LB Marvin Burdette leads the Blazers' defense into Saturday's Homecoming game.
Oct. 5, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB Blazers will play their final non-conference game of the season Saturday when Southeastern Louisiana visits Birmingham. The 2 p.m. contest will mark the Blazers' 2012 Homecoming game.
UAB (0-4, 0-1 C-USA) is coming off a 49-42 Conference USA loss at home to Tulsa last Saturday. Quarterback Austin Brown, making his first career start, passed for 337 yards and three touchdowns with two of the scores going to wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson-- for 75 and 50 yards.
UAB has played one of the more difficult schedules in the country through the first month of the 2012 season. The Blazers' four opponents to date have a combined record of 17-3 (Troy - 3-2, South Carolina - 5-0, Ohio State - 5-0 and Tulsa - 4-1). South Carolina is ranked No. 6 in the latest AP poll while Ohio State has climbed to 12th.
The 91 total points scored by UAB and Tulsa Saturday represented the fifth-highest scoring game in UAB history.
Southeastern Louisiana (2-3, 2-0 Southland) comes to Birmingham having won its last two games, defeating Lamar 31-21 last Saturday in its most recent game.
Southeastern Louisiana at UAB
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
2:00 p.m. CT
Legion Field (72,000)
RADIO:Blazer IMG Sports Network - David Crane (play by play), Steve Irvine (color analyst), Sam Miller (sidelines)
UAB and Southeastern Louisiana will be meeting for the first time when they play Saturday.
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).
SOUTHEASTERN: Ron Roberts (UT Martin, '90) is his first season as head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University. Prior to being named the 15th head coach in Southeastern Louisiana football history, Roberts had a successful five-year stint at Delta State, guiding the Statesmen to a 47-16 record, including four 10-win seasons.
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. Through three games this season, Williams has 20 catches for 330 yards. With his five-catch effort at Ohio State, Williams became the fifth UAB player in history to reach 100 receptions for his career. He now has increased that number to 108 career receptions and has caught a pass in all 27 games he has played at UAB.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
The University of Southeastern Louisiana is located in Hammond, La.
SLU is a member of the Southland Conference.
Southeastern's first season of football was in 1930. The Lions did not compete intercollegiately from 1986-2002.
The Lions were tabbed to finish No. 5 (tied) in the 2012 Southland Conference standings in a preseason vote of coaches.
Since 2003, when Southeastern football was resurrected, the Lions have gone 0-16 against FBS schools, including an opening-game loss to Missouri (62-10) earlier this season.
LONG SETS UAB RECORD WITH 54-YARD FIELD GOAL
Sophomore Ty Long set a UAB record for the longest field goal in school history when he connected from 54 yards out in the Blazers 29-15 loss at Ohio State Sept. 22. Long, who also had a 47-yarder in the game, broke the Blazer mark of 52 yards that Swayze Watershad established against Tulsa and Alcorn State in 2007, as well as Kevin Thomason vs. Mississippi Valley State in 1994.
22ND SEASON OF UAB FOOTBALL; 17TH AT I-A LEVEL
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.
LONG MADE 12 CONSECUTIVE FIELD GOALS
Blazer sophomore kicker Ty Longsaw his streak of 12 straight successful field goals come to an end at Ohio State two weeks ago when he he just missed on a 47-yarder. Long had made three fiekd goals in the game prior to the miss, including a school-record 54-yarder in the second quarter. Long is now 6-of-7 this season and is 22-of-26 overall for his two seasons.
LONG IMPROVES TO 85 PCT. FOR CAREER FGS
UAB sophomore Ty Longenjoyed 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 84.6 percent (22-for-26).
IRVIN NO. 1 IN NCAA IN 2011 FUMBLE RECOVERIES
Linebacker Greg Irvin recovered all four fumbles for UAB in the Blazers' 2011 contest at East Carolina, breaking the previous individual school record of two in a single game. They were the first fumble recoveries of Irvin's career. Irvin finished the season with five recoveries and tied for the NCAA lead with Oregon State's Dylan Wynn. Teammate T.J. Balloutied for fourth nationally with four fumble recoveries.
WILLIAMS' RECEPTION TOTAL AMONG TOP 5 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
WR Jackie Williamsregistered 58 catches last season, the fourth-highest single-season mark in UAB history. Williams caught 58 passes for 607 yards in 2011. With 20 catches this season, he has increased his career reception total to 108 to rank No. 5 on the Blazer career charts. Williams has caught at least one pass in all 27 games he has played in at UAB.
WILLIAMS AMONG LONGEST ACTIVE FBS RECEIVING STREAKS
UAB junior wide receiver Jackie Williams currently ranks among the top active receiving streaks in the FBS ranks. The Prichard, Ala., native has grabbed at least one reception in each game he's played since joining the Blazers in 2010, and now has a catch in 27 consecutive contests. In the 2012 season opener vs. Troy, Williams pulled in six catches for 157 yards. Williams' streak is the third-longest in UAB history. Roddy White(2002-05) and Derrick Ingram (1991-94) each had 35-game streaks, while Cedrick Bucannon had a 23-game streak from 1993-95.
