published Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Healthy Chattanooga Mocs will play against Bama

  • photo
    UTC quarterback Jacob Huesman (14) is sacked by Samford linebacker Bobby Wilson (31) at Seibert Stadium in Homewood, Ala. on Saturday.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

If he's healthy enough to play, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga quarterback Jacob Huesman will be on the field Saturday for the Mocs' regular-season finale at Alabama.

The same goes for any other "dinged up" Mocs, coach Russ Huesman said Monday.

"Anybody that's healthy, we're going to play," he said. "That's what you do. If you were healthy enough to play against Samford, if you were healthy enough to play against Western [Carolina], then you're healthy enough to play."

Jacob Huesman suffered a minor knee injury late in No. 21 UTC's win against Wofford on Nov. 9. The injury, which is leading to fluid buildup and swelling in the Mocs' leading rusher's left knee, limited his mobility in last Saturday's 17-14 overtime loss at Samford.

Against the Bulldogs, with a Southern Conference outright title on the line for the Mocs (8-3), UTC needed all hands and legs on deck. The game against the undefeated and two-time defending BCS national champion Crimson Tide (10-0) has no such stakes. But players and competitors want to be in uniform all the time, Coach Huesman said.

"We do have some guys dinged up and we'll see how they progress, and we'll make those decisions as the week goes on," he said. "If somebody can play, we're not going to not play them because it's Alabama or because the playoffs are coming up. I don't think it's fair to those kids, who want to play. There isn't one of them that doesn't want to play in this game."

UTC is assured of a share of the SoCon title and appears to be on the Football Championship Subdivision playoff bubble if it doesn't claim the automatic bid, which will happen if Samford loses to Elon this week.

The Mocs rotated Jacob Huesman and Terrell Robinson at quarterback for much of the first half against Samford, with Robinson being more of the run threat. Samford set up its defense to stop the Mocs' ground attack, which came in averaging 235.2 yards a game, especially UTC's inside runs.

The Bulldogs held UTC to 104 yards on 44 carries, forcing the Mocs to move the ball on the perimeter, which UTC did with end-around runs and lots of screen passes. Jacob finished with a career-best passing game, going 28-for-34 for 265 yards.

Depending on his son's progress this week, Coach Huesman may not know who his starting quarterback will be before Saturday.

"The bottom line is, the only way he's going to get healthy is going to be with rest," the coach said of Jacob, who has rushed for 894 yards and thrown for 1,637, with a combined 25 touchdowns. "He's not going to get healthy until he just completely rests -- and we don't have that luxury, I don't guess."

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him at twitter.com/MocsBeat.

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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