Houston trumps UAB, football team still winless in C-USA play

By on October 16, 2012

Going into Houston, UAB was riding as high as they have been all season. Fresh off of a win in a game in which they looked dominate on both sides of the ball. Playing a team that has embarrassed the Blazers on several occasions including a 43 point loss last season, the Green and Gold looked primed and ready to claim their first conference win of the season against the weaker than usual Houston Cougars.

Houston started quick and never let go of an early lead. Garrick McGee is struggling out of the gates as he tries to turn around a perennial ESPN bottom ten team who just nudged themselves out by getting a win over SELA but are sure to make reappearance this week. Houston’s 39-17 victory this past weekend is another example of his struggles.

Many things went wrong this past week in Robertson Stadium. This is the first game that UAB was thoroughly outplayed in every quarter. The defense gave up 566 yards. While the offense picked up 374 which is under the season average of almost 400. Losing the turnover battle is a tough thing to overcome, and the Blazers lost this most recent battle as they are still in the negative in the turnover ratio for the season. As bad as UAB played, the first half was a toss-up. The Blazers’ inability to stop the balanced of attack of Houston in the third quarter proved to be the major difference in the game as the Cougars put up 20 on the 29th ranked passing defense in the country. Freshman quarterback Austin Brown spent too much time in the pocket again getting sacked 8 times in the process, “A lot of it was him holding on to the ball too long,” UAB head coach Garrick McGee said.

Once again penalties were a problem as they have been all season. UAB accumulated 11 penalties on Saturday costing the new look team 90 yards.

However, the bright spot of the game was the UAB red zone defense; they held the Cougars to 5 field goals inside the red zone. Also, when Jonathan Perry, starter earlier this season, saw game action, he marched the ball 45 yards and scored the first Blazer touchdown since the second drive of the game. Austin Brown continues to start even though he holds on to the ball too long in the pocket. A battle has to be brewing at this point as Perry played well in the past two games, and commits fewer turnovers than the current starter. Maybe McGee is committed to the future as Brown is a Freshman and Perry is a Junior, but whatever case, there isn’t a drop off much one way or the other; the real difference is Perry’s ability to make plays on the ground. With an ailing running game, Perry was the leading rusher through the first three games.

Marving Burdette had 17 tackles in a losing effort to climb the ladder in the record books. He lacks just 9 tackles to tie Nigel Eldridge for second all time. Jackie Williams extended his catching streak to 29 straight games with a catch. He ranks tied for third among all juniors, and tied for 11 in the country with that streak. The current UAB record streak is at 35 set by Roddy White and Derrick Ingram. Williams currently is third in UAB history and ranks fifth in school history in total receptions at just two behind fourth.

ECU will be a much more favorable matchup for the Blazers. The Pirates only score a little over 20 points a game. UAB will look to exploit the lack of running game by ECU and try to make them a one dimensional football team. If the Blazers can attack early, look for the lack of a running game by either team helping to create this a high scoring game.

Come out and Play your Part as UAB will take on ECU in Birmingham on Saturday at 6 p.m. on Legion Field.

Tripp Larsen
Sports Editor

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About Tripp Larsen

I am life long Blazer fan, who wishes the best for the program. I am 22 year old psychology major. If you have any comments or arguments feel free to comment, or send me an email at sports@insideuab.com. Writers are wanted so if you want to become a member of the staff send an email or come down to the student media office.
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