UTC's O-Line Ready To Dance

UTC vs. UT-Martin Finley Stadium, 7;37 p.m. kickoff

Thursday, August 29, 2013 - by B.B. Branton
UTC starting center Patrick Sutton  is one of the Mocs Dancing Bears who must help control the line of scrimmage in tonight's home opener against UT-Martin.
UTC starting center Patrick Sutton is one of the Mocs Dancing Bears who must help control the line of scrimmage in tonight's home opener against UT-Martin.
- photo by UTC Sports Information

"We need everyone on our offensive line to be "Dancing Bears". Ones who are light on their feet, yet can dominate and control their opponent."

-- Alex Atkins, UTC offensive line coach

 

Running the football with more consistency this season is a must for the No24 UTC Mocs and a big test comes tonight as the Blue and Gold  host UT-Martin at Finley Stadium in a regionally televised game with a 7:37 p.m. kickoff.

Offensive line coach Alex Atkins sees his "Dancing Bears" as a vital part of that running game equation.

"To be a "Dancing Bear" you must be light on your feet and able to dominate and control your opponent," said coach Atkins, who knows something about being a Dancing Bear as he was an All-American offensive lineman at UT-Martin, graduating in 2007.

"Imagine being chased and then caught by a large brown bear weighing a few hundred pounds; one who can outrun you. That's a scary thought and it's what I want from our guys on the offensive line."

According to Atkins, the O-Line has made very good improvement since last season.

Mocs O-Line: The UTC line has starters in tackles Hunter Dockery (Sr.) and Corey Levin (R Fr.), center Patrick Sutton (Jr.), guards Kevin Revis (Sr.) and Synjen Herren (So) along with All-American tight end Faysal Shafaat.(Jr.)

"We have passed the quizzes in the spring and this summer, but the test comes tonight."

And for the Mocs to run the ball consistently tonight, the Blue and Gold O-Line must control an experienced, talented Skyhawk defense which features four All-Americans.

"To be a dominant lineman you must control your blocks for at least four seconds and that's just the bare minimum," Atkins said emphatically.

UT-Martin has a pair of athletic defensive ends in D.J. Roberts (All-Ameican) and Ryan isom, plus All-American linebacker Ben Johnson and All-American free safety Thad Williams.

"Those guys are very athletic and will come at you from several different formations," Atkins stated

Deal Maker/Deal Breaker:  Even though this is a non-conference game, a win or a loss could set the tone for the entire season for one or both teams.

UT-Martin was 8-3 a year ago, finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference with an non-conference road win against Memphis, 29-17, with the winning field goal coming with 13 seconds remaining in the game.

The No.24 Mocs return 21 starters from a 6-5 season.

A Key to Victory: The Mocs must control the line of scrimmage in tonight's game to help establish the running game.

And if the "Dancing Bears" can win the battle in the trenches to allow Marquis Green, Keon Williams and others to gain significant yardage then Moc fans could be dancing down Broad Street to 1960s hit "Dancing in the Street" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas by late evening.

contact B,B. Branfon at wlliam.branton@comcast.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Sutton (72)
Patrick Sutton (72)


PREP SCHEDULE

(Please notify us of any schedule changes and times as well as game and match scores at news@chattanoogan.com) Softball: SATURDAY, APRIL 21 East Hamilton Tournament MONDAY, APRIL 23 Cookeville at Rhea Co. Silverdale at Notre Dame Soddy Daisy at Baylor Chattanooga Christian at Boyd-Buchanan Sale Creek at CSAS Walker Valley at Hixson ... (click for more)

Big Orange Caravan Stops In Chattanooga Coming To Chattanooga

Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer and Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt will headline the five-city Big Orange Caravan fan appreciation tour this May.   The caravan stops in Chattanooga on Thursday, May 10 from 5:30 p.m – 7:30 p.m. at the First Tennessee Pavilion.   Admission will be $5 per person with complimentary admission for students ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)