Thursday, June 27, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
On a hot, humid late June Thursday afternoon, and with quarterbacks Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson leading the offense, more than 40 UTC returning lettermen went through fitness drills followed by a 7-on-7 scrimmage at Scrappy Moore Field.
The Mocs will continue the 7-on-7 practices (shorts and shirts) Tuesdays and Thursdays until the official opening of fall team practice on July 29.
“I thought the backs and receivers ran crisp routes and made some good catches,” said Huesman, a redshirt sophomore.
“An overall good practice for the first day of 7-on-7.”
Huesman feels the spread offense implemented by new offensive coordinator Jeff Durden fits the talents on the Mocs roster.
“Coach Durden has been coaching the spread offense for 10 years and is a great teacher,” Huesman said. “We had a great, efficient spring practice with our completion percentage up.”
The former TSSAA D-II Mr. Football winner is excited about the up-tempo offense for the 2013 Mocs.
“The guys on the offensive line can run well which really helps in our new system and with good team speed on both sides of the ball we can do a lot of damage.”
The talented O-Line has five returning starters; center Patrick Sutton (Jr.), guard Kevin Revis (Sr.), tackles Hunter Dockery (Sr.) and Synjen Herren (So.) and All-American tight end Faysal Shafaar (Jr.)
Strong Defense: “It’s great to have such a strong, veteran defense (two All-Americans - end Davis Tull and linebacker Wes Dothard among the 10 returning starters), to go against each day in practice,” Huesman said. Everyone on offense has to bring his A-game every day in practice.”
21 Returning Starters – offense (10), defense (10) kicker (1)
“When the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter or in overtime it’s so important to have such a veteran team on the field with players who have been in tough situations before,” Huesman stated. “The best experience is game experience.”
The Mocs have 11 fourth-year juniors and fifth-year seniors among the 21 returning starters.
“We know that we have the usual tough Southern Conference schedule, have the great opportunity to play against the two-time defending national champions in Alabama (Nov. 23) and a solid non-conference schedule,” Huesman stated.
“It’s tough not to look ahead, but we are putting out efforts and attention into our season opener with UT-Martin and not looking past that game.”
First Game: The Mocs host UT Martin Thurs. Aug. 29 at Finley Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
The business major also acknowledged that it is good to have three non-conference games to start the season before the first SoCon game at Georgia Southern (Sept. 28)
After UT-Martin, the Mocs travel to Atlanta to play Ga. State (Sept. 7) and back home against Austin Peay (Sept. 14) before six straight SoCon foes followed by a date in Tuscaloosa in late November.
UTC Home Schedule
Aug. 29 – UT-Martin
Sept. 14 – Austin Peay
Oct. 5 – Western Carolina
Oct. 12 – Furman
Oct. 26 – The Citadel
Nov. 9 – Wofford
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com