Oct. 12, 2010
It's nice to be back on a normal schedule, and it will be awfully nice to be back at home this Saturday. UAB last played a home game on September 18th...remember that one? A total of four weeks will have passed since that last home game when the Green and Gold meet UTEP at Legion Field this weekend.
That win over Troy on September 18th improved UAB to 1-2 on the season, and it's been a wild four weeks since. First came the heart-breaking, double-overtime loss to Tennessee in Knoxville. Then there was an off date, followed by the Wednesday game at UCF. The Blazers had last weekend off, and now Neil Callaway and company are back into a normal game week routine. This Saturday's game with UTEP comes at a critical time, as it will mark the midpoint of the Blazers' season. And while it doesn't necessarily sound like it, there is a huge difference in 2-4 and 1-5.
Coach Callaway didn't call it a "must-win game" at his Monday media luncheon, but the coach knows if this team has bowl aspirations, dropping a fifth game in the first six outings is not the way to make life easier. The Miners come in at 5-1 on the year, and Mike Price's team is scoring a bunch of points, again, and UTEP is also playing some pretty good defense thus far. A match-up of a 1-4 team vs. a 5-1 team sounds like a potential rout, but Blazer fans should be optimistic heading into this one. Why? The schedule.
Yes, UAB has had its problems this season, but those problems came against FAU (1-4)...yes, that one still hurts...SMU (4-2), Troy (3-2), Tennessee (2-4)...yes, THAT one still hurts...and UCF (3-2). The combined record of those five teams is 13-14. The Miners have faced FCS member Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-3), Houston (3-2), New Mexico State (1-5), Memphis (1-5), New Mexico (0-6) and Rice (1-5). The combined record of those six teams is 8-26. Wins are wins, and I know all those wearing the Green and Gold would love to be sitting here at 4-1 or 5-0, but I do think the difficult schedule UAB has faced thus far may work in the Blazers' favor this Saturday.
The first order of business, I think, is a good start on Saturday afternoon at Legion Field. UAB has not only trailed at halftime, the Blazers have trailed by a pretty hefty margin at intermission in each of the last three games. But as much as a good start would help the cause, a good second quarter may be even more important. UAB has been outscored by two points in the first quarter this season...by three points in the third quarter...by two points in the fourth...and by three points in overtime. That's a difference of only 10 points...sorry for all the math this week. In the second quarter of the five games here in 2010, the Blazers have scored a total of 14 points. They have surrendered 63. That's right, opponents have outscored UAB by 49 points...that's seven touchdowns, kids...in the second period. Ouch.
I know the guys are disappointed with the way things have gone so far, but there's plenty of time to get it going in the right direction. A win on Saturday would be mighty nice, and so would a big crowd. The weather forecast is outstanding, and I hope you're making your plans to be with us at Legion Field. Kick time is 3 PM, and our pre-game will start at 1:30 PM from Blazer Village. The Green and Gold will try to break the losing streak and also break the trend in the series, as the road team has won each of the first three meetings.
One other schedule note to pass along...the Mississippi State game in Starkville slated for next Saturday, October 13th, has been picked up by television. Kick-off has been set for 6 PM. ESPNU will televise the game with the Bullies, and our pre-game will start at 4:30 PM from Davis Wade Stadium/Scott Field.
Have a great week and join us this Saturday at Legion Field.
Until then, GO BLAZERS!!!