The new-look University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offense didn't look like much during the first part of the Mocs' 94-play scrimmage at Finley Stadium on Wednesday. It got better, however, and showed the potential of the Mocs' spread scheme.
Quarterbacks Terrell Robinson and Jacob Huesman had their ups and downs -- they both threw interceptions and showed the running ability that makes them ideal for UTC's new system.
"We've got a long way to go, but you can see the potential," Robinson said.
Mocs coach Russ Huesman and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield were smiling as they walked off the field at the end of UTC's sixth of 15 spring workouts.
"We know it's a work in progress and I told our team afterwards, I said the defense right now should be ahead of the offense," Huesman said. "And I told the offense, you're playing against one of the best defenses in the league."
Satterfield said the scrimmage was like being "at the circus" because there was so much for him to pay attention to -- so much that after the scrimmage he couldn't remember much that happened.
Not only is UTC running a new scheme, but it is going no-huddle and playing at a faster pace. It's a lot to coordinate and a lot to master.
"I couldn't tell you right now if we blocked worth a lick or ran worth a lick, without watching the tape," Satterfield said. "It was fun, it was different."
Robinson finished with 81 yards on 15 carries and was 9-of-15 passing for 46 yards. Jacob Huesman had 37 yards rushing on nine attempts and was 8-for-21 passing for 77 yards.
UTC's defense was statistically the best in the Southern Conference last season. It looked like it early in the scrimmage as it made some plays behind the line of scrimmage and kept the offense from making first downs.
Backup cornerback Don Cope picked off a Robinson pass and linebacker Shane Heatherly showed some quick hands on an interception of a Jacob Huesman pass inside the 5-yard line.
Defensive coordinator Adam Fuller acknowledged that the defense made some plays, but he also reeled off several that it didn't. Huesman was more positive about the day.
"I though the defense looked really good early," he said, adding that he was pleased to see the offense "pick the pace up a little bit and make some plays."
Jacob Huesman started the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run. He was in at quarterback because Robinson's helmet had come off on the previous play and under the new NCAA rule a player that loses his helmet has to sit out a play. Huesman also scored on a 9-yard run later in the scrimmage.
Robinson scored on a 40-yard touchdown run to give the offense its biggest play of the day.
"That gave us a little spark, and we kind of got going after that," Robinson said.
The two quarterbacks took turns leading drives, each spending time with the first and second units, and each threw a touchdown pass -- Jacob Huesman tossed an 18-yarder to wideout Ron Moore Jr., and Robinson hit tight end Troy Dye from the 11.
"It was fun and it felt pretty smooth," Jacob Huesman said.
Defensively, cornerback Chaz Moore made two of the more memorable plays. He stopped running back Marquis Green with a big collision on third-and-2 that had everyone oohing, and he later broke up a pass in the end zone.
The Mocs are off the rest of the week and next week for spring break. Their next practice is March 19.