The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga passing game, a point of emphasis so far during preseason practice, was put to the test Saturday afternoon at Finley Stadium.
In the Mocs' first scrimmage, the first-team offense was able to move the ball through the air effectively against the first-team defense. Starting quarterback Jacob Huesman hit true freshman receiver Xavier Borishade for a 37-yard catch-and-run touchdown and later connected with tight end Faysal Shafaat for an 11-yard score.
"I made some good throws and I don't know that I made any bad throws, but I was holding onto the ball too long," said Huesman, who was 13-for-20 for 137 yards.
The Mocs set up the pass with some early runs -- something the offense has to do, coordinator Jeff Durden said -- against one of the top defenses in the Football Championship Subdivision. It was a solid day, but not great, Durden said, with several drives coming to a halt in the red zone.
"For the most part we made good decisions, but we weren't very sharp," said Durden, who called the scrimmage from the press box.
A 5-foot-10, 170-pounder from Kennesaw, Ga., Borishade has shown he can contribute since the start of practice. He missed two days with a hip pointer but appears determined to contribute in his first season. He had five catches for 60 yards Saturday.
"It was a transition from practice to [going live in the scrimmage], but this is what I got signed here for," Borishade said. "This is what I like and what I'm hoping for."
When the offense bogged down in the red zone, the kicking game wasn't able to contribute much. There were three missed field goals and a missed extra point, and head coach Russ Huesman got pretty red in the face during a post-scrimmage conversation with kickers Nick Pollard and Henrique Ribeiro.
"I've got a bunch of concerns, but that's a huge concern," Huesman said of the kicking game.
Contact John Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.
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 ...