Blazers Face Memphis In Final Home Game

UABSPORTS.COM WR Patrick Hearn has 30 receptions and a pair of touchdowns in 2012.
UABSPORTS.COM
WR Patrick Hearn has 30 receptions and a pair of touchdowns in 2012.
UABSPORTS.COM

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Nov. 16, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- UAB will close out its 2012 home schedule on Saturday when the Memphis Tigers visit Legion Field in the annual "Battle for the Bones.

Gametime is set for 1:00 p.m. CT.

The Blazers will recognize 15 seniors in pregame Senior Day ceremonies as UAB shoots for a third consecutive victory for the first time since the 2009 season.

UAB is coming off a 38-31 victory over Marshall last Saturday as the Blazers built a 31-7 lead midway through the third quarter before the Thundering Herd rallied to close the gap.

Running back Darrin Reaves, who finished with 184 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in the game, helped seal the game for the Blazers with his 17-yard scoring run with 2:50 remaining on the clock.

Running back Darrin Reaves has rushed for 573 yards in the past three games (191 avg.) vs. Tulane (166), Southern Miss (223) and Marshall (184). He also has seven rushing TDs in that span.

Reaves was named Conference USA Offensive Player-of-the-Week on Monday for his performance while teammate Jackie Williams picked up C-USA Special Teams Player-of-the-Week honors after returning a punt 79 yards for a touchdown against Marshall.

UAB held Marshall to just 337 total yards, nearly 200 below the Herd's average, and limited the visitors to just 121 yards in the first half.

MEMPHIS AT UAB
Saturday, November 17, 2012
1:00 p.m. CT
Legion Field (72,000)

SERIES HISTORY
• UAB and Memphis will be meeting for the 15th time this Saturday. The Blazers have played the Tigers more than any other opponent and hold a 10-4 advantage in the series that began in 1997. UAB has won the past three matchups against Memphis and 10 of the past 12. The Blazers prevailed 41-35 last season at Liberty Bowl Stadium, rallying from a 35-17 deficit entering the fourth quarter.

THE COACHES
• 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).
• MEMPHIS: Justin Fuente (Murray State, '99) is his first season as head coach at Memphis after spending the past five seasons on the staff at TCU. Fuente was the Horned Frogs' running backs coach his first two years but became the quarterbacks coach when he was named co-offensive coordinator in 2009. Like UAB head coach Garrick McGee, Fuente is a native of Tulsa. He began his collegiate career at Oklahoma; when he was a freshman at OU, McGee was a senior on the Sooners' roster.

QUICK HITS
• UAB returns seven starters on offense and four on defense from last season.
• After a bye week on Sept. 8, UAB is in the midst of playing on 11 consecutive Saturdays.
• Beginning with the 2006 season, the UAB/Memphis football game has been known as the "Battle for the Bones" with the winner of the game claiming the 100-pound, bronzed rack of ribs.
• 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.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT
• Memphis is in its first season under head coach Justin Fuente. Like UAB head coach Garrick McGee, Fuente is a Tulsa native and was a player at Oklahoma.
• Memphis has picked up two victories, both in Conference USA play. The Tigers have wins over Rice (14-10) and Tulane (37-23).
• Memphis will be leaving Conference USA after this season to join the Big East Conference.
• The Tigers have a pair of receivers with more than 40 catches this season. Keiwone Malone has 42 and Marcus Rucker has 41.

LONG MADE 12 CONSECUTIVE FIELD GOALS
• Blazer sophomore kicker Ty Long saw his streak of 12 straight successful field goals come to an end at Ohio State on Sept. 22 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 12-15 this season and is 28-of-34 overall for his two seasons.

LONG NOW 82 PCT. FOR CAREER FGS
• UAB sophomore Ty Long enjoyed 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 12-for-15 in 2012. His career FG accuracy percentage is 82.4 percent (28-for-34).

WILLIAMS AMONG LONGEST ACTIVE FBS RECEIVING STREAKS
UAB junior wide receiver Jackie Williams currently is listed among the top active receiving streaks in the FBS ranks. The Prichard, Ala., native has grabbed at least one reception in each game he's played since joining the Blazers in 2010, and now has a catch in 33 consecutive contests. Williams leads UAB in receptions (41) and receiving yards (700).
Williams' streak is the third-longest in UAB history. Roddy White (2002-05) and Derrick Ingram (1991-94) each had 35-game streaks, while Cedrick Bucannon had a 23-game streak from 1993-95.

