I hope you made the most of the off day for UAB football last weekend. I'm sure the players and coaches enjoyed a few days away from the practice field, and let's hope the break allowed them to reenergize their batteries and be ready to go for the next nine weeks. The timing of open dates always seems to cause debate. "Is it a good time for an off week? Is it a bad time for an off week? Will we lose our momentum during the off week?" The answer to all of the questions is simple: time will tell.
Now the Green and Gold begin preparations for this Saturday's journey to Tulsa for the Conference USA opener. It's the first meeting between the Blazers and the Golden Hurricane, and it's a challenging way to start the conference slate. Another interesting aspect to UAB's open date was, for the second time this season, the the fact the coaches got to scout the next opponent by watching them play on live television. Tulsa played host to top-five Oklahoma last Friday night, and the Sooners wound up running away from the Golden Hurricane...but not without a fight.
The bad news in regards to Tulsa - they can score some points. The good news in regards to Tulsa - they can give up some points. First-year coach Todd Graham has seen his offense produce 20 plays of 20 yards or more already this season, but the Golden Hurricane's opponents have had their fair share of success, as well. Tulsa is allowing 42 points and over 500 yards per game.
It'll be interesting to see how UAB fares this Saturday night. The Blazers are healthier and should be full of confidence after the first win of the season and the first shutout in almost eight years. Recent history favors the Green and Gold, as UAB has gone 6-2 in C-USA openers, and the Blazers have won their last three conference lid-lifters.
I hope we see many of you in Tulsa this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 PM, and the Blazers ISP Sports Network will be on the air with pre-game beginning at 4:30 PM. Don't forget to join us this Thursday for "Blazers All-Access" live from the Hoover location of Full Moon BBQ. Coach Neil Callaway joins me to take your calls and questions from 6-7 PM. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great week, and GO BLAZERS