Mocs "turn it up" upon return from Easter break - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Mocs "turn it up" upon return from Easter break

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was ready for some mistakes Monday.

As long as they weren't careless.

Offensive coordinator Jeff Durden said it was time to "turn it up" as the Mocs returned from a five-day Easter lay-off -- their longest of spring camp.

UTC's offense got its first taste of Durden's no-huddle, fast-paced scheme, running a few sessions at full speed Monday for the first time this spring.

"I want to see us execute," Durden said. "We've done it in spurts at a slower pace, but now I want to do it for two or three series in a row, in a hurry and without putting the ball on the ground.

"We've tried to simplify everything as much as possible, but our goal was to get their attention today."

Players were excited to have the training wheels removed, even if it was only for a few minutes. The first four practices of spring have moved a bit slower, focused more on installation and communication of the new scheme.

"You have to be patient and give everyone a chance to grasp the system and their positions, but now it's moving fast. Coach is calling plays. It's fun," said running back Marquis Green. "There's going to be a lot of mistakes, but we just need to keep moving fast, make the mistakes and fix them on the fly."

Mistakes were expected with the increase in speed, with Durden even reminding his offensive assistants that "no one will be getting fired today."

However, head coach Russ Huesman warned against mistakes that could be avoided -- like turnovers.

Running backs, quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends carried a ball at all times during the workout and were deemed "fair game," as Huesman encouraged coaches, trainers and other support staff to attempt to rip the ball away.

Anyone caught letting the football hit the ground was forced to stay after practice to meet with Huesman.

"I know we have to get better on offense. There's no question about it," Huesman said. "We need to keep the ball off the ground, stop throwing interceptions and turning it over. Then you need to speed it up.

"Sometimes when you do the hurry-up you have guys out of position. Guys are running plays wrong and we're running our plays a little more uphill. We just need to see guys make plays and fly around, but not get away from the fundamentals."

Chattanooga will hold it's first full-scale scrimmage of the spring Friday afternoon at Finley Stadium.

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