Blazers Back In Action At No. 8 South Carolina

Jackie Williams caught six passes for 157 yards in the season opener vs. Troy.

Sept. 14, 2012

Live Stats || Listen Here || Game Notes

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- After an open date the second week of the 2012 season, UAB is back in action this Saturday when the Blazers travel to Columbia, S.C., to meet the No. 8-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.

The Blazers dropped their first game under head coach Garrick McGeetwo weeks ago as they fell, 39-29, to Troy.

UAB is anxious to get back to the field this weekend though the task will be formidable when the Blazers and Gamecocks kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET at Williams-Brice Stadium. The contest will be televised by Fox Sports South. The game can also be heard on the Blazer IMG Sports Network.

The Gamecocks are 2-0 on the young season with victories over SEC foe Vanderbilt as well as East Carolina.

The game at South Carolina Saturday will be the first of two in a row for the Blazers against a ranked opponent. UAB will play at No. 12 Ohio State next Saturday, Sept. 22.

UAB at South Carolina
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
7:00 p.m. ET
Williams-Brice Stadium

TV: FSN - Bob Rathbun (pbp), Tim Couch (color analyst) and Elizabeth Moreau (sidelines) will call the action.

RADIO: Blazer IMG Sports Network - David Crane (pbp), John Whitcomb (color) and Sam Miller (sidelines) have the call. The game can also be heard on WUHT 107.7 FM in Birmingham.

UAB: Garrick McGee(Oklahoma, '96) is in his first season as the head coach at UAB. McGee was hired last December after four seasons on the staff at Arkansas, the last two campaigns as the offensive coordinator. McGee was a finalist for the 2011 Broyles Award that is presented to the nation's top assistant coach. He has also served on the coaching staffs at Northwestern (2004-07), UNLV (2003), Toledo (2002), Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-01), Northern Iowa (1999) and Langston (1996-98).

SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier (Florida, '67) is in his eighth season as the Gamecocks' head coach. He has a record of 57-35 at South Carolina during that time. Spurrier needs eight wins to become the school's all-time leader in wins. He is in his 23rd season overall as a head coach and has compiled a mark of 199-75-2.

• UAB returns seven starters on offense and four on defense from last season.
• For only the second time in the past six seasons, UAB will play six home games in 2012.
• The Blazers will have to replace four of five starters on their offensive line from a year ago. Led by first-team all-conference tackle Matt McCants, a sixth-round NFL draft choice of the New York Giants, UAB lost four starters who totaled 136 career starts. Senior Chris Hubbard, a preseason coaches all-conference selection is the lone returning starter among the offensive line.
• The Blazers have four assistant coaches (Jeff Brohm, Jimmy Williams, Richard Owens and Brandon Sharp) who spent time as a player in the National Football League.
• The Blazers had 19 players make their collegiate debut in UAB's season opener Sept. 1 versus Troy. Last season when UAB opened the 2011 season at Florida, the Blazers also had 19 first-time players.
• Junior wide receiver Jackie Williams, the Blazers' leading returning receiver, opened the 2012 season with a six-catch, 157-yard performance against Troy. Williams increased his season reception total to 94, leaving him just six catches shy of 100 in his career. Williams would become the fifth UAB player in history to reach 100 receptions for his career.
• Quarterback Jonathan Perrypassed for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the season opener against Troy. The performance marked the third-highest passing yardage total in Perry's career and the third time the Baltimore, Md., native has eclipsed the 300-yard mark in a game.


UAB is playing at least one SEC opponent for the 11th straight season. Saturday's game at South Carolina will be the Blazers' 20th against SEC competition. UAB is 2-17 all-time vs. the SEC, with wins over LSU (13-10, Sept. 23, 2000) and Mississippi State (27-13, Oct. 9, 2004).

WR Jackie Williams, who had the sixth-best receiving week (in yardage) in the nation in the first weekend of 2012 -- 157 yards -- has caught at least one pass in all 24 games he has played at UAB. Williams is listed at the top of this week's NCAA statistical report in receiving yards per game after his opening-game performance against Troy.

Stephen Garcia connected on 13-of-20 passes for 131 yards and ran for 86 more in the first significant action of his career, giving South Carolina's offense enough of a kick to defeat UAB 26-13 on Sept. 28, 2008 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Bobby Wallace ran six times for 51 yards, and Jason Barnes led the eight players for South Carolina who caught a pass with three receptions for 46 yards.

Joe Webbwas 17-of-26 for 140 yards and two interceptions for UAB. He also was the Blazers' leading rusher with 22 yards on nine carries and a touchdown in the final moments of the game. Webb had entered the game with more rushing yards than any QB in the country.

Brandon Carlisle had both of UAB's interceptions and also was the Blazers' leading tackler with nine tackles. Defensive end Bryant Turnerfinished the game with three sacks and a caused fumble. Even with Garcia's lift, the South Carolina offense still sputtered at times. Ryan Succop made all four of his field goals, a career best. UAB held the Gamecocks to 353 total yards of offense.

Garcia even had a little luck. His first two deep passes were badly thrown, but the Blazers were called for pass interference on the first one and a UAB interception was nullified by an offside penalty on the second long ball.

Garcia threw a pick in the third quarter on a long ball on third-and-11, and Spurrier alternated starter Chris Smelley and third-string Tommy Beecher, who began the year as the starter, to finish the game.

UAB scored its only touchdown in the game with only :24 remaining in the game as Joe Webbcapped off a 7-play, 81-yard drive with a 1-yard run.

The Blazers also got a pair of 38-yard field goals from kicker Swayze Watersto round out their scoring.

UAB senior offensive tackle Chris Hubbardwas named to the 2012 Coaches Preseason All-Conference USA team, the league office announced this summer. Hubbard, a 6-4, 285-pound senior from Columbus, Ga., is the lone senior and returning starter on the Blazers' offensive line heading into the new season. A former C-USA All-Freshman Team selection, Hubbard has had an impact since his true freshman campaign and has played in 28 total games for UAB. He started all 12 contests last season for an O-line unit that was one of the Blazers' biggest strengths.

UAB finished the 2011 season with wins in two of its final three games and nearly capped the campaign with a three-game win streak. Much of the reason for the Blazers' strong finish was their offensive performance. UAB averaged 469 yards and 37 points in the last three games of the season against Memphis, Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic. UAB scored 14 offensive touchdowns in the last three games after scoring only 11 in the previous nine contests.

UAB sophomore kicker Ty Longwas one of 30 players nationally named this summer to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Placekicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Long, from Roswell, Ga., had an outstanding season as a true freshman in 2011 as he connected on 16-of-19 field goals, including a pair of game-winning field goals (vs. UCF and Southern Miss). He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was also tabbed a third-team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview.

Long ranked No. 2 last year among Conference USA kickers in field goal percentage at 84.2 and was third in field goals made per game (1.33). In addition, he ranked second nationally among freshman in field goals made per game and was third among NCAA freshmen in FG percentage.

Linebacker Marvin Burdette continues his climb up the UAB career tackles chart after posting 92 as a junior in 2011. Burdette now has 259 tackles in his career to rank No. 9 on the Blazer list. Burdette only needs 36 tackles as a senior in 2012 to move into the No. 3 spot on the Blazer career list. Burdette began the 2012 season with 10 tackles against Troy on Sept. 1. Zac Woodfinholds the school record with 372 tackles recorded from 2001-04.

UAB has a record of 3-13 all-time in games played against
ranked opponents. The most recent contest against a ranked opponent occurred last season on Nov. 26, 2011 when the Blazers upset 20th-ranked Southern Miss, 34-31, in Birmingham.