Blazers On Road To Take On C-USA Foe Tulane

WR Patrick Hearn returned to action last week after missing two games due to injury.

Oct. 26, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- The UAB football team will be back on the road Saturday when the Blazers travel to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave. Gametime at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome is 2:30 p.m. CT.

Saturday's game in New Orleans will be the first of two straight Conference USA games on the road for the Blazers. UAB travels to Hattiesburg, Miss. to meet Southern Miss on Nov. 3.

UAB (1-6, 0-3 C-USA) is coming off a 42-35 loss to C-USA foe East Carolina last Saturday as the two teams played a see-saw affair that had four lead changes. The teams combined for 77 points and 1,001 yards in the contest. Neither team committed a turnover.

The Green Wave (1-6, 1-2 C-USA) started 0-5 this season but has stepped up its play the past two games. Tulane defeated SMU, 27-26, two weeks ago and last week dropped a close, 24-20 decision to UTEP.

UAB quarterback Austin Brownhas passed for more than 300 yards in three of his four starts for the Blazers. He has averaged 306 yards in the four starts and has passed for eight touchdowns in that time. Brown is No. 2 in Conference USA in pass efficiency at 143.3.

UAB linebacker Marvin Burdettehas registered 17 tackles in back-to-back games vs. Houston and East Carolina. Burdette now leads C-USA in tackles per game (11.4) and is No. 5 nationally.

UAB at Tulane
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012
2:30 p.m. CT
Mercedes-Benz Superdome (72,000)

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

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).
TULANE: Curtis Johnson (Idaho, '85) is his first season as head coach at Tulane. He spent six seasons (2006-11) as the wide receivers coach for the New Orleans Saints. A New Orleans native, Johnson has over 25 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels. He spent 10 seasons on the coaching staff at the University of Miami (Fla.).

UAB and Tulane are meeting for the ninth time when the teams play Saturday in New Orleans. The series is tied at 4-4 after last season's 49-10 Green Wave win at Legion Field. UAB is 2-2 vs. Tulane in New Orleans and 2-1 at the Superdome. The Blazers took a 41-24 win over the Green Wave in 2008 in their last trip to the Crescent City.

• 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.
• UAB has averaged 36.5 points over the past four games.
• WR Jackie Williamshas at least one reception in every game (30) he has played at UAB.

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.

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).

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.

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 29 catches this season, he has increased his career reception total to 117 to rank No. 4 on the Blazer career charts. Williams moved ahead of Cedrick Bucannon into the fourth spot last Saturday. Williams has caught at least one pass in all 30 games he has played in at UAB.

LONG NAMED TO GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST UAB sophomore kicker Ty Longwas 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.

Linebacker Marvin Burdette continues his climb up the UAB career tackles chart after posting 92 as a junior in 2011. Burdette now has 329 tackles in his career and has moved to No. 2 on the Blazer list. Burdette has registered a season-high 17 tackles in back-to-back games vs. Houston and East Carolina. Burdette also recorded a 13 tackles against Tulsa Sept. 29. He currently leads Conference USA and is No. 5 in the NCAA with an average of 11.4 tackles per game. Zac Woodfinholds the school record with 372 tackles recorded from 2001-04.

The UAB football team lost its Conference USA opener 49-10 to Tulane at Legion Field. The Green Wave had a 540-193 advantage over the Blazers in total offensive yards.

Nick Adams' 92-yard kickoff return for touchdown in the first quarter matched a school record and evened the score at 7-7, but Tulane responded with 21 straight points to open up its lead on the way to its first victory over the Blazers since 2004.

Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin completed 22 of 26 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns to lead the attack, while the Green Wave amassed 262 yards on the ground.

UAB freshman kicker Ty Longmade good on his first career field goal attempt in the third quarter to cut Tulane's lead to 28-10, but Griffin then connected on a pair of scoring passes to Joe Kemp and Matt Marfisi to extend the Green Wave's advantage to 42-10.

Tulane's second interception return for touchdown on UAB's next drive finished off the scoring for the day.

Adams was the top performer for UAB, logging a total of 194 kickoff return yards to set a new UAB record. He also added 31 receiving yards to finish with 225 all-purpose yards, just shy of cracking the top 10 in the UAB record book for a single-game effort.

Adams' return touchdown matched Frantrell Forrest's92-yard return for a score on Oct. 13, 2007 for the longest in UAB history. That return was also against Tulane and came in the Green Wave's last trip to Birmingham.

Adams and Jackie Williams each tallied 31 receiving yards in the game, and UAB quarterback Bryan Ellisfinished with 145 yards passing.

Tulane's Orleans Darkwa ran for two touchdowns and was one of three Green Wave backs to run for at least 60 yards.

UAB has had nine different freshmen make a total of 27 starts for the Blazers through the first seven games this season.
The Blazers' true freshman Jake Ganus has started all seven games at safety while redshirt freshman Lamarcus Farmer has started six 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.

• 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.

UAB true freshman safety Jake Ganushas made a significant early impact for the Blazers. The product of nearby Chelsea, Ala. has started all sevengames thus far for UAB and is tied for third on the team in tackles with 45 stops. In addition, the former high school quarterback registered an interception against South Carolina.

The Blazers have had 12 different players register at least one reception through the first six games of the 2012 season.
Jackie Williams leads the way with 29 catches while Nick Adamshas 27 grabs thus far for UAB.

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.