Terrell Robinson will make his first college start Saturday when the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga hosts Western Carolina, coach Russ Huesman said following Thursday's practice.
The reigning Southern Conference freshman of the week, Robinson has taken most of the snaps at quarterback during practice this week in place of the injured B.J. Coleman, who suffered a sprained right (throwing) shoulder last week against No. 1 Georgia Southern.
"We'll start Terrell and give it a couple more days with B.J. and see where he is," Huesman said.
Coleman has started all 28 games since he transferred from Tennessee in the spring of 2009. He's the only starting quarterback Huesman and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield have had since they arrived at UTC (2-4, 0-3).
Huesman said Coleman's availability for Saturday against the Catamounts (1-4, 0-3) is still a question mark. Coleman has not practiced this week, and his right arm was in a sling until Thursday.
Robinson, a former South Pittsburg quarterback star and the 2009 Class 1A state back of the year, had been a backup wide receiver all season until last week when he moved back to quarterback so UTC could use him in some spread-option plays.
Once Coleman went down in the second quarter, the redshirt freshman took over and rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns. He was 5-of-9 passing for 62 yards, with an interception.
After working as the starter all week, Robinson said he feels much more prepared.
"This week I just want to be more of a quarterback and manage the team and get everybody more involved, instead of me just running the ball and pulling it down," he said. "I just want to make our offense open up and get everybody involved."
A pair of punters
Joel Bradford set a pretty high standard last week in his first collegiate game as a punter. The senior All-America wide receiver punted three times and averaged 48.3 yards a boot. He also ran 10 yards for a first down on a fake in the fourth quarter.
Huesman had planned to use senior Mike Hammons, a four-year starter, and Bradford in the game. Huesman wanted Bradford back there to add some athleticism and increase the options on fakes.
"During the course of the year people just come after you all the time, and I got sick and tired of that," Huesman said.
In the future, Huesman said he wants to sign athletic skill-position players who also can punt. Having a better athlete punting, like Jacksonville State does with quarterback Coty Blanchard or Elon did with quarterback Scott Riddle, forces the other team to stay concerned about fakes.
"It was scary when [Riddle] was back there, and I think it's a pretty good weapon," Huesman said.
Right guard Kevin Revis (ankle) returned to practice Thursday and will start Saturday. At defensive tackle, the starters will be true freshmen Josh Freeman and Toyvian Brand for the second straight game. ... Western Carolina is 3-38 in SoCon games since the start of the 2006 season.