UTC's 'circus' hasn't left town

UTC's 'circus' hasn't left town

November 13th, 2012 by John Frierson in Sports - College

UTC's former offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield

UTC's former offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

What ever happened to the "circus" plays?

Remember the middle of the season when University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterbacks Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson were lining up all over the field, passes were coming from anywhere and nobody but the Mocs knew what was coming next?

The Mocs haven't done too many of what offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield called "circus" plays since they did a bunch of them in their 31-10 Southern Conference win at Furman on Oct. 13. Since then, they have run a more straight-laced offense.

"I didn't anticipate not getting as crazy, but I guess circumstances kind of dictated what we did," Satterfield said Monday, two days after UTC fell 16-13 in overtime at Wofford. "It wasn't a philosophical thing, I mean, [coach Russ Huesman] loves it."

Against Western Carolina, those kinds of plays weren't needed. Against Georgia Southern and Wofford, two tight games that went to overtime, limited plays and possessions kept UTC from trying anything too wild or risky.

UTC (5-5, 4-3) is sixth in the SoCon in scoring offense (25.7 ppg) and last in total offense (348.4 ypg). Those aren't gaudy numbers, but Huesman can live with them because the Mocs are fourth in scoring defense (20.7) and first in total defense (302.6).

"Are we the most dynamic offense in the world? No," he said. "But we're pretty efficient, I think. You know, it's easy to draw those plays up. It's hard to call them."

Saturday is UTC's season finale, against Elon (3-7, 1-6), and there might be a few surprises left in the Mocs' playbook.

"We're not still creating stuff," Satterfield said, "but we've got some stuff that we're not getting through the year without using it."

Jacob honored again

Jacob Huesman, a redshirt freshman, was named the SoCon freshman of the week Monday. It's the third time this season and second time in three weeks he's earned the award.

In the loss at Wofford, he was 22-for-31 passing for 229 yards and rushed for 68. On the 18-play, 72-yard game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, he was 5-for-7 for 45 yards and ran the ball six times for 27 yards.

Heading into Saturday, Jacob has 1,478 yards passing and 795 rushing. He needs 166 more passing yards to set the freshman record.

Saying goodbye

The Mocs have a small senior class of just seven players to honor before Saturday's game: Adam Miller, J.J. Jackson, Shane Heatherly, Josh Williams, Chris Awuah, Dustin Tate and Jarrett Burns.

UTC also will recognize some redshirt juniors who will call it a career Saturday: Graham Nichols, Don Cope, Steven Nease, Irvin Hernandez, Ethan Poe and Michael Slowey.

Top 10 trio

It is little consolation, of course, but in the latest FCS coaches' poll, released Monday, all three SoCon teams to beat UTC -- and the three league co-champions -- are ranked in the top 10. Georgia Southern is No. 6, Appalachian State is No. 8 and Wofford No. 9.

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