Mocs Coach Rusty Wright Still Trying to Navigate New Spring Football Season

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Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Spring is in the air in Chattanooga, and so is the pigskin.
UTC’s spring football season kicked off last weekend with a win over Wofford.
Getting a dub over the Terriers is never easy, and apparently navigating this new spring season isn’t easy either.

Said head coach Rusty Wright:”You know it took me about two-and-a-half quarters Saturday to realize we were playing football.”
Can you tell Coach Wright is struggling with spring football?
Had to be hard to realize it was an actual game Saturday, considering UTC did not have a single scrimmage before their spring opener.
Said Wright:”We didn’t even cover a live kick until Saturday. I mean you talk about holding your breathe. You have no idea. It’s hard to simulate a kickoff and a kickoff return (chuckles) and all that in practice right now because I’m scared of guys running down there and running into each other. I’m promise you every time we kicked off or returned a kick, I just held my breathe.”
And apparently Wright’s players had a hard time catching their breathe.
Said Wright:”Found out we weren’t in game shape. That first drive offensively and that first drive for them for us defensively. We got gassed. Those were long drives on both sides.”
Chattanooga’s defense re-fueled, holding the Terriers to 199 yards of offense.
Wright is digging what he sees on the D-line.
Said Wright:”We got a chance to be pretty good up-front for a little while. I don’t think there’s a senior in that group. So I think we’ve got those guys for a couple of years at least. I think there’s three juniors in the group. The rest of them are young guys.”
With the Wofford win, the Mocs earned a number 18 national ranking this week, but that did’t exactly excite coach Wright.
Said Wright:”You are going to have to take this stuff this spring with a grain of salt. I don’t know how much stock you can put in anything because nobody knows who they are going to have from week-to-week. We may get ready to play Saturday after we test tomorrow and not have five guys.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.