Sept. 11, 2009

Blazer fans,

I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend/holiday. If you are a football fan it was a great, long weekend. If you are a UAB football fan, it was a FANTASTIC, long weekend. The Blazers, and Joe Webb, put on quite a show last Saturday at the Old Gray Lady (appropriately named for the weather last weekend). I realize we probably won't see a performance like that every Saturday, and it's wrong of us as fans to ask Joe to do that each game...isn't it? He's a great player, a great leader, and the best part, a great guy. He deserves all that accolades that came flowing in this week, and my hope is that he doesn't HAVE to be that outstanding each week. I think we all saw signs of improvement by this team, and I'm confident there's reason to believe it will not be a one-man show.

There were plenty of good things to enjoy from the win over Rice, and there were plenty of mistakes for the coaching staff to harp on this week in practice. The old football adage is you make your most improvement as a team from week one to week two. It's nice that week two will once again be spent here in Birmingham. Maybe the weather guessers will help us out a little on Saturday (they certainly owe us one), and we'll have dry weather for the Blazers and SMU.

I'm sure you've heard most of the stats and numbers surrounding this game...UAB is looking for its first win over the Mustangs...its first 2-0 start since 1992 (which would be the first 2-0 start as a member of the FBS, or Division I-A) and just the second 2-0 start ever...and its first winning streak in three years.

It will be interesting to see how the Green and Gold handle last week's success, address last Saturday's miscues, and handle the role as a favorite. Coach Callaway said his team is far too young to be concerned with who is SUPPOSED to win, and I agree wholeheartedly. While it's nice that others across the country expect this bunch to beat SMU, I don't believe anyone in that UAB locker room is taking anything for granted.



June Jones' Mustangs are also improved from last year. The longtime Hawaii coach is now in his second year in Dallas, and, like the Blazers, played a lot of youngsters a year ago. They took their lumps, going 1-11, but opened this season with a come-from-behind win at home over Stepehen F. Austin. We're living in the "Spread Offense" age, it seems, so it will be a big change to see the "Run and Shoot" make a return. The Mustangs will fling it all over Legion Field, and the UAB defense will have to be on its collective toes. The Blazers did a nice job last week getting pressure on the quarterback, forcing turnovers, and delivering some big hits. They'll have to do that again this Saturday, with a premium placed on solid play in the secondary.

I do think UAB will score some points, maybe a bunch if they don't turn it over. I think SMU will score some points, too. But when we look up at that scoreboard around 6 PM on Saturday, I truly believe we'll see the Green and Gold with the most points...and a 2-0 record. That's my number one wish for the game. The second wish is that a big crowd will enjoy that win. This team is better. This team is more talented, deeper and more experienced. And last, but not least, Joe Webb is a senior...don't miss out on seeing this phenomenal athlete in person!

We're on the air with pre-game starting at 1:30 PM from Legion Field, and kick-off is slated for 3 PM. There isn't any television coverage for this one, so come on out.

Next week it's the first road game of the season, and we'd love to see a bunch of Green and Gold down at Troy. There is a bus trip planned, and if you are interested in hopping aboard, call the ticket office at 975-UAB1. The price is $35, and you'll have the opportunity to see the Blazers win their third straight over the Trojans.

Have a great weekend...we'll see you at Legion Field on Saturday.