published Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Mocs catch in rain

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    Staff photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press - UTC's Marlon Anthony, No. 3, catches the ball in the end zone as Kadeem Wise tries to catch up. The UTC Mocs football team scrimmaged at Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon, despite the inclement weather.

Despite the steady rain that fell throughout its scrimmage Saturday at Finley Stadium, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team was able to move the ball through the air.

Quarterback B.J. Coleman completed his first eight passes and finished 11-of-16 for 116 yards and a touchdown. He had one pass intercepted by cornerback Chaz Moore, who snagged an underthrown ball.

Mocs coach Russ Huesman said he didn’t enjoy standing out in the rain for two hours during the scrimmage, but he thought his players did.

“Hopefully we blocked and tackled in some capacity and got something out of it,” Huesman said. “We had some nice throws and catches out there, and it looked like they had some fun out there.”

Marlon Anthony had four catches for 63 yards. His 3-yard touchdown was set up by a 37-yard catch on the previous play.

“It’s a little bit different from last year because I was a backup [in 2010], and now that I’m on the first team I have to pick it up a little bit,” said Anthony, who had 17 catches as a redshirt freshman last season.

Playing with the backups, wideout Bryant Belew had three catches for 30 yards. Unlike his teammates, Belew, a redshirt freshman, was out there bare-handed.

“During practice I kind of like to not wear gloves to make sure I work on my hands,” he said. “Toward the end of a [game] week I might throw on some gloves to get used to them, because I’ll probably wear them in games.”

Gloves or no gloves, including the pink ones worn by Sloan Allison, the wideouts had struggled with drops earlier in the week. But they held on to the ball for the most part Saturday.

“For it being so wet, I thought we held on to the football really well,” Coleman said.

The Mocs’ running game made some plays as well, highlighted by a Keon Williams twisting-and-turning 35-yard run that set up a 3-yard Chris Awuah touchdown burst.

The offense did have its share of turnovers. Along with Coleman’s interception, backup quarterback Graham Nichols was picked off on two plays in a row and Williams fumbled on back-to-back plays.

The first- and second-team defensive lines were able to pressure the quarterbacks and got six sacks.

Latest line

In its first scrimmage of spring practice, the Mocs’ first-team offensive line created running room for the backs and mostly gave quarterback B.J. Coleman time to throw. The starting line consisted of Dodds, Omre Harris, Austin Wilson, Nick Gipson and Adam Miller.

Coleman was sacked a couple of times, including once by defensive end Davis Tull, who got by left tackle Taylor Dodds.

“I have to expect to make mistakes, but I’ve just got to keep building each day,” Dodds, a redshirt freshman, said. “Other than that [sack] I thought I did really well.”

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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