Scheduling worked in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team's favor this season. The Mocs are off this Saturday, and the break came when they needed it most.
In last Saturday's Southern Conference win at Western Carolina, UTC (2-2, 1-1) used just 41 players and had several starters and backups out because of injuries or suspensions.
"We had four linebackers on this trip," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "Normally you'd take eight: [the] two-deep and special-teams guys. That's nutty. I don't think I've ever seen that in my entire life."
It was far from an ideal situation, but it was one UTC experienced a time or two last season, defensive coordinator Adam Fuller said.
"There's probably not many teams that travel with four linebackers, two safeties that have ever played in a game before and three tackles, but we got through it fine," Fuller said.
The Mocs didn't sustain any new injuries and hope they'll be close to full strength when they play at The Citadel on Oct. 9.
Among the players who could return are safety Jordan Tippit and right tackle Adam Miller, who have been out with ankle injuries since the Jacksonville State game. Defensive tackle La'Nard Carr underwent minor knee surgery Tuesday and is questionable for The Citadel game.
One player who may not get on the field again this season is kicker Nick Pollard, Huesman said. The true freshman has been bothered by a hip flexor injury since the preseason. He attempted two kicks in the opener and has been out since.
If Pollard's injury keeps him out the rest of the season, UTC could apply for a medical redshirt. If that is granted by the NCAA, Pollard would still have four years of eligibility remaining.
Ellzey gets a touch
Senior fullback Courtland Ellzey caught a 4-yard pass in the second quarter at WCU. It was the first time he had touched the ball in a game in his career and the first time UTC had distributed the ball to a fullback this season.
"We're here to block and help everybody else, and if we get the ball that's a bonus," said Ellzey, who primarily played special teams before this season. "I caught it, so maybe they'll get it to me again."
Securing the ball
The Mocs practiced for 45 minutes Tuesday and spent about 20 minutes doing ball-security drills. UTC had three fumbles and six dropped passes last Saturday.
Huesman said the team will spend extra time on ball security for the rest of the season.
Contact John Frierson at email@example.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeat