published Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Chattanooga Mocs mostly plan to use off day to rest

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    UTC head football coach Russ Huesman directs defensive players during the Mocs' first preseason scrimmage at Finley Stadium. He was complimentary of the team as a whole after the scrimmage and again after reviewing the video.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

It's a Sabbath day of rest, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team intends to do just that.

Mocs coach Russ Huesman gave the players today off before returning to practice Sunday to begin preparing for Thursday's season opener at Central Michigan. But even with a weekend day off, players said there wouldn't be much extracurricular activity.

"I'm just going to kick my feet up and chill and relax," senior defensive end Zach Rayl said. "I'll watch some TV, and that's all that's going to happen."

Sophomore offensive lineman Corey Levin laughed and agreed with Rayl when asked how he would spend the day off.

"Definitely kick back, and probably about the only activity I'll get into is going to the training room to take an ice bath and get some stretching in," Levin said. "I'll rest a lot but I don't want to get too relaxed, because you have to keep your body right for when we get back out on the practice field."

While the players have the day off, the coaches will be in the office to watch video and continue going over the game plan before beginning the season's first game week preparations.

"I talked with the coordinators about what time we'll meet and then get together as a staff," Huesman said. "We'll spend a lot of time planning for Sunday, and then when Sunday rolls around we'll be in game-planning mode.

"You'd love to say, 'OK, coaches, we've given the players a day off, so go have a good time,' but that's over with. It's football time."

It will be just the second off day for the players in more than two weeks, having had last Sunday off for the "Meet the Mocs" day, and with an intense next few days of fine-tuning the game plan before flying Wednesday to Michigan, even the younger players who are expected to play know the importance of approaching it with the right attitude.

"I've got a big day planned of resting, sleeping and hydrating," freshman receiver Wil Young said. "That's it, man. I just want to take a day to get my legs back and be fresh for practice the next day. There won't be any going out. There won't be any of that for us."

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

about Stephen Hargis...

Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...

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