BURDETTE MOVING UP ALL-TIME TACKLES LIST
Linebacker Marvin Burdette continues his climb up the UAB career tackles chart after posting 92 as a junior in 2011. Burdette now has 287 tackles in his career to tie for No. 7 on the Blazer list. Burdette only needs eight tackles now to move into the No. 3 spot on the Blazer career list. Burdette recorded a season-high 13 tackles against Tulsa last Saturday. Zac Woodfinholds the school record with 372 tackles recorded from 2001-04.
TWO 100-YARD RECEIVERS VS. TROY; FIRST TIME FOR BLAZERS SINCE 2006 SEASON
When UAB had a pair of receivers with 100-yard receiving games in the season opener vs. Troy, the accomplishment marked the first time since the 2006 season that the Blazers have had two receivers eclipse 100 yards in the same game.
Jackie Williams (157 yards) and Patrick Hearn (108 yards) became the first UAB receiving duo to register more than 100 yards in the same game since the 2006 contest at Rice (34-33 loss) -- a span of 63 games. In that contest, Willie Edwardshad four catches for 112 yards while Stephen Brown had four receptions for 102 yards.
NELSON CONTINUES SUCCESS VS. TULSA
Jamarcus Nelson continued his big-play success against Tulsa when UAB took on the Golden Hurricane on Sept. 29 at Legion Field. Nelson had four catches in the game for 146 yards and registered a pair of touchdowns. Nelson's two touchdown receptions went for 75 yards (on first play from scrimmage in the game) and 50 yards from quarterback Austin Brown. Nelson has seven career touchdown catches and four of them have come against Tulsa, covering distances of 66, 45, 75 and 50 yards.
BLAZERS SUCCESSFUL ON PAIR OF ONSIDE KICKS THIS SEASON
For the second time in three games this season, the Blazers recovered an onside kick to begin the second half in the Sept. 22 game vs. Ohio State. It also occurred in the season opener vs. Troy (Sept. 1).
FRESHMAN STARTS FOR BLAZERS
UAB has had seven different freshmen make a total of 13 starts for the Blazers through the first three games this season and all of them have been in the secondary. The Blazers' true freshman Jake Ganus has started all four games at safety while redshirt freshman Lamarcus Farmer has started three games and true frosh Kelton Brackett has made two starts for UAB.
On Saturday vs. Tulsa, UAB had four more freshman make first-time starts. Cameron Blankenship started on the offensive line while Austin Brown was the starting quarterback. On defense, Chris Rabb started at defensive end and Derek Slaughterstarted at linebacker.
LONG PERFECT AT UAB FROM 40 YARDS AND IN
UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long is now 22-of-26 on field goals during his two-year career with the Blazers. That's an accuracy rate of 84.6 percent. The UAB career record for field goal accuracy is 78.1 percent by Swayze Waters, who hit 50-of-64 three-pointers from 2006-08. Long is perfect on field goals from 40 yards and within, hitting all 16 of his attempts through his 15-game UAB career.
Long is 6-of-7 on field goals this season with half of those coming from 46 yards or longer (46, 47 and a school record 54 yards). The Roswell, Ga. native's four career misses at UAB have come from 41, 46, 47 and 49 yards. Long is No. 23 in this week's NCAA statistics among kickers with an average of 1.50 field goals per game.
BROWN MAKES FIRST CAREER START VS. TULSA
After playing only sparingly in the first two games of the season, redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown has handled the signal-calling duties exclusively for the Blazers the past seven quarters. He saw three periods of action against Ohio State on Sept. 22, finishing with 196 passing yards as he hit 21-of-35.
Brown made his first start as a Blazer in Saturday's game against Tulsa and responded with 337 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Brown's passing yardage total tied for 18th for the most in a game by a UAB quarterback.
REAVES HAS BIG GAME AGAINST BUCKEYES
Running back Darrin Reaves has taken on an increased role in the Blazers' running game in the past two contests. After rushing for a combined 58 yards on 18 carries in the first two games vs Troy and South Carolina, Reaves has logged 32 rushing attempts and 133 yards in the past two contests against Ohio State and Tulsa.
Reaves has had 16 carries in each of the past two games. He also scored three rushing touchdowns in the game against the Golden Hurricane. For the season, Reaves leads the team in rushing with 191 yards on 50 carrries. He is fourth on the Blazers in receptions with 10 for 57 yards.
ADAMS' TDS HAVE COME THREE DIFFERENT WAYS
Senior Nick Adamsreturned a blocked punt for a touchdown Sept. 22 in the Blazers' 29-15 loss at Ohio State, marking the fourth touchdown of his career. His touchdowns have come three different ways (two receiving, kick return and blocked punt return).
BLAZERS WRAP UP TOUGH 2-WEEK STRETCH
Few teams have had as tough a two-week stretch as the UAB Blazers had in September. In a span of eight days, the Blazers played road games at then-No. 8 South Carolina and at then-No. 16 Ohio State. Those two games came after UAB opened the season Sept. 1 vs. Troy and then had an open date. South Carolina and Ohio State are a combined 10-0 this season.