Mocs wideouts versatile

Mocs wideouts versatile

October 15th, 2010 by John Frierson in Sports - College

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wide receivers Joel Bradford and Brian Sutherland are having very productive seasons, but in different ways.

Bradford has Sutherland beat, by wide margins, in receptions and receiving yards. But Sutherland is UTC's No. 2 receiver statistically and also is third on the team in rushing.

Add in return yards - Sutherland returns kicks, Bradford returns punts - and you have the Southern Conference's leaders in all-purpose yardage.

Sutherland leads the SoCon with 130.4 all-purpose yards a game, with Bradford right behind him at 126.8.

"All power to him," said Bradford, who leads the SoCon and is third in the NCAA FCS with 115.4 receiving yards a game. "He deserves it, all those kick returns he gets, and he's tremendous on those reverses."

Staff File Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press Mocs' wide receiver Brian Sutherland, No. 1, breaks away down the field with Appalachian State defensive back Mark LeGree, No. 13, and linebacker D.J. Smith, No. 9, in close pursuit.

Staff File Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free...

Both players will need good all-purpose games Saturday when UTC (3-2, 2-1) hosts 18th-ranked Georgia Southern (3-2, 1-1) at Finley Stadium.

Sutherland and Bradford each averages 15.6 yards per catch, though Bradford has 37 grabs to Sutherland's 15. Their return averages also are similar: Sutherland is getting 18 yards a kickoff return and Bradford is averaging 16.8 on punts.

One area where Sutherland has really made an impact is on reverses. He's run the ball 11 times for 148 yards, which is 13.5 yards per carry. His longest reverse went for 62, in the opener against Appalachian State.

"It's been pretty fun, just being able to make plays for my team and seeing it all [carry over] from this spring and preseason," Sutherland said. "[The reverse] is something that we practice for, and it's something that I like to do."

Mocs coach Russ Huesman said Sutherland's versatility and effectiveness haven't been a surprise.

"We kind of thought the things we're doing with him right now, we had it in our plans to do that with him," Huesman said. "Brian's had one or two good runs every week, and that's huge. To get a 34-yarder on a reverse is big."

Before leaving the team for personal reasons after two games last season, Sutherland returned two punts and three kicks. He also ran two reverses, which lost a combined 12 yards.

Nearly all of his reverses this season have yielded positive yards - including the 34-yarder last week at The Citadel. Opposing defenses are surely looking for them, but they've had little success stopping them.

"I'm surprised we're able to get away with as much as are," offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield said, "and we've got to start getting him the ball in different ways."

Extra points

Satterfield said following Thursday's practice that he hasn't decided who will start at running back Saturday. Freshman Keon Williams started last week and ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns. ... More than 6,600 tickets have been sold for the homecoming game.