Garrick McGee and the Blazers ‘ready for some football’
Posted on Jul 24, 2012 in Sports
As the 2012 football season approaches, Blazer fans excitement about new Head Coach Garrick McGee is through the roof. However with an inexperienced offensive line and a recovering defense, it’s going to take teamwork, toughness and a supportive crowd to win games.
The Blazers will start fresh with McGee as head coach. McGee was the brains behind the Arkansas offensive force. McGee will not have the firepower he had at Arkansas, but fans are eager to see what Jeff Brohm, offensive coordinator, can bring to the table.
UAB has lost four starters along the offensive line, as well as an unsure confidence in their QB spot.
McGee wants to establish a passing game. With a roster that consists of two young QB’s in Jonathon Perry and Austin Brown, the passing game can shine. Look for WR Nick Adams to be on the receiving end of a lot of those passes, as he was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA.
The main issue in regards to offense is the inexperienced offensive line. The OL has lost five seniors and four starters to graduation, including star player Matt McCants. With McCants gone, line backers will have their sights set on easily sacking Perry, which is where his mobility in the pocket will aid the Blazers in their pursuit of victory.
The five former athletes had combined for 160 career starts. This season’s returning players have combined for 13.
Offense sells tickets, but defense is what wins games. Quite frankly, UAB’s defense has been poor. UAB will say goodbye to its entire secondary and two-star defensive linemen. LB Marvin Burdette will have a 100-plus tackle season, but much more is needed near the line of scrimmage, which is why the player to look out for is sophomore DE Diaheem Watkins. Watkins had 6 tackles, 5 for loss, 3 sacks and 1 pass broken up in the spring game.
The Blazers had the worst line in the FBS ranks, the worst run defense, the worst red zone defense, the second-worst standard downs defense and the sixth-worst passing downs defense and seventh-worst pass defense.
The young defensive line will be better in the coming seasons. Of the six returning linemen who registered at least 5.0 tackles last season, four were freshmen and two were sophomores.
UAB’s top recruits to look out for are LB Shaquille Roberson, and TE Kennard Backman. These two players will be the stars of UAB’s future.
With games at South Carolina and Ohio State, the Blazers will share some of the FBS spotlight if they can win. It will take more than just a year for UAB to be mentioned in the same breath as the Crimson Tide.
This season is about laying foundation of a determination to win. Fan support will be much needed if the Blazers want to reach new heights. The season starts Sept. 1 against rival Troy.