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September 18, 2009


September 18, 2009

Blazer fans,

Well, it's been an interesting week in Birmingham. There were plenty of unhappy folks walking around in green and gold this week...and I'm not just talking about the UAB fans. If a person was any way connected to the football team, he or she was a bit on the grumpy side...and that's good. Losing is no fun, and I'm not a fan of it. But it is nice to see the emotions of pain, anger, frustration, etc., on faces all over the place following a disappointing loss. I think it is a reminder that things are moving in the right direction...not quite like a 2-0 record would say it...but a reminder, nonetheless.

Now we get to see how the Blazers handle that 'discomfort.' After the two straight conference games at home to start the season, it's now time to hit the road for two in-a-row. First up is a return to Troy. It's the seventh meeting between the two in-state foes, and UAB has won the last two. The Trojans come into the showdown with a record of 0-2 after a (not-so-surprising) loss to #1 Florida last week in the Swamp and a season-opening (somewhat-surprising) loss at Bowling Green. So it figures to be two pretty ticked off teams going at it on Saturday afternoon.

Troy is a favorite in the game, and a lot is due to the fact they are playing at home. The Trojans have struggled on offense, but they are dangerous, to say the least. They'll throw it all over the yard, and it's probably a mix of the two offenses we've seen so far this season. Troy is a tempo/rhythm attack, and they'll try and snap it a bunch. The good news is UAB has faced two pass-happy teams so far.

The Blazers' offense looks to get off to a better start on Saturday. Joe Webb and company really struggled in the first half last week against SMU. It won't be easy, because the Trojans' defense is much better than either of the two we've seen so far. The front four, to quote offensive coordinator Kim Helton, is a "violent group." So, the offensive line will have to perform better this week to give Joe a little time to find his receivers. Joe was credited with all five turnovers last week, but as we all know, despite what the stat sheet may say, it wasn't all the fault of the quarterback. The running game will get a boost with the debut of Daniel Borne, who's been working to come back from an ankle injury. I can't wait to see him in the backfield, and here's hoping he can take a little of the pressure off of Joe.

It is the first road trip of the year, and I can't help but think back to the final two games away from home last season. After years of frustration, UAB finally won a game away from Legion Field. After knocking off Tulane in New Orleans, the Green and Gold did it again to end the season at UCF. I really do believe those good memories will serve the team well in Troy, even though this is a vastly different collection of players. On the bright side, it's an easy trip to make...a short bus ride beats the heck out of getting on a plane, which we'll do next week.

Another part of the equation is the weather. It has rained A LOT this week all over Alabama. The Trojans have an artificial surface, so water/mud/etc. won't be an issue as far as the field goes, but there's a good chance the teams could play at least part of the game in a downpour. Let's cross our fingers that the weather will cooperate. I'm still not sure exactly who rain helps or hurts...well, other than it makes the fans miserable. My recommendation to those coming to Troy is bring your rain gear. If you don't need makes nice padding for your seat.

I certainly hope to see plenty of Green and Gold at Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium on Saturday. Again, it's an easy trip to make, and I do believe it's a winnable game for the Blazers. We'll be on the air starting at 1 PM, and kick-off is set for 2:30 PM.

Have a great weekend...let's make it three straight over Troy.


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