Blazers Fall to Troy 39-29 in McGee's Debut

Jackie Williams had six catches for 157 yards Saturday.

Sept. 1, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- UAB's Jonathan Perry threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but a pair of fourth quarter turnovers proved costly for the Blazers as Troy defeated UAB 39-29 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.

Shawn Southward ran for a career-high 204 yards and three touchdowns for Troy.

Troy's win spoiled the UAB head coaching debut for Garrick McGee.

The late UAB turnovers were pivotal as both led to Troy touchdowns. The Trojans turned a 25-23 advantage into a 39-23 margin in a span of 24 seconds.

Clinging to a two-point lead, Troy's De'Von Terry intercepted a Perry pass and the Trojans capped it off with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Corey Robinson to B.J. Chitty with 6:53 left in the game.

On UAB's first play of the next drive, Perry was hit by Troy's Tyler Roberts and fumbled. Tony Davis recovered inside the 10-yard line.

After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against UAB, Southward scored from 5 yards out with 6:29 remaining.

"You can't make the mistakes that we made; you can't snap the ball over your head, you can't drop the ball, you can't fumble the ball on the one-yard line, you can't get the consistent penalties that we got and win football games," said McGee, who was hired as UAB's head coach last December after four seasons at the University of Arkansas, the last two as offensive coordinator.

"I am proud of them, but I am not interested in moral victories. I expect us to play better and win, but we didn't. I do think we have a good football team."

The Blazers trailed 17-0 early in the second quarter but rallied with a late first half touchdown and a score shortly after the third quarter began.

Perry connected with junior running back Greg Franklin on a 21-yard touchdown pass with :34 remaining before halftime. Then after UAB successfully converted an onsides kick attempt, the Blazers cut the Troy margin to 17-14 with senior Dontavius Jackson finishing off a five-play, 45-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown run at the 13:31 mark of the third quarter.

Robinson hit 12 of 21 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans.. Chip Reeves had six catches for a career-high 125 yards and a 55-yard touchdown reception.

UAB had a pair of receivers with more than 100 yards as Jackie Williams caught six balls for 157 yards while Patrick Hearn had seven catches for 108 yards.

Williams' six catches increased his career total to 94 and moved him to No. 5 on the Blazers' all-time reception list. His 157 receiving yards established a career high for the Prichard, Ala. native.

UAB will have its only open date of the season next weekend (Sept. 8) before traveling for back-to-back road games at No. 9 South Carolina (Sept. 15) and No. 18 Ohio State (Sept. 22).