it was my left [nonthrowing shoulder], it probably doesn't matter that much."

Redshirt freshman Terrell Robinson filled in after Coleman sustained the injury early in the second quarter of the Mocs' 28-27 Southern Conference loss at top-ranked Georgia Southern last Saturday. Robinson ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns as UTC (2-4, 0-3) tried to rally past the Eagles.

For his efforts, Robinson was named the SoCon freshman of the week on Monday.

Offense on the fly

Robinson had practiced at wide receiver all season until last week, when offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield put together a spread-option package for him to run against Georgia Southern.

"We had him a little package going in, and then that package had to grow," he said.

All along the plan was for UTC to switch to more of a spread offense after this season, when Coleman's career will be done. Satterfield said he didn't envision having to install the spread at halftime Saturday when UTC was down 21-7.

"Halftime we're in there installing a new offense, and those kids were loving it," he said.

No second thoughts

Head coach Russ Huesman said it was his call to go for the two-point conversion late in the game when UTC trailed 28-27, and he believed that the Mocs would score from the 3-yard line.

"I didn't have a second thought when I made the call," he said. "There were not second thoughts; it was just one of those things that I thought, '3 yards, man; they haven't stopped [Robinson] the whole half, and let's win it right there.'"

The two-point conversion hasn't been UTC's friend in high-profile games the past two seasons. The Mocs came up empty late in last season's 42-41 loss to Appalachian State, came up empty against ASU in last month's 14-12 loss and again last Saturday.

"I'm sure half the people in the world would have gone for two and half the people would have kicked it," Huesman said of last week's decision. "That's the nature of the business."

Mocs now unranked

The Mocs' record run of six straight weeks in the rankings ended Monday when they fell out of the Football Championship Subdivision coaches' and the Sports Network polls.

The only ranked team with a losing record last week -- No. 23 in the coaches' and No. 24 in the Sports Network poll -- UTC continued to receive a lot of votes. In both polls it received the third-most votes among the unranked teams.

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