Blazers Take On Ohio State In First-Ever Meeting

QB Jonathan Perry and the Blazers visit Ohio State Saturday.

Sept. 21, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB football team will face another tough assignment Saturday as the Blazers travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on No. 16-ranked Ohio State.

Gametime at Ohio Stadium is set for 12:01 p.m. ET. The contest will be televised by the Big Ten Network and will also be carried by the Blazer IMG Sports Network.

UAB will be playing its second straight top 20-ranked opponent. Last Saturday, the Blazers played at No. 8 South Carolina, falling to the Gamecocks, 49-6.

This will be UAB's first meeting with the Buckeyes and only the second game the Blazers have gone against a Big Ten opponent. UAB lost at Michigan State to open the 2007 season.

UAB opens its Conference USA slate next Saturday, Sept. 29 when the Tulsa Golden Hurricane visits Legion Field for a 2:00 p.m. CT kickoff.

UAB at No. 16 Ohio State
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
12:01 p.m. ET
Ohio Stadium (103,329)

TV:Big Ten Network - Eric Collins (play by play), Derek Rackley (color analyst), Lisa Byington (sidelines)

RADIO:Blazer IMG Sports Network - David Crane (play by play), Steve Irvine (color analyst), Sam Miller (sidelines)

• The Blazers played their first game under Garrick McGee Sept. 1 vs. Troy. McGee was named UAB's fourth head coach in school history last December.
• Ohio State is only the second Big Ten Conference opponent that UAB has faced on the football field. The Blazers opened the 2007 season with a 55-18 loss at Michigan State.
• UAB will open its Conference USA schedule next week as the Blazers play host to Tulsa.
• UAB has a young football program compared to most of its opposition. The 2012 season will represent the 22nd season of football for UAB. Ohio State, on the other hand, is playing its 123rd season of football.
• The UAB coaching staff has some familiarity to the Big Ten and Ohio State. Head coach Garrick McGee was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas when the Razorbacks played Ohio State in the 2011 Allstate Sugar Bowl. McGee also spent four years on the staff at Northwestern (2004-07). Blazers' offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm spent the past two seasons on the staff as the QBs coach at Illinois. UAB offensive line coach John Petersonis returning to his roots this weekend in Columbus. Peterson is a former Buckeye offensive lineman (1987-90), was a graduate assistant on the OSU staff (1993-94) and later Ohio State's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator (2004-11).

• UAB and Ohio State will be meeting for the first time in history.

• 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 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).
• OHIO STATE: Urban Meyer Cincinnati, '86) is in his first season as the head coach at Ohio State and his 26th season overall. Meyer was the head coach at Florida from 2005-10 and led the Gators to national championships in 2006 and 2008 while compiling a 65-15 record in six seasons. Meyer has a career record of 107-23 in 11 years as a head coach. He also served as head coach at Utah (2003-04) and at Bowling Green (2001-02).

• 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 had five more grabs vs. South Carolina leaving him just one catch 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.

• Ohio State is in its first season under head coach Urban Meyer.
• The Buckeyes have won 60 consecutive non-conference home games. The last loss came at the hands of Florida State (34-17) on Oct. 2, 1982.
• Ohio State opens its 2012 Big Ten schedule next weekend when the Buckeyes travel to Michigan State.

• UAB offensive line coach John Peterson, who joined the Blazers' staff in January, 2012, will be coming back to familiar territory this weekend the UAB makes the trip to Ohio Stadium. Peterson, a native of Middletown, Ohio, was a four-year letterman at Ohio State from 1987-90. He later joined the coaching staff as a graduate assistant (1993-94) and then as full-time assistant coach (tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator, 2004-11).

• UAB has a young football program compared to most of its opposition. The Blazers went through their first intercollegiate football season in 1991 as a member of NCAA Division III.
• The Blazers moved to Division I-AA two seasons later in 1993, remaining at that level three years before making the transition to Division I-A during 1996 season.
• The 2012 season represents the 22nd season of football for UAB.

• Blazer sophomore kicker Ty Longhas made nine straight field goals, dating back to last year's game vs. Houston. Long is 3-for-3 this season after hitting a pair of attempts in last Saturday's game at South Carolina. Long made his final six three-point attempts in 2012, his last miss coming on a 47-yard try against Houston last Nov. 5.

• UAB sophomore Ty Long enjoyed one of the top seasons in the country last season among all freshman kickers. He finished with 16-of-19 field goals and was perfect on three-pointers inside 42 yards in 2011. Long began the new season right where he left off and is 3-for-3 in 2012. His career FG accuracy percentage is 86.4 percent (19-for-22).