Blazers Gear Up For "Battle For The Bones" Rivalry Game At Memphis

UABSPORTS.COM Offensive lineman Terence Edge and the Blazers turn their focus towards their upcoming game at Memphis Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM
Offensive lineman Terence Edge and the Blazers turn their focus towards their upcoming game at Memphis Saturday.
UABSPORTS.COM

Nov. 12, 2007

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB football team is preparing to defend its "Battle For The Bones" trophy when it travels to Memphis, Tenn. to play the Memphis Tigers Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT. The Blazers will also be putting its seven-game win streak against the Tigers on the line.

UAB has not lost to Memphis since the 1999 season, and the Blazers have not lost in Memphis since the 1997 campaign.

"Memphis is coming into the game with a hot hand," said UAB head coach Neil Callaway. "They struggled early in the year, then they won a couple of big games.

"They do an outstanding job of throwing the football. They probably have the best receiving corps that we'll play all year. Defensively, they have improved the last couple of weeks. They have really played well the last two or three weeks."

Callaway and the Blazers fully understand the importance of the rivalry with Memphis and are looking to continue the win streak that teams before them have started.

"It means a lot," said Callaway. "It's a good rivalry that we have with Memphis. Logistically, with us being so close to each other, there are a lot of similarities with the two programs. I think it can grow into something bigger and better.

"I'm sure with Memphis being on a roll now, they have been preaching all week to their team that it has been seven years since Memphis has beaten UAB. I hope we can continue that trend."

UAB (2-8, 1-5 C-USA) is coming off a 45-31 loss to UCF this past Saturday, while Memphis (5-5, 4-2 C-USA) gained a 29-26 win over Southern Miss.

The Blazers and the Tigers will play at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised regionally by CSS.

Radio coverage of the game can be heard on the Blazers' ISP Sports Network flagship station WUHT 107.7 FM. The broadcast can also be heard on affiliates WIQR 1410 AM in Montgomery, WTRB 98.3 FM in Talladega and WACT 1420 AM in Tuscaloosa.

 

 

Head Coach Neil Callaway

On the loss to UCF last week:
"Coming into the game, we knew they had a very good running back in Kevin Smith. We knew we had to stop him to have a chance to win the football game. Not stop him, but slow him down. I don't think we did a very good job of that. I think it was a culmination of things. We had some missed assignments and a hard time getting lined up right. That really cost us. Overall, we did some nice things offensively. Our kicking game was sound. I think our guys played hard, we just have to eliminate mistakes. One thing I told them is that we need to put a complete game together. We play hard, but we continue to make too many mistakes."

On the upcoming game at Memphis:
"Memphis is coming into the game with a hot hand. They struggled early in the year, then they won a couple of big games. They do an outstanding job of throwing the football. They probably have the best receiving corps that we'll play all year. Defensively, they have improved the last couple of weeks. They have really played good the last two or three weeks."

On matching up better against a running team or passing team:
"Obviously we aren't matching up well against running teams. We've already proved that. Memphis does a nice job of running the football, but they are not a Southern Miss or Central Florida. Hopefully, we'll match up better against Memphis, but their receivers are good."

On UAB's seven-game win streak over Memphis:
"I'm sure with Memphis being on a roll now, they have been preaching all week to their team that it has been seven years since Memphis has beaten UAB. I hope we can continue that trend."

On needing to win a game:
"We need to win a game. We are not here to come close, we are here to win. Against two quality opponents, Mississippi State and Florida State, we were in the ballgame at halftime. But, we needed to finish and we didn't finish the other night. To our players' credit, they kept competing and fighting. They tried until the very end."

On still playing hard this season and not looking to next season:
"That hasn't been the case at all. The last couple of weeks, since we've been knocked out of a chance at playing in a bowl game, we've talked about playing for each other and this senior class. Anytime there's a change, it's tough on a senior class. I'm extremely happy and proud of the commitment that this group of seniors has made. They have bought into what we are trying to do and got on board with us. We are trying to play for each other, win for each other and win for this senior class. We want them to leave on a good note. It would be better to finish up 4-8 than 2-10. Finish up on a couple of wins and everybody will have a good taste in their mouth."

On the `Battle for the Bones' rivalry with Memphis:
"It means a lot. It's a good rivalry that we have with Memphis. Logistically, with us being so close to each other, there are a lot of similarities with the two programs. I think it can grow into something bigger and better."

Offensive Lineman Terence Edge

On understanding the rivalry between Memphis and UAB:
"I really don't know what I'm getting myself into. I don't know that much about Memphis, but I'm ready to play. I know that we haven't lost to them in a while and I want to continue that tradition."

On the pressure to win against Memphis:
"Right now, we're just focusing on us and making ourselves better because that's the only way we're going to win."

H-Back David Sigler

On Memphis getting a win over Southern Miss:
"It just shows you how good of a team Memphis is. Southern Miss is a good team, and for Memphis to go out and beat Southern Miss, it shows how good of a football team they are. That means that we have to be prepared for them."

On looking to finish the season on a positive note:
"I don't want this season to end. I just want to play football. We have two games left and I'm just going to try and make the best of it."

On playing better on the road:
"I do like playing in other stadiums. I guess it's the change in atmosphere. It gets me pumped up."

On the improvement in the offense last week versus UCF:
"We had a much better game against UCF, but we still didn't do enough to win. If we can continue to try and do the little things right, we can win."

Defensive Lineman Brandon Jeffries

On the importance of the game at Memphis:
"This game has been a pretty good rivalry for us. We lead the series. As a team and as seniors, we talked about how important this game is for us. We want to end the season on a good note."

On continuing the seven-game winning streak over Memphis:
"There's pressure to keep the streak alive. The last seven years, we've beaten Memphis and we don't want to be the team that breaks the streak."

On how the defense felt after last weekend's game versus UCF:
"As a defensive unit, the last game put a bad taste in everyone's mouth. The guy (Kevin Smith) rushed for over 300 yards and that's kind of an embarrassment. We took it as an insult and we are going to work hard this week at practice."

Cornerback Zach Britten

On what a win this week would mean to the team:
"A win would be lovely. What would make it so great is that we would continue the win streak and get another win, something we need right now for the team and the coaches, and for a confidence boost for the last game of the season against Marshall. The most important thing is getting a win and taking care of the win streak over Memphis."

On how much he plans to remind younger players about the importance of this game:
"They are going to hear that a lot this week, especially from me. The younger guys are going to get tired of me talking in practice. I'm usually not a big talker. I like to go out and perform and hopefully the other players will follow."

On getting the chance to defend against a passing team:
"Going into any game, playing the position I play, we like teams to throw the ball when we are making plays. It just gives us more opportunities to make plays on the ball."