BURDETTE TIED FOR NCAA LEAD IN TACKLES PER GAME
• UAB senior linebacker Marvin Burdette has been all over the field in recent games, recording tackle totals of 17, 17, 24, 11 and 17 in consecutive contests vs. Houston, East Carolina, Tulane, Southern Miss and Marshall. His average of 13.20 tackles per game is tied for the NCAA lead.
• His 24 total at Tulane three weeks ago set a Blazer school record and is the second-highest total in Conference USA history. That count is also the second-highest in the NCAA this season.
• Burdette broke the UAB record for career tackles last Saturday and now has 381 stops, moving ahead of Zac Woodfin, a Blazer linebacker from 2001-04, who tallied 372 during his career.
• In the past five games vs. Houston, East Carolina, Tulane, Southern Miss and Marshall, Burdette has averaged 17.2 tackles.
• Burdette's 24 tackles vs. Tulane broke the 20-year-old school record of 21 set by Josh Evans vs. Tennessee Wesleyan. It also marked the second career 20-tackle performance for Burdette.

UAB PUNTER Hunter Mullins NAMED TO WATCH LIST FOR 2012 RAY GUY AWARD
• UAB sophomore punter Hunter Mullins was named as one of 69 candidates nationally three weeks ago to the Watch List for the 2012 Ray Guy Award, an honor that goes to the nation's top collegiate punter. The award is presented by the Augusta Sports Council.
• Mullins, in his first season as the Blazers' starting punter, is currently averaging 45.0 yards per kick. He ranks 10th in the country in average and is ranked No. 3 in Conference USA.

BROWN PASSES FOR CAREER-BEST 409 VS. TULANE
• Redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown passed for a career-best 409 yards in UAB's loss at Tulane Oct. 27. Brown has passed for 300-plus yards in four of the six games he has started at UAB (Tulsa, Houston, East Carolina and Tulane). The only games he fell shy of 300 was vs. Southeastern Louisiana when he had 266 yards before leaving the game early with a minor ankle injury and the last two Saturdays vs. Southern Miss and Marshall.
• Brown is averaging 294 yards per game in his six starts. His season average is only 228 per game due to him sharing playing time with Jonathan Perry in the first three games. Otherwise, his 294 yards per game would rank No. 15 in the NCAA if that was his season average.

REAVES ON QUITE A TEAR FOR THE BLAZERS
• Sophomore running back Darrin Reaves has been on quite a tear running the football. In the past three games, Reaves has 573 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. Reaves, whose father (Darrin Sr.) played on UAB's first football team in 1991 (also as a running back), rushed for 223 yards on 35 carries and ran for two touchdowns vs. Southern Miss on Nov. 3.
• Reaves is UAB's leading rusher with 928 yards, averaging 5.1 per carry. His 13 rushing TDs are No. 1 in C-USA and a UAB season record.

BLAZERS ALREADY WITH MORE OFFENSIVE TDS THAN IN ALL OF 2011 SEASON
• UAB recorded 26 offensive touchdowns in 2011. Through eight games in 2012, the Blazers already have 38 offensive touchdowns this season.
Darrin Reaves leads the Blazers in touchdowns with 13. That number is a UAB record for rushing TDs in a season previously held by quarterback Joe Webb who also had 11 in both 2008 and 2009.

BLAZERS' MOST POINTS HAVE COME IN FOURTH QUARTER
• UAB's most productive quarter has been the fourth this season. The Blazers have scored 98 points in the final period through nine games, an average of 9.8 points per game.

BURDETTE BECOMES ALL-TIME UAB TACKLER
• Linebacker Marvin Burdette became the UAB career tackles leader last Saturday with his 17-stop effort vs. Marshall. He now has 132 tackles in 2012 after posting 92 as a junior in 2011. Burdette has 381 tackles in his career and to establish a new UAB career record. Burdette registered 17 tackles in back-to-back games vs. Houston and East Carolina before his 24 at Tulane three weeks ago. Burdette also recorded 13 tackles against Tulsa Sept. 29. He currently is tied for the national lead with an average of 13.20 tackles per game. Zac Woodfin previously held the school record with 372 tackles recorded from 2001-04.

REAVES PACING BLAZERS' RUNNING GAME
• Running back Darrin Reaves has taken on an increased role in the Blazers' running game in the past several contests. He rushed for a combined 58 yards on 18 carries in the first two games vs Troy and South Carolina. He leads the team in rushing with 928 yards. Reaves also has all 13 rushing touchdowns in the past seven games.