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Memphis dominates in Battle of the Bones
UAB went into Saturday’s contest against rival Memphis favored to win. Confidence was high for the Blazers as they just won two consecutive games for the first time all season. UAB has had their way historically with the Tigers boasting a 10-4 record heading into the matchup. Saturday didn’t play out the way the Green and Gold had hoped.
Memphis jumped out to 21 point first quarter lead, aided by two consecutive three and out to open up the game for the Green and Gold. The Blazers would go on to lose, 46-9 to a team that averages just 22.8 points a game. Head coach Garrick McGee said after the game according to uabsports.com, “It started with practice this week. You get what you deserve. We had a hard time putting together good practices this week. We weren’t concentrating and focusing on the details. You don’t get to play good when you don’t concentrate.”
The Blazers could get no offense started as they were held to a minuscule 26 yards rushing on the ground on 28 attempts. Darrin Reaves was coming in off of career weeks for the Blazers looking to continue keep his form has he had ran for over a 150 yards in the previous three contests notching at least two touchdowns in each, but he was kept to 38 yards on 14 attempts, and was kept out of the end zone for just the second time in 8 games.
Austin Brown continued his struggles as he was only able to throw for 187 yards on 46 attempts. He turned the ball over twice once on a sack fumble the other by way of interception. The turnover problems for the freshman have been a constant this season. He was also sacked 6 times, which also had been a reoccurring problem all season. “He has an injury that was bothering him today,” Garrick McGee said about the play of his quarterback, “But we can’t take sacks. He was heading in the right direction in his development with understanding the importance of positive yards, not having negative plays, and reading your progressions. But we took a step back in that area today.”
The defense gave up 333 yards, but let Memphis mount an effective balanced attack with running back Brandon Hayes marching for 127 yards and allowing quarterback Jacob Karam to go 15-17 for 160 yards with each player getting 3 tds a piece.
Marvin Burdette had ten tackles to help him add to his school record on senior day, and Jackie Williams caught another pass to continue his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 34.
The best the Blazers can hope for now is to be one win better than a year ago. The team will head to Orlando to take on UCF who is leading the Eastern division of C-USA with an 8-3 overall record. The Blazers will need to find their rushing attack again and hope Darrin Reaves can help jump start this Blazers offensive attack and gain some momentum heading into next season.