Sept. 26, 2009

Blazer fans,

I hope everyone has had a good week...and that you've dried out just a little bit from all the rain...just in time for MORE on Saturday! From all appearances, the Blazers have had a good week of work after the tough trip to Troy last Saturday, and they'll be ready to go in College Station against Texas A&M.

The Aggies are off to a 2-0 start under second-year head coach (and former Green Bay Packers coach) Mike Sherman, and they have done it, in large part, on offense. They are number one in the country in total offense, and they rank in the top-20 in all four of the major offensive categories. That's the bad news. The good news (if there is any), is that the Aggies offense is a little more "normal" than the ones we've seen the first three weeks. In fact, Neil Callaway says it's a good bit like the UAB offense. Of course, that doesn't mean it will be any easier to defend than the ones we've seen previously...but who knows.

UAB's defense will need to cut down on the big plays allowed and keep forcing turnovers. The Blazers offense will need to find that Rice rhythm. The Green and Gold haven't really clicked on offense since the game with the Owls, and Saturday in College Station is a perfect time to kick it back into high gear. I do think the Blazers will need to score a good number of points on Saturday, and I also think they can do it.

This is the most difficult stretch on the UAB schedule this year, with five of six games on the road, and the only home game is next Thursday against Southern Miss (BE THERE!!!), so the Blazers need a big win on Saturday to snap a two-game skid. Sometimes life on the road is easier than life at long as you come home with a win. Other times...not so much.

I have the greatest job in the world. I get paid to go talk about football, basketball and baseball games. I get to travel to amazing locations...witness some of the great traditions in college games from legendary venues. I love every minute of it...almost. Here's a little glimpse at life on the road this weekend.



The plan was to fly a charter to Houston. The team and majority of the travel party was to get off and bus to the team hotel, about halfway between College Station and Houston. A small number of people were to stay on the plane and fly on to College Station. I was one of those people. My job was to pick up a rental car and drive back to the hotel. That way we could leave early on Saturday...get to the stadium and set up in plenty of time...then leave the car at the College Station airport (where we would be flying out of after the game) to avoid a "one-way" rental, which are very expensive.

Good plan...bad execution. As we sat on the plane in Houston, waiting for the buses to load, one of the plane's tires went flat. Changing a car tire is a royal pain that takes a fair amount of time. Changing an airplane tire? Can you imagine the jack necessary to raise the plane high enough to remove the tire? I can't either. After sitting in the FBO lobby for about 90 minutes, a mini bus arrived to take us to College Station. Following the two-hour ride to Aggieland, I picked up my rental car at the airport and headed back to the hotel. A little more than an hour later (and one FANTASTIC fast food cheeseburger), there was the team hotel.

I've always said there is nothing more tiring/frustrating than "bad" travel. But, it's amazing what a good night's sleep, and a WIN, will do for my temperament. I am my father's child, and I admit it freely. But I'm also my mother's child...when it comes to officials. All that said...I can't wait for Saturday night in College Station. It is a tremendous of the best in all of college football. I know I'm looking forward to it, and I know the Blazers are as well.

No television for the ball game, so tune in Saturday for pre-game at 4:30 PM. Kick-off is set for 6 PM at Kyle Field.

Have a great weekend...stay dry...tune in for an UPSET...and GO BLAZERS!!!