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)

Covenant Softball Picked 11th In Preseason Poll

The USA South Athletic Conference released its softball preseason coaches poll on Wednesday afternoon. Piedmont was picked to win the conference, while Covenant was selected to place 11th in the 13-team league. Piedmont garnered 11 of the 13 first place votes, while Averett had two. Piedmont finished last season ranked No. 21 by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. ... (click for more)

Cox Leads Covenant Men Past Piedmont

- TJ Cox scored a career-high 21 points and the Covenant men's basketball team picked up a critical USA South victory on Wednesday night 69-61 at Piedmont inside Cave Arena. The victory snaps a brief two-game losing streak for Covenant (5-13, 4-5 USA South) as the Scots remain in contention for a USA South tournament berth. The loss is the third in a row for Piedmont (8-9, 3-4 ... (click for more)

Chief Fletcher Gives Maximum Punishment To Patrol Officer Who Fired 4 Shots Toward Vehicle That Backed Toward Him

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher has given a maximum punishment to an officer who fired four shots toward a vehicle after he said the driver backed into his vehicle with him standing behind it. Chief Fletcher sustained a finding of “improper use of force – discharge of firearm.” He suspended Officer Alex Olson for 30 days without pay – the maximum suspension allowed ... (click for more)

Van Found On Its Side Off Burkhalter Gap Road; Woman's Remains Nearby; May Be Trenton Woman Missing Since June 4

A van was found on its side off Burkhalter Gap Road on the side of Lookout Mountain near Trenton, Ga., on Wednesday with a woman's body nearby. Authorities said the woman may be a missing Trenton woman. Justine Marie Creech had been missing since June 4. The discovery was made by a woman out hiking. A skull and remains were near the rear tire, authorities said.  ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This One’s For ‘Grifter’

Back in October of 2013 a Facebook page called “OAF Nation” was created to “boost the morale” of the heroes who make up our nation’s military.” It was tongue-in-cheek satire, putting funny captions on every-day pictures that showed members of the Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as they defended our country. Our fighting men and women loved it. It quickly went viral and today ... (click for more)