Nov. 12, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB's football team returned to the practice field Tuesday as the Blazers get ready to take on Conference USA East Division leader East Carolina Saturday in Greenville, N.C.
The contest will kick off at 2:00 p.m. EST/1:00 p.m. CST at Dowdy Ficklen Stadium. The game will be televised in the eastern North Carolina market on WITN TV.
The Blazers (2-7, 1-4 C-USA) are coming off a 56-14 loss at Marshall last Saturday. This week, UAB will face an ECU team that not only possesses one of the league's top offenses (the Pirates average 445.3 yards per game and a C-USA best 340.6 passing yards each contest), but also the top defense in Conference USA.
The Pirates (7-2, 5-1 C-USA) are No. 1 in C-USA in total defense (336.1 yards allowed per game) and tops in rushing defense (96.7 allowed).
"They (ECU) are very strong, talented and deep up front defensively," UAB offensive line coach John Peterson said. "They have a lot of experience and it's going to be a big challenge for us. That's what we put on the guys up front every time we step on that field. You've got to play as a unit and go hard every play."
UAB went through a spirited workout that lasted just shy of two hours Tuesday as it heads down the homestretch of the 2013 season. Peterson said the Blazers want to take advantage of every practice they have. "The reality is we have only so many practices to work to get better and you want to take advantage of that," he said. "The players understand that and they understand how much they have to continue to work to improve."
The Blazers went the first eight games of the season with the same five offensive line starters before a leg injury to guard Roscoe Byrd sidelined him and forced a change to the starting unit.
"It's the nature of the game," Peterson said. "At this time of the season, you see guys who have prepared themselves and are ready to step up when something like that does happen."