Chattanooga Mocs' passing game productive

Chattanooga Mocs' passing game productive

August 11th, 2013 by John Frierson in Sports - College

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs wide receiver Xavier Borishade (24) turns up field for a touchdown, while defensive back Will Johnson (29) takes pursuit, during their first preseason scrimmage at Finley Stadium on Saturday.

Photo by C. B. Schmelter/Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga passing game, a point of emphasis so far during preseason practice, was put to the test Saturday afternoon at Finley Stadium.

In the Mocs' first scrimmage, the first-team offense was able to move the ball through the air effectively against the first-team defense. Starting quarterback Jacob Huesman hit true freshman receiver Xavier Borishade for a 37-yard catch-and-run touchdown and later connected with tight end Faysal Shafaat for an 11-yard score.

"I made some good throws and I don't know that I made any bad throws, but I was holding onto the ball too long," said Huesman, who was 13-for-20 for 137 yards.

The Mocs set up the pass with some early runs -- something the offense has to do, coordinator Jeff Durden said -- against one of the top defenses in the Football Championship Subdivision. It was a solid day, but not great, Durden said, with several drives coming to a halt in the red zone.

"For the most part we made good decisions, but we weren't very sharp," said Durden, who called the scrimmage from the press box.

A 5-foot-10, 170-pounder from Kennesaw, Ga., Borishade has shown he can contribute since the start of practice. He missed two days with a hip pointer but appears determined to contribute in his first season. He had five catches for 60 yards Saturday.

"It was a transition from practice to [going live in the scrimmage], but this is what I got signed here for," Borishade said. "This is what I like and what I'm hoping for."

When the offense bogged down in the red zone, the kicking game wasn't able to contribute much. There were three missed field goals and a missed extra point, and head coach Russ Huesman got pretty red in the face during a post-scrimmage conversation with kickers Nick Pollard and Henrique Ribeiro.

"I've got a bunch of concerns, but that's a huge concern," Huesman said of the kicking game.

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