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Green Wave roll over Blazers: Too many mistakes late in the game lead to another Blazer loss, fall to Tulane in 55-45 shoot-out
Despite the great play of several individuals, the group effort was not quite enough to keep up with the Green wave offense. The Blazers fell to 1-7 on the season.
In the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, the Batesville, Miss. native Senior linebacker Marvin Burdette came into Saturday’s matchup against Tulane 5th in the nation in tackles. Against Tulane he looked to aid his team in their efforts to pick up their first win in conference play this season and to exact revenge on a team that pounded UAB 49-10 last season. Coming into the game, Bates was 44 tackles away from obtaining the most career tackles in program history.
Despite the defense being torched, the senior linebacker grabbed a personal victory in a team loss. It seems as if No. 43 was everywhere on the field, setting a school record for the most career tackles in a single game with 24. Being a “team first” guy, The senior defensive captain, Burdette, was more upset by the poor play of his defense than he was in his own personal achievement. Burdette neglected to even comment on his stellar play after the disappointing conference loss.
Burdette now leads the nation in tackles and trails the UAB record by just 19. He averages 17.8 tackles a game in conference play and going into to fight a winless Southern Miss., Burdette looks to top this mark.
Burdette, however, was one of the only highlights for the defense as the unit gave up 466 yards through the air. The secondary looked out of sync completely as the Tulane’s QB Ryan Griffin stood in the pocket and delivered an assortment of passes, throwing for five touchdowns on the game. After the game, first year head coach Garrick McGee said of his teams play, “There was not much effort. We just didn’t seem like we knew what we were doing.”
The defense did force three turnovers to help try and keep the Birmingham squad in the game; however, it was not enough as the Green Wave rolled over the Blazers 55-45.
Offensively, another top performance for the Blazers included Darrin Reaves, who ran the ball for 166 yards on 21 carries and three rushing touchdowns. Reaves added 55 yards on 7 receptions for a mark of 221 yards of total offense.
But for the Green and Gold’s offense, too many mistakes including two interceptions thrown by Freshman QB Austin Brown late in the second half plagued the Blazers if only to fall just short in the final score. Austin Brown threw for 409 yards on 26-52 for 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
Kicker Ty Long was just inches off of topping his own school record just missing on a 57 yard kick, but still sent in a 25 yarder, and had his third successful onside kick of the year.
McGee said after the game, “We didn’t play good enough, we didn’t play with enough effort, and we didn’t play with enough energy. We are not very well coached; I am really disappointed. I apologize to our fans to our supports because we are not a very well coached football team.”
Next week UAB will try and bounce back again the Golden Eagles who the Blazers have won three straight against. Junior offensive lineman Billy Autrey said, “Now we are fighting for ourselves, our teammates and our pride.”