Battle of the Bones could be over, permanently

By on November 20, 2012

The UAB football team left Legion Field Saturday afternoon with a 46-9 loss to their archrival Memphis. The loss to the Tigers was deflating, but at the same time, the most deflating scene for the UAB football program was to see the Memphis players celebrating with the Battle for the Bones trophy and exiting Legion Field taking the trophy back to the Volunteer State.

Kyle Thompson/Staff Photographer

Saturday’s meeting between UAB and Memphis marked the fifteenth contest in the rivalry that has dated back to 1997. The Blazers still hold 10 wins to Memphis’s five wins overall in the series, which has been played every year since 1999.

UAB held the longest winning streak in the series with seven consecutive wins from 2000-2006, while Memphis held their longest winning streak of two games during the 2007 and 2008 contests.
Many fans, players, and alumni of both schools are sad to see this great rivalry end for the time being as Memphis will move into the Big East conference starting next fall.

The Bones trophy will sit on Memphis’ campus until the two schools play again; something that could take ten or more years with advanced scheduling being a process. “I’m thrilled for the school to be in the Big East, I can’t lie about that,” Memphis radio announcer Dave Woloshin said of the rivalry ending. “This is something that Memphis fans have been hoping for a long, long time. This is a much greater opportunity to excel at the game of football, to make money at the game of football, to draw more fans. However, I will miss Birmingham. I love coming, I love playing golf in your beautiful city, I love going to Gianmarco’s, Ocean, the Highlands and all those great restaurants. I will miss coming to Birmingham a whole bunch,” Woloshin added.

Senior tight end, Sam Accursio, spoke after the game about losing the trophy to Memphis, “I don’t know how to say this any other way, but it sucks that we won’t get to keep the trophy in our office. I don’t know how long it’s going to be, 10 years, 15 years, forever. They’re going to have it and we let them have it.” Accursio’s comments reflected the team’s despair from losing the trophy from not having a great week of practice in preparation for the last Battle for the Bones.

Coach Garrick McGee’s postgame comments were the most underlining for one of the biggest weeks of every football season for UAB fans and alumni. “It’s my first time in it. I don’t know much about the history except for what I’ve read. You know, I just know my team did not play very well today in the first time I’ve been a part of the rivalry,” McGee said.

The 100-pound bronze rack of ribs trophy is now in possession of the Memphis football program. For how long; we have to patiently wait and see.All-time UAB/Memphis series results:

2012: Memphis 46, UAB 9
2011: UAB 41, Memphis 35
2010: UAB 31, Memphis 15
2009: UAB 31, Memphis 21
2008: Memphis 33, UAB 30
2007: Memphis 25, UAB 9
2006: UAB 35, Memphis 29
2005: UAB 37, Memphis 20
2004: UAB 35, Memphis 28
2003: UAB 24, Memphis 10
2002: UAB 31, Memphis 17
2001: UAB 17, Memphis 14
2000: UAB 13, Memphis 9
1999: Memphis 38, UAB 14
1997: Memphis 28, UAB 7

Dan Harralson
Staff Writer
danh82@uab.edu

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