Blazers Take On Marshall Saturday In Early Kickoff

Garrick McGee and the Blazers will be in West Virginia Saturday to play Marshall.

Nov. 8, 2013

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB's football team is on the road Saturday for a Conference USA matchup at Marshall. Gametime at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va. is set for Noon ET. The game will be televised by CSS.

The Blazers (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) are coming off a close 24-21 loss at home last week to Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders kicked a game-winning 18-yard field goal with :03 remaining on the clock.

The Thundering Herd (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) defeated Southern Miss, 61-13, in its most recent contest last Saturday.

UAB and Marshall will be meeting for the ninth time when they play Saturday. The Herd owns a 6-2 advantage in the series, including a 4-0 mark in games played in Huntington.

UAB (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) at Marshall (5-3, 3-1 C-USA)
Joan C. Edwards Stadium (38,227)
Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013
12:00 p.m. ET
TV: CSS (Matt Stewart, Chuck Oliver, Hannah Chalker)
Radio: Blazer IMG Sports Network (David Crane, Steve Irvine, Sam Miller)

Quick Hits
• UAB (2-6, 1-3 Conference USA) will be on the road for the next two conference matchups, starting this Saturday, Nov. 9 when the Blazers take on Marshall (5-3, 3-1) in Huntington, W.Va.
• The Blazers are coming off a 24-21 loss at home Saturday to Middle Tennessee. The Blazers led for the majority of the game and controlled the ball for nearly 39 minutes of the contest. The Blue Raiders claimed the victory with a game-winning 18-yard field goal with only :03 remaining on the clock.
• The Blazers ran off 26 consecutive rushing plays Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee before their first pass of the game. UAB finished with 56 rushing attempts and only nine passes.
• 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 had a national-best of the week 367 all-purpose yards which included a 97-yard kick return for a score.
• 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. Reaves eclipsed the 2,000 yard mark for his carer with his 111-yard performance Saturday against Middle Tennessee. He now has 678 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on the ground this season.

All-Time Series Record Vs. Marshall
• UAB and Marshall will be meeting for the ninth time when they play Saturday in Huntington. The Thundering Herd has a 6-2 series lead and a 4-0 advantage on its homefield. UAB won last season's meeting, a 38-31 win at Legion Field.

The Coaches
• UAB: Garrick McGee (Oklahoma, '96) is in his second season as the head coach at UAB and has a record of 5-15 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).
• Marshall: Doc Holliday (West Virginia, '79) is his fourth season as head coach at Marshall and has compiled a record of 22-23 during that time. Holliday assumed the helm for the Thundering Herd after serving two years as associate head coach at West Virginia. Holliday also spent two year at Florida from 2005-07 and was associate head coach and wide receivers coach at NC State from 2000-04.

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.

Nelson = Explosion Plays
• There's no doubt when UAB wide receiver Jamarcus "JJ" Nelson is on the field, he's a threat to break a big play.
• Nelson has averaged 19.2 yards per reception in his career with 1264 yards on 66 catches.
• Nelson has 16 touchdowns (14 receiving, 2 on returns) in his three-year career and 11 of those have covered distances of 40 yards or more.

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 has continued to impress as his playing time has increased in recent games. Against FIU a month ago, Howard rushed for a season-best 159 yards on only 20 carries (7.9 avg.). He nearly matched that Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee as he had 154 yards on 23 rushes (6.7 avg.). He is averaging 6.8 yards per attempt this season.

Long Has Three 50-Yarders This Season, Five In Career
• UAB kicker Ty Long is putting together another outstanding season for the Blazers as the junior from Roswell, Ga. has now made 14-of-18 attempts this season, including successful kicks in his last five tries.
• Long's only misses this season have come from 49, 47, 59 and 49 yards.
• He has connected on three field goals of 50 yards this season and now has five of 50 yards or more in his Blazer career.
• In this week's Conference USA statistics, Long ranks No. 2 in the league in field goals made per game at 1.75 • Long ranks second in C-USA in FG accuracy (to Tulsa's Salazar) at 77.8 percent.

Last Meeting With Marshall
Darrin Reaves rushed for 184 yards and two scores and linebacker Marvin Burdettebecame UAB's all-time leading tackler as the Blazers withstood a late Marshall rally to win 38-31 in the 2012 meeting at Legion Field.

The Blazers picked up their second-straight Conference USA win of the season and second in a row after defeating Southern Miss a week earlier.

UAB's defense held Marshall's potent offensive attack to a season-low 337 total yards. The Thundering Herd came into Saturday's game with a 543 yards per game average.

Part of the Blazers' strong defensive effort came from linebacker Marvin Burdette, who registered 17 total tackles to give him 381 on the year -- a UAB single-season record.

Burdette, who leads the country in tackles, now has 132 tackles for the season, an average of 13.20 per game.

Reaves went over the 100-yard mark for the third-straight game with his 184-yard effort. The Birmingham, Ala., native also scored two touchdowns, giving him 13 rushing touchdowns for the year to establish a new UAB single-season record.

The Blazers led 31-7 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

Within 2 minutes, the Thundering Herd roared back with a 10-yard TD pass from Rakeem Cato to Jazz King, followed by Kevin Grooms' 7-yard TD run and Justin Haig's 38-yard field goal with 7:18 remaining.

Reaves answered with a 17-yard TD, capping an 11-play, 80-yard drive with 2:50 left.

Marshall then moved downfield quickly and efficiently, with Cato connecting with Tommy Shuler on 30- and 19-yard plays before finding Gator Hoskins for a 3-yard TD with 1:41 remaining.

UAB recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Blazers' Austin Brown threw two TD passes and Jackie Williamshad a 79-yard punt return for a score.

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.

Howard Making Rushing Impact
• True freshman running back Jordan Howard continues to have a positive impact on the Blazers' ground game. In his seven games thus far at UAB, Howard has rushed for 650 yards and averaged a team-best 6.8 yards per attempt.
• He broke loose for a 52-yard run at Vanderbilt for the longest rush of his young career. Howard averaged 10.2 yards per rush vs. the Commodores.
• Howard rushed for a season-best 159-yard performance at FIU last month and had a 154-yard performance in UAB's game last Saturday vs. Middle Tennessee. He had a 41-yard run in the contest against the Blue Raiders.

Reaves One Of Top Receiving RBs
• Junior Darrin Reaves continues to climb up UAB's all-time charts for most receptions by a running back.
• Reaves currently has 65 career receptions to rank No. 6 on the Blazers' all-time list. He is just four from breaking into the top five.