Jacob Huesman and Kevin Revis didn't sugarcoat anything. They said the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's offense last season -- the Mocs' first running the spread full time -- wasn't good enough.
How would the Mocs' starting quarterback and right guard grade the 2012 offense, which was fifth in the Southern Conference in scoring (25.5 points per game) and eighth in total offense (349.8 yards per game)?
"I would give it a 'C,'" said the senior Revis, a preseason second-team All-SoCon pick by the league's coaches.
"I was going to say a high 'C,' maybe a low 'B,'" said Huesman, a sophomore who also was a second-team All-SoCon pick. "We were too up and down to give ourselves a good grade."
A young group in 2012, the offense now has more experience with 10 returning starters and a coordinator with more spread experience in Jeff Durden, who spent the previous nine seasons at James Madison.
When asked about what grade they expect the offense to get this season, Revis and Huesman had the same answer -- an "A."
"We're expecting the best out of everybody on the offense," Jacob Huesman said.
Fifth-year head coach Russ Huesman has said often since last season that he wants the offense to be more than the Terrell Robinson and Jacob Huesman show. In 2012, the coach's son led the team with 904 rushing yards on 195 carries and threw for 1,712 yards, completing 65.2 percent of his passes. He also caught eight passes.
Robinson began the season as the starting quarterback but mostly playedreceiver in the final nine games. He ended with a team-high 40 catches and was 30-for-44 passing for 296 yards, and his 222 rushing yards were third on the team.
Robinson spent the summer trying to become a complete receiver.
"I want to be more of an all-around threat and a deep threat," he said last month.
If the UTC defense, with five preseason first-team All-SoCon players, plays to its potential, the offense shouldn't have to light up the scoreboard every game. The Mocs were second in the SoCon in scoring defense (20.4 ppg) and total defense (308.4 ypg) last season and return everyone but defensive end Josh Williams and linebacker Shane Heatherly.
The Mocs were second in the SoCon last season in time of possession, holding the ball for 32 minutes, 24 seconds per game. In the spring the offense worked on playing much faster. The benefit of having a good defense, Durden said, is that you don't have to play at breakneck speed if you don't want to.
Durden was able to install his system in the spring and said he actually took a few things out as he tried to fine-tune the offense to suit the personnel.
"We know where everybody fits in the puzzle now, I think," he said. "Now let's make sure we're attacking the defenses the right way."
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/MocsBeat.