Things were quiet around the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football offices this week. Mocs coach Russ Huesman was in town taking care of what needed to get done, but some of his assistants were off visiting other schools.
One of the benefits of finishing spring practice so early -- the Mocs' final session was on April 4 -- is that it has allowed UTC's coaches to attend practices at other programs.
This week, offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield and offensive line coach Alex Atkins made a trip up Northern Illinois to see how the Huskies run their spread system.
"At first I was a little discouraged because we didn't get to visit before spring practice, but now I'm glad because I feel like now I have a better understanding of what I need to find out about," Satterfield said last week. "I think we've got a pretty good foundation and we're going to watch them practice and meet with their staff."
Northern Illinois was 11th in the bowl subdivision last season in total offense (476 yards per game) and 12th in both rushing (234.14) and scoring (38.3 ppg). The Huskies effectively used a running quarterback, Chandler Harnish, who ran for 98.5 yards a game and had a passing efficiency rating of 153.01, fifth best in the FBS.
Huesman and Satterfield attended a couple of Vanderbilt's practices last week, and defensive coordinator Adam Fuller is visiting Mississippi State this week. Huesman said watching other teams practice can be very informative.
"You just kind of see what they're doing -- the kinds of drills and the tempo of practice," Huesman said. "Watching Vanderbilt and how they set [practice] up, it looked very similar to us. I think what we're doing practice-wise is fine. We've just got to win and figure out ways to finish games."
UTC held the inaugural Scrappys awards banquet Thursday night at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. More than 300 players and coaches dressed up for the occasion and awards covered numerous categories. Players did most of the voting.
Among the many winners was quarterback Terrell Robinson, who received the award for Individual performance of the year, when he rushed for 155 yards and threw for 140 and three touchdowns against Elon. All-Southern Conference linebacker Ryan Consiglio was named the male student-athlete of the year and the football MVP.
Michelle Fuzzard, the 2011 SoCon softball player of the year, was voted the top female student-athlete and won for best comeback, SoCon 133-pound champion wrestler Nick Soto was voted freshman of the year and softball's Frank Reed was voted coach of the year.
UTC's women's golf program was team of the year.