Blazers Host East Carolina In C-USA Matchup

UABSPORTS.COM Austin Brown will lead the UAB offense against a tough ECU defense Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM
Austin Brown will lead the UAB offense against a tough ECU defense Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM

Oct. 19, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- Having reached the halfway point of the regular season, the UAB Blazers return home Saturday for a Conference USA contest against East Division rival East Carolina. The teams will kick off at 6:05 p.m. CT at Legion Field with the game to be televised Fox College Sports.

UAB (1-5, 0-2 C-USA) is coming off a 39-17 loss at Houston last Saturday as the Cougars scored 23 unanswered points to break open what was a close contest in the first half.

Houston increased its lead from 16-10 at halftime to 39-10 early in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Austin Brownthrew for 302 yards in the game but was sacked eight times in the game. The Blazers were also hampered by 11 penalties (90 yards).

East Carolina (4-3, 3-1 C-USA) defeated Memphis, 41-7, last Saturday in its most recent game. Pirate quarterback Shane Carden passed for 308 yards and five touchdowns as he hit 25-of-33 in the game.

East Carolina at UAB
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012
6:00 p.m. CT
Legion Field (72,000)

TV:Fox College Sports - Steve Physioc (play by play), Ben Leber (color analyst), Lesley McCaslin (sidelines)

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

THE COACHES
• 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).
• EAST CAROLINA: Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina, '80) is his third season as head coach at his alma mater and has compiled a record of 15-17 as a collegiate head coach. Prior to taking the helm of the Pirates' program, McNeill spent 10 seasons on the staff at Texas Tech. He guided the Red Raiders to a 41-31 victory over Texas Tech in the 2010 Alamo Bowl when he severed as interim head coach.


 

 

SERIES HISTORY
• UAB and East Carolina are meeting for the 12th time when the teams play Saturday. The Pirates lead the series by a 7-4 score. ECU has won the past five matchups between the teams, including a 28-23 contest at Greenville last season. UAB is 3-2 against the Pirates at Legion Field.

QUICK HITS
• 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.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
• East Carolina is in its third season under head coach Ruffin McNeill.
• East Carolina has been to seven bowl games since 2000. The Pirates lost to Maryland in its bowl game last season, the 2011 Military Bowl.
• The Pirates have the second-most C-USA victories so far this season, carrying a record of 3-1 in the league.
• East Carolina has won 15 of its last 19 Conference USA East Division contests, but the Pirates are just 1-3 on the road 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.

FIRST 2012 UAB TD WAS PERRY-TO-FRANKLIN PASS
• UAB registered its first touchdown of the 2012 season on a 21-yard pass play from QB Jonathan Perry to RB Greg Franklin. The score came with just :34 remaining in the first half against Troy.
• The touchdown for Franklin was his first via a pass. He scored a pair of rushing TDs in 2011.

HUBBARD PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE USA
• UAB senior offensive tackle Chris Hubbard was 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.

WILLIAMS AMONG LONGEST ACTIVE FBS RECEIVING STREAKS
• UAB junior wide receiver Jackie Williamscurrently is listed 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 29 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.

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 three weeks ago when he he just missed on a 47-yarder. Long had made three field goals in the game prior to the miss, including a school-record 54-yarder in the second quarter. Long is now 8-of-9 this season and is 24-of-28 overall for his two seasons.

LONG IMPROVES TO 86 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 8-for-9 in 2012. His career FG accuracy percentage is 85.7 percent (24-for-28).

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 24 catches this season, he has increased his career reception total to 114 to rank No. 5 on the Blazer career charts. Williams is just two catches shy of tying Cedrick Buchannon in the No. 4 position at 116 receptions. Williams has caught at least one pass in all 29 games he has played in at UAB.

LONG NAMED TO GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST
• UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long was 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., connected on 16-of-19 field goals as a true freshman in 2011, including a pair of game-winning field goals (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 C-USA kickers in FG 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.
• His 72 points scored ranked third in the country among freshman kickers overall and was the second-highest mark among true freshmen. His 16 field goals were the most of any true freshman kicker in the country in 2011.

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 312 tackles in his career and is No. 3 on the Blazer list. Burdette registered a season-high 17 tackles vs. Houston to increase his total. Burdette also recorded a 13 tackles against Tulsa Sept. 29. He is currently third in Conference USA with an average of 10.5 tackles per game. 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 21 starts for the Blazers through the first six games this season.
• The Blazers' true freshman Jake Ganus has started all six games at safety while redshirt freshman Lamarcus Farmer has started five games and true frosh Kelton Brackett has made two starts for UAB.
• Against Tulsa, UAB had four more freshmen 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 24-of-28 (8-of-9 in 2012) on field goals during his two-year career with the Blazers. That's an accuracy rate of 85.7 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 17 of his attempts through his 17-game UAB career.
• Long is 8-of-9 on field goals this season with four of those coming from 46 yards or longer (46, 47, school record 54 yards and 53 yards).
• The Roswell, Ga. native's four career misses at UAB have come from 41, 46, 47 and 49 yards.
• Long is No. 30 in this week's NCAA statistics among kickers with an average of 1.33 field goals per game.

GANUS MAKING EARLY IMPACT FOR BLAZERS
• UAB true freshman safety Jake Ganushas made a significant early impact for the Blazers. The product of nearby Chelsea, Ala. has started all six games thus far for UAB and is tied for third on the team in tackles with 36 stops. In addition, the former high school quarterback registered an interception against South Carolina.

<>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 bulk of signal-calling duties for the Blazers since the first quarter of the Ohio State game. 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 the Sept. 29 game against Tulsa and responded with 337 passing yards and three touchdown passes.

REAVES HAS BIG GAME AGAINST BUCKEYES
• Running back Darrin Reaveshas taken on an increased role in the Blazers' running game in the past contests. After rushing for a combined 58 yards on 18 carries in the first two games vs Troy and South Carolina, Reaves has logged 56 rushing attempts and 228 yards in the past four contests. He leads the team in rushing with 286 yards. Reaves also has four rushing touchdowns in the past three games.

ADAMS' TDS HAVE COME THREE DIFFERENT WAYS
• Senior Nick Adams returned 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 five career touchdowns have come three different ways (three receiving, kick return and blocked punt return).

 
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