Mocs wideouts adjust to more blocking

Mocs wideouts adjust to more blocking

October 28th, 2011 by John Frierson in Sports - College

Chattanooga's Marlon Anthony catches a touchdown pass while guarded by Elon's Akeem Langham during the game at Elon University.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Marlon Anthony smiled at the question. No, the 6-foot-5 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wide receiver said, he didn't have to do much blocking in high school.

"It was mostly me just going out and catching the fade ball," he said.

Anthony and the other UTC wideouts always have been expected to be proficient at blocking -- not that all of them were -- but now they have to be.

When quarterback B.J. Coleman went down with a sprained shoulder against Georgia Southern on Oct. 8, UTC's offense shifted from a pass-heavy attack to a run-first approach with Terrell Robinson behind center. The roles have changed for receivers such as Anthony and Joel Bradford.

As they have the past three weeks, the wideouts will do more blocking than catching Saturday when UTC (4-4, 2-3) hosts Furman (4-3, 3-2) in a Southern Conference game.

"They're taking pride in it and trying to be more physical and working on the little things in practice," offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said.

Bradford had 37 receptions for 447 yards before Coleman's injury. Since Robinson took over, Bradford has eight catches for 156 yards. His only catch last week at Elon went for a 52-yard touchdown.

"The mindset going into a game is, 'All right, I might catch one or two balls, maybe none,'" Satterfield said, "but that block might be key for Terrell to spring it or that play-action pass might be my one chance that I have to capitalize on."

In less than three full games, Robinson has completed 23 of 33 passes for 325 yards, with six touchdowns and an interception. He's rushed for a combined 301 yards and three scores.

Blocking might not come naturally to the 165-pound Bradford, but the senior who caught 81 balls a year ago is working at it.

"I've been as proud of him the last two or three weeks as I have been since he has been here," receivers coach Will Healy said. "I know he's not catching 15 balls for 274 yards [his total at Furman in 2010], but he has really embraced it and I think he's having a lot of fun doing it.

"And I think he feels better about himself knowing that he's trying to be a complete player."

Extra Points

Mocs coach Russ Huesman said senior linebacker J.D. Dothard, who was arrested on a domestic assault charge Wednesday, has been suspended from all football-related activities. ... Offensive lineman Taylor Dodds had surgery Thursday to repair the torn ACL in his right knee he sustained Tuesday. ... Coleman had an extensive throwing session Thursday that included some passes of more than 60 yards.