Oct. 29, 2009
I apologize for not writing last week, but time got away from me as we were preparing for the second of three straight road trips with football. The trip to Marshall is not the toughest...not the easiest...as far as the actual, physical travel is concerned. But it always seems like you can count on something odd happening either on the way or while we are in Huntington. This year was no exception. All you have to do, if you weren't listening on Saturday morning, is check out Steve Irvine's blog on al.com. Steve is the UAB beat writer for The Birmingham News, and he had an interesting experience as his flight attempted to land. All I'll say is Thanksgiving almost came a little early for the folks in Huntington.
As for the game with the Herd...ugh. The penalties and poor production on third down (offensively and defensively) were the two big negatives that cost UAB a chance to win the game. On the bright side, Joe Webb looked to be back in good passing form. The offense moved the ball all day long and racked up well over 400 yards on the day. It's hard to imagine a total like that...plus no turnovers...only equaling seven points. But that's what the penalties will do. I know I was frustrated, so I can only imagine what Neil Callaway felt as he watched it from the sideline and again as he watched the tape of the game. We talked on Wednesday night at the call-in show, and you could tell how disappointed he was about the silly penalties. Just about the last thing a coach wants to hear about his team is that it is undisciplined. And anyone that knows Neil Callaway knows how much he emphasizes discipline. Let's hope it was just an anomaly and the Green and Gold will continue to be hard-nosed, tough, hard-hitting, but penalty-light team from here on out.
The loss to Marshall was frustrating, but there were things I think the Blazers can carry over into Saturday's trip to El Paso, namely the offense. They rushed for over 200 yards for the sixth time in seven games this season, and the passing game produced 200 yards on the day. The UTEP defense has had its problems this year, and I really think UAB will put some points on the board. The Miners offense has been a little up and down (much like their entire season), so maybe the Blazers can come up with a solid effort and slow Mike Price's squad down a little bit. I see it as a very close game, and I do believe there will be plenty of points scored at the Sun Bowl. The good news, possibly, is that we're playing during the day. It sounds like UTEP has a bit of LSU in them...a little easier to play in El Paso during the day than at night...we'll see! Our pre-game starts at 12:30 PM central time from El Paso, and kick-off is set for 2 PM. There is no television coverage for the game, so we hope you'll join us on the Blazers ISP Sports Network.
As an added bonus, fans who come out to the volleyball match will get to see something very exciting...a sneak preview of the new video, score and LED boards inside Bartow Arena. I spent part of my Thursday watching a little training session, and I can assure you, Bartow Arena has never looked so good. We're all like kids at Christmas, and it's going to be a lot of fun finding out just what all the new additions will do.
Volleyball will also have a match on Sunday afternoon, as Southern Miss comes to Bartow for a 1 PM start.
Men's soccer is on the road this weekend, but it's already been a great week for UAB. The Blazers defeated South Carolina on Wednesday night at home, and the Green and Gold knocked off UCF last Saturday at West Campus Field. That win over the Knights was the 200th for head coach Mike Getman in his 17-plus years here at UAB...congrats! The Blazers are 11-3-1 overall and lead C-USA with a 5-1-1 mark. They'll take on Alabama A&M in Huntsville on Sunday afternoon.
Don't forget the men's basketball exhibition game coming up next Tuesday. Miles comes calling, along with head coach Chris Giles (I hope he's dressed just as sharply as he was at the Hall of Fame Banquet a couple of weeks ago!). Tip time is set for 7 PM, and the new boards should be fired up for that event, as well.
Have a great Halloween weekend...all treats, no tricks...and GO BLAZERS!!!