Chattanooga wrapped up its final two-a-day practice of preseason camp on Tuesday evening at Scrappy Moore Field, and there was no sign of a letdown before the Mocs’ much-anticipated off day.
“We knew that today was going to be our last really tough day of camp,” senior defensive end Josh Williams said. “We had a mindset to come out here, go strong and finish strong.”
Williams and the rest of the UTC defense did just that after several less-than-stellar showings in recent workouts.
“They were better today,” head coach Russ Huesman said. “We talked about it as a staff yesterday; defensively we just weren’t making plays. Wes Dothard got all huffy and mad in the meeting (saying) ‘all right coach, we’re going to make plays.‘
The message was received loud and clear by the unit.
“After a while you get tired of being called out,” said the 6-3, 285-pound Williams, chosen to the Sports Network FCS Preseason All-American third team. “You can only pinch a bull for so long before he takes off. We want to show that the defense is still a dominant force.”
Williams, UTC’s career sack leader (21.5), led the Southern Conference with 9.5 quarterback takedowns a year ago, and the three-year starter anticipates even bigger things in his final year with the Mocs.
“Last year I could have done a lot more,” he said. “I’m always trying to improve myself, and I feel like last year wasn’t my best. I’m expecting to have a great season.”
As expected, the players are ecstatic for their day off after 12 straight days of camp — 14 practices and an intra-squad scrimmage — and Huesman has just one requirement for his players.
“All of their meals are mandatory,” Huesman said. “They get a day away from us, away from football. All they’ve just got to eat their meals.”
“Of course we want a day off,” junior defensive back Chaz Moore said. “We’ve been working hard so I think we deserve it. Thursday though, we’ll be back working hard just like always.”
How will Moore spend his day off?
“Resting,” he said. “Kicking it with the teammates, probably play some video games, NCAA (Football 2013).”