John Frierson of the Chattanooga Times Press was kind enough to answer three questions for "Three And Out. "John is the Chattanooga football beat writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press and is in his second season covering the Mocs. Prior to that he covered Alabama and Auburn sports for the Florence (Ala.) Times Daily and Georgia sports for the Athens Banner-Herald. John is a native of Athens, Ga. and graduated from Ole Miss in 1999. Thanks again to John for answering the questions.
1. Nole fans are not that familiar with the Chattanooga football team. What would you say are the strengths of the team?
Keep in mind that what's a strength in the Southern Conference might not necessarily be one on Saturday against the Seminoles. That said, UTC has a bunch of good receivers, led by Blue Cooper and Clint Woods, who combined for 18 catches in the win over Cumberland. However, Cooper will likely miss the game with an elbow injury.
The Mocs also have a couple of good defensive linemen in left end Neil Brown (he played as a freshman at Auburn) and tackle Rodney Beamon, who's a load at 6-foot-3, 320 pounds. Their best linebacker is probably Joseph Thornton, who if he was a little bigger would probably be playing at a BCS school, but he's doubtful with a hamstring strain.
2. In the last game, the starting QB was replaced during the game. Who do you think will start aganst the Noles and can you tell us a little about him.
Both quarterbacks were going to play all along, just like in the Oklahoma game, so it wasn't a surprise when starter Jare Gault came out and Tony Pastore took over. It was a bit of a surprise to see Pastore stay in until the game was a blowout, but he earned the right to stay in with his play. As of now, it looks like Pastore will start Saturday, but I'm guessing both he and Gault will play.
The coaches are using the first three games as an in-season audition to see who will be the starter and it looks like a toss-up right now. Pastore's a pocket passer and Gault is more of a scrambler who can run the ball. Pastore had all day to throw against Cumberland so it was easy to pick apart the defense, but there won't be many games the rest of the season where that will be the case.
3. What about the team will surprise Nole fans the most?
That's a tough call. The Mocs don't really offer up many surprises, other than an occasional trick play, but they do play really hard. The team's pretty banged up right now, so the UTC team that takes the field Saturday won't be in top form. There are some play-makers on the team, though, so this game should be a little more competitive than last week for FSU.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
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