Blazers Take On C-USA East Leader UCF In Season Finale

UABSPORTS.COM WR Jackie Williams will be looking to extend his consecutive games reception streak to 35 games.
UABSPORTS.COM
WR Jackie Williams will be looking to extend his consecutive games reception streak to 35 games.
UABSPORTS.COM

Nov. 22, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB will conclude its 2012 season Saturday when the Blazers travel to Orlando, Fla. to take on Conference USA East Division co-leader UCF. The contest at Brighthouse Networks Stadium will kick off at 12:05 p.m. ET and will be televised on Fox Sports Network (SportSouth in the Southeast).

UAB (3-8, 2-5 C-USA) will go into Saturday's game at UCF coming off a 46-9 loss to Memphis last weekend. The Blazers, who had entered the game vs. the Tigers with back-to-back wins over Southern Miss and Marshall, were held to only 213 yards on offense, including just 26 rushing yards.

UAB will be finishing its regular season schedule against UCF for the fifth time. The Blazers also played the Knights in the season finale in 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005. The last time UAB finished against the Knights in Orlando (2008) resulted in a 15-0 Blazer victory as K Swayze Watersbooted five field goals in the win.

The Knights (8-3, 6-1 C-USA) will be looking for a victory which would give them league's Eastern Division and a berth in the C-USA Championship Game next week.

UCF, which is in its ninth season under head coach George O'Leary, is averaging 34.7 points per game.

UAB at UCF
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012
12:05 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. CT • FSN
Brighthouse Networks Stadium (45,323)

TELEVISION:FSN - Mike Gleason (play by play), Gary Reasons (color analyst), Lesley McCaslin (sidelines)

RADIO: Blazer IMG Sports Network - David Crane (play by play), John Whitcomb (color analyst), Sam Miller (sidelines)

SERIES HISTORY
UAB and UCF will be meeting for the 10th time this Saturday and for the eighth occasion since the Knights joined Conference USA. UCF holds a 7-2 lead in the series after the Blazers' 26-24 win last season in Birmingham. UAB won in Orlando (15-0) in 2008 in the last matchup there that concluded a season.

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).
• UCF: George O'Leary (New Hampshire, '69) is in his ninth season as head coach at UCF. O'Leary has guided the Knights to three Conference USA championships and bowl appearances on four occasions. O'Leary was an assistant on the staff for the Minnesota Vikings prior to becoming the UCF head coach. He was the head coach at Georgia Tech from 1994-01.

QUICK HITS
• UAB returned 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.
• The Blazers had 19 players make their collegiate debut in UAB's 2012 season opener versus Troy.
• WR Jackie Williams has at least one reception in every game (34) he has played at UAB.
• 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.
• The Blazers' Darrin Reaves was named C-USA Offensive Player-of-the-Week following his 184-yard/2 TD performance against Marshall two Saturdays ago. WR/RS Jackie Williamswas tabbed the league's Special Teams Player-of-the-Week after returning a punt 79 yards for a TD in the victory over the Thundering Herd. • Reaves has 966 rushing yards heading into this week's game at UCF. He needs 34 yards to become the fourth UAB player in history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

22ND SEASON OF UAB FOOTBALL; 17TH 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 2012 season represents the 22nd season of football for UAB.

LONG MADE 12 CONSECUTIVE FIELD GOALS
Blazer sophomore kicker Ty Longsaw 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 13-16 this season and is 29-of-35 overall for his two seasons.

LONG NOW 83 PCT. FOR CAREER FGS UAB sophomore Ty Longenjoyed 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 13-for-16 in 2012. His career FG accuracy percentage is 82.9 percent (29-for-35).

WILLIAMS' RECEPTION TOTAL AMONG TOP 5 IN SCHOOL HISTORY
WR Jackie Williamsregistered 58 catches last season, the fourth-highest single-season mark in UAB history. Williams caught 58 passes for 607 yards in 2011. With 44 catches this season, he has increased his career reception total to 132 to rank No. 4 on the Blazer career charts. Williams moved ahead of Cedrick Buchannon into the fourth spot earlier this season. Williams has caught at least one pass in all 34 games he has played in at UAB.

BURDETTE TIED FOR NCAA LEAD IN TACKLES PER GAME
UAB senior linebacker Marvin Burdettehas been all over the field in recent games, recording tackle totals of 17, 17, 24, 11, 17 and 10 in consecutive contests vs. Houston, East Carolina, Tulane, Southern Miss, Marshall and Memphis. His average of 12.90 tackles per game is second in the country in this week's NCAA statistics.

His 24 total at Tulane last month 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 two weeks ago vs. Marshall and now has 391 stops, moving ahead of Zac Woodfin, a Blazer linebacker from 2001-04, who tallied 372 during his career. In the past seven games vs. Houston, East Carolina, Tulane, Southern Miss, Marshall and Memphis Burdette has averaged 16.0 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.

Hunter Mullins NAMED TO WATCH LIST FOR 2012 RAY GUY AWARD
• UAB sophomore punter Hunter Mullins was named as one of 69 candidates nationally last month 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 45.13 yards per kick. He ranks ninth in the country in average and is ranked No. 2 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 seven games he has started at UAB (Tulsa, Houston, East Carolina and Tulane).
• Brown is averaging 294 yards per game in his seven starts.

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 966 yards, averaging 4.9 per carry. He will be looking to become the Blazers' fourth 1,000-yard rusher in history this Saturday vs. UCF.

HEARN ECLIPSES 100 CATCHES FOR CAREER
UAB senior wide receiver has 102 career receptions at UAB, the sixth-highest total in Blazer history. He caught four passes Saturday vs. Memphis and joined five other UAB players (four former Blazers, plus Jackie Williams) as UAB receivers to register 100 or more catches in their career.

LONG NAMED TO GROZA AWARD WATCH LIST
• UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long was one of 30 players nationally named this summer to the Watch List for the 2012 Lou Groza College Placekicker Award, presented by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
• Long, from Roswell, Ga., connected on 16-of-19 field goals as a true freshman in 2011, including a pair of game-winning field goals (UCF and Southern Miss). He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team and was also tabbed a third-team Freshman All-American by Phil Steele's College Football Preview.
• Long ranked No. 2 last year among C-USA kickers in FG percentage at 84.2 and was third in field goals made per game (1.33). In addition, he ranked second nationally among freshman in field goals made per game and was third among NCAA freshmen in FG percentage.
• His 72 points scored ranked third in the country among freshman kickers overall and was the second-highest mark among true freshmen. His 16 field goals were the most of any true freshman kicker in the country in 2011.

LONG PERFECT AT UAB FROM 40 YARDS AND IN
• UAB sophomore kicker Ty Long is now 29-of-35 (13-of-16 in 2012) on field goals during his two-year career with the Blazers. That's an accuracy rate of 82.9 percent. The UAB career record for field goal accuracy is 78.1 percent by Swayze Waters, who hit 50-of-64 three-pointers from 2006-08.
• Long is perfect on field goals from 40 yards and within, hitting all 19 of his attempts through his 20-game UAB career.
Long is 13-of-16 on field goals this season with five of those coming from 46 yards or longer (46, 47, 48, 53 and a school record 54 yards).
• The Roswell, Ga. native's six career misses at UAB have come from 41, 46, 47, 49, 56 and 52 yards.

GANUS HAS MADE EARLY IMPACT FOR BLAZERS
UAB true freshman safety Jake Ganus has made a significant early impact for the Blazers. The product of nearby Chelsea, Ala. has started 10-of-11 games thus far for UAB and is fourth on the team in tackles with 59 stops. In addition, the former high school quarterback registered an interception against South Carolina.