By Cameron Wood, Staff Writer —
In a season where not much has gone the Mocs’ way, there have been individual flashes that give the team hope moving forward. This week against The Citadel the flash was from senior Darrell Bridges, Chattanooga. Bridges finished the afternoon with a season-high 149 yards rushing on 18 carries and two touchdowns.
The graduate transfer from Presbyterian College has been relatively quiet for most of the season, putting up modest numbers as the Mocs struggled to find any opportunities to establish a run game. His season-high before the game against The Citadel was in the loss to LSU on September 9, gaining 88 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.
On Saturday, Bridges gave UTC all he could, demolishing the Citadel’s rush defense, renowned for being tough to bring down.
The best play of the afternoon was in the first quarter when he juked and cut past a couple defenders to bust out a 61-yard touchdown run that gave UTC an early 7-0 lead. The 61-yard touchdown was the UTC’s longest run of the season. Bridges’ second touchdown was a short run that saw him leap over the offensive line for the score. Bridges set up his short touchdown run with a 20-yard run earlier in the drive.
“I’m getting old,” said Bridges jokingly about the 61-yard touchdown. “The offensive line was able to get [the defenders] out of the way and I was able to make a couple good reads, plus the wide receivers were down the field blocking. It’s a credit to those that guys that I got into the end zone.”
In his post game press conference, UTC Head Coach Tom Arth had nothing but positive things to say about his running back.
“I thought Darrell [Bridges] played really well,” said Arth. “If you look at the long touchdown, I thought it was going to be a tackle for loss. He broke a bunch of tackles on the play, made a great run. He ran with purpose today, it’s the best he has run the ball [this season].”
So far this season, Bridges has totaled 344 yards rushing on 87 carries and six touchdowns. Prior to coming to UTC, Bridges ranked second in career rushing yards at Presbyterian with 2,182 yards on the ground. Bridges was a member of the first team All-Big South team in 2015 with 1,065 rushing yards.