Blazers Travel To UTSA For Saturday Matchup

Brian O'Leary has started every game on the offensive line this season.

Oct. 25, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB football team, coming off a Conference USA victory at FIU two weeks ago, will get back to action Saturday when the Blazers travel to San Antonio, Texas to take on the UTSA Roadrunners.

It will be the first time UAB has played in the Alamodome and the initial meeting between the Blazers (2-4, 1-2 Conference USA) and first-year Conference USA member UTSA (2-5, 1-2 C-USA).

Both teams are coming off a bye week. UAB posted a 27-24 victory at FIU Oct. 12 as kicker Ty Longbooted a 28-yard field goal with :10 remaining on the game clock. The Roadrunners fell to Rice, 27-21, two weeks ago.

UAB will face a UTSA offense that ranks No. 4 in Conference USA in offensive yards per game (406.1 avg.). The Roadrunners are fifth in total defense at 393.9 yards allowed per contest.

Saturday's game will kick off at 4 p.m. CT and will be televised locally in Texas on Time Warner Texas SportsChannel.

Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013
4:00 p.m. CT
Television: Time Warner Texas (Humberto Cervera, Gary Green)
Radio: Blazer IMG Sports Network (David Crane, Steve Irvine, Sam Miller)
Alamodome (65,000)

Quick Hits
• After its second bye week of the season, UAB will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 26 when the Blazers travel to San Antonio, Texas to take on the UTSA Roadrunners.
• The Blazers are coming off a 27-24 victory at FIU two Saturdays ago for their first Conference USA win of the season. Kicker Ty Long booted a 28-yard field goal with :10 remaining to lift UAB to the three-point win.
• UAB is playing its fifth road game in its first seven on the 2013 schedule.
• UAB head coach Garrick McGee is in his second season at the helm of the Blazers' program.
• Junior receiver Jamarcus Nelson had a breakout game vs. Troy to open the 2013 season. Nelson finished the Troy game with 10 receptions for 199 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also had 168 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 97-yard return for a score. Nelson, who missed the FAU game with an ankle injury, finished the game with 367 all-purpose yards -- best in the nation for the opening weekend. On Sept. 2, he was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.
• The Blazers have four new assistant coaches on the staff this season: Eric Evans (Running Backs), Joe Henry (Tight Ends), Kevin Peoples (Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator) and Matt Sanders (Special Teams/Assistant Secondary).
• Junior running back Darrin Reaves, a first-team All-Conference USA performer in 2012, entered 2013 as the only returning back in the nation who eclipsed 1,000 yards and 40 receptions a year ago.

Series Information
• UAB and UTSA are meeting on the football field for the first time in school history. The Roadrunners are in their first year as a member of Conference USA.

The Coaches
• UAB: Garrick McGee (Oklahoma, '96) is in his second season as the head coach at UAB and has a record of 5-13 with the Blazers. McGee took the helm of the Blazers' program after four seasons on the staff at Arkansas, his 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 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).
• UTSA: Larry Coker (Northeastern State, '70) is in his third season at the helm of the UTSA program, his ninth as a head coach. He spent six seasons as the head coach at Miami (Fla.) where he posted a record of 60-15 and guided the Hurricanes to a pair of BCS title game appearances, three BCS bowl games and a total of six bowl berths overall.

Among NCAA Leaders In Turnovers Committed
• UAB has only had five turnovers in the season's first six games. That mark ties for the second fewest (with Bowling Green) nationally this season. Florida State leads the country in fewest turnovers with four.
• UAB has had three interceptions and two fumbles lost in its first six games this season.

Last Game
• UAB evened its Conference USA record at 1-1 with a 27-24 road victory Oct. 12 at FIU. The Blazers got a 28-yard field goal from junior Ty Long with only 10 seconds left on the clock to capture the win.
• Following FIU's game-tying touchdown (24-24) with 2:41 remaining, the FIU Stadium scoreboard/clock malfunctioned for the rest of the game. UAB marched 70 yards on 10 plays without the benefit of a visible game clock or play clock.
• The Blazers finished the game with 405 offensive yards (217 rushing/188 passing).
• UAB held FIU to only 109 yards in the second half after the Panthers amassed 287 in the opening 30 minutes of the game.
• Freshman running back Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 159 yards in the game, including 98 of those in the second half.
• Quarterback Austin Brownhit 19-of-30 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown.

23rd Season Of UAB Football; 18th 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 2013 season represents the 23rd season of football for UAB.

Three Blocked Kicks Vs. Florida Atlantic
• UAB blocked three kicks (2 PAT, 1 FG) in the Oct. 5 37-23 loss to Florida Atlantic. The three blocks ties Syracuse for the most in a game this season.

Next Game
• Following UAB's game Saturday at UTSA, the Blazers will return to Birmingham for only their third home game of the season when Middle Tennessee visits Legion Field on Nov. 2 for UAB's 2013 Homecoming.

