Chattanooga-(WDEF) Even though the Mocs return 21 starters, head coach Russ Huesman admits he's nervous about the season opener. "I could probably be bringing the Green Bay Packers out there and probably be nervous. I think I'm most nervous about the unknown. We haven't played UT Martin before, but we'll probably have a substitution violation on the first play of the game. So get the cameras on me because it will be nuts I think."
Part of the unknown can be injuries. UTC lost defensive end Zach Rayl for the rest of the year in a pre-season scrimmage. Said Huesman,"You hate to see that, but it's a learning experience. We talked about it as a football team. Things like that may happen during the course of a game. You can't let that affect you."
The Mocs appear to have the leadership to handle adversity. Coach Huesman felt the team could have had twelve captains. Said running back Marquis Green,"We have a lot of guys that can lead, and want to help out, and make sure everyone is doing the right thing."
Last season, the Mocs were next to last in the SoCon in total offense. While UTC is not revamping the offense, they hope to tweak it. Said Huesman,"We are going to get more people involved in the offense. We are going to get our running backs going this year. We have to."
The Mocs may have talent and experience. Now it's all about reaching their potential...a playoff caliber season. Said defensibe back Kadeem Wise,"We just got to do it. It has been talked about. Now it's just time to do it."
The Mocs kick against UT Martin at 7:37 on Thursday at Finley Stadium. The game will be televised on CSS.