Blazers On Preseason Watch Lists
• The Blazers had three players named on Preseason Watch Lists this summer. • Junior kicker Ty Long was tabbed to the Watch List for the Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate kicker. Long connected on 14-of-17 field goals last season and is now 30-of-36 in his career. His career accuracy mark of 83.3 percent is the highest in UAB history. Long also kicked the two longest field goals in Blazer history -- 54 (vs. Ohio State) and 53 yards (Southeastern Louisiana) in 2012.
• Junior punter Hunter Mullins was one of 25 punters nationally named this summer to the Watch List for the 2013 Ray Guy Award, given each season to the nation's outstanding college punter. Mullins, in his first season as UAB's regular punter, averaged a school record 44.8 yards per kick in 2012. He had 14 punts inside the 20-yard line and had 12 punts that were 50 yards or more.
• Junior running back Darrin Reaveswas tabbed to the preseason list for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, presented to the nation's top collegiate running back. Reaves became the fourth 1,000-yard rusher in Blazer history last season when he ran for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Birmingham native also recorded 41 receptions for 302 yards in 2012. Reaves is the only running back in the country entering the 2013 season who surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and 40 catches last fall.

RB Reaves Named Preseason All-Conference USA By Coaches
• UAB running back Darrin Reaveswas named to the 2013 Preseason All-Conference USA first team in a vote by the league's head coaches. Reaves ran for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. His 13 rushing touchdowns in a season is a Blazer single-season record. Nine of his touchdowns came in the final six games of the season. He also was adept as a pass-catching back as he recorded 41 receptions during the year.

Howard Gets First Carry Of Career, Totals 60 Yards Vs. LSU
• True freshman running back Jordan Howard logged the first rushing attempts of his collegiate career in the Sept. 7 game at LSU and responded with 60 yards on only 14 carries.
• Howard came back to post 66 yards on 12 carries (5.5 avg.) in the Sept. 21 game vs. Northwestern State.
• Howard also recorded his first collegiate touchdown vs. Northwestern State, an 8-yard run at the 5:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter.
• Howard has continued to impress as his playing time has increased in recent games. Against FIU two weeks ago, Howard rushed for a season-best 159 yards on only 20 carries (7.9 avg.)

Ganus Pacing Blazers In Tackles Through Six Games
• UAB sophomore Jake Ganus currently leads the Blazers in tackles with 47stops through the first six contests, including 31 solo hits. Ganus also has a team-high 6.0 tackles for loss.
• Ganus has either led the team, or tied for the team lead, in tackles in four of the Blazers' first six games.

Reaves Has 100 Rushing Yards Or More In Five Career Games
• Junior running back Darrin Reaves has a pair of 100-yard rushing performances thus far in 2013. He ran for 178 yards on 17 carries and two rushing touchdowns in the Sept. 21st 52-28 win over Northwestern State. It marked the second straight game he has run for a touchdown. Reaves opened the 2013 season with 104 rushing yards at Troy.
• Reaves also has now increased his career rushing touchdown total to 20 after running for a pair in the win at FIU two weeks ago.

UAB With Two Of C-USA'S Top Five Rushers
• Junior Darrin Reaves and freshman Jordan Howardrank No. 3 and 5, respectively, in rushing average among the Conference USA leaders:

C-USA Rushing, School - Yards, Avg. Per Game
1. Trey Watts, Tulsa - 565, 94.2
2. Aaron Jones, UTEP - 557, 92.8
3. Darrin Reaves, UAB - 502, 83.7
4. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech - 579, 82.7
5. Jordan Howard, UAB - 406, 81.2

New Faces
• The 2013 UAB coaching staff has four new faces, two on offense and two on defense. Eric Evans is the Blazers' new running backs coach after spending five years at the University of Albany. Joe Henry, a former tight end at Arkansas who was a graduate assistant on the Razorbacks' staff last season, is the tight ends coach.
Kevin Peoples joins the staff as UAB's defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. Peoples most recently has been on the staff at Arkansas but spent eight seasons as the defensive line coach at Arkansas State prior to going to Fayetteville. Matt Sandersis also a new member of the Blazers' staff and will serve as UAB's special teams coach, as well as assist in the secondary, working with the cornerbacks.

Long Perfect At UAB From 40 Yards And In
• UAB junior kicker Ty Long is now 41-51 (14-of-17 in 2012) on field goals during his two-year career with the Blazers. That's an accuracy rate of 80.4 percent. That is the best FG accuracy mark in UAB history, a record previously held by Swayze Waters, who hit 50-of-64 (.781) three-pointers from 2006-08.
• Long is perfect on field goals from 40 yards and within, hitting all 28 of his attempts through his 30-game UAB career.
• Long was 14-of-17 on field goals last season with five of those coming from 46 yards or longer (46, 47, 48, 53 and a school record 54 yards).
• The Roswell, Ga. native's 10 career misses at UAB have come from 41, 46, 47, 49, 56, 52, 49, 47, 59 and 49 yards.
• Long also now has three field goals of 50 yards or more in his UAB career after booting a 50-yarder in the 2013 season opener at Troy.