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Blazers drop conference opener to FAU
The Blazers lost out to Florida Atlantic on Saturday 37-23 at UAB’s first Conference USA game.
“We have good kids and our kids really want to do well and they try to do the right thing. It did not look like they were very motivated and inspired throughout the game which is a big issue when you’re in such a big game at the beginning of your conference. After a game like that, you’re very emotional and down but in regards to our athletes and our ability to recruit we’re doing really well”, said head coach Garrick McGee.
In the first quarter of the game, running back Greg Franklin ran a 43 yard return that led to a later touchdown executed by running back Jordan Howard.
UAB’s third quarter brought a 29 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jamari Staples and a total of three field goals by kicker Ty Long.
Despite some personal victories on the field, the Blazers are doing their best to keep up the morale of the team.
“If we’re not inspired and motivated, we’re not going to do well on the field on game day. I think our kids got uptight. When you get like that and you’re controlling the ball like that, it’s a bad position for the offense to be in. I think we were in shock that the other team could control the ball that well. We work the block, it’s an important play. Once you give away the touchdown, you continue playing and you make the block to turn it around” said McGee.
“We didn’t defend the runs well. We didn’t execute our plays well. We’ve got to do our jobs and make our plays. We are not executing well at the moment. We were motivated; we did everything we were told to. We’ve got a lot of young players so maybe they were nervous. It wasn’t an issue with motivation, it was nerves. We worked too hard to get the ‘W’ not to fix our plays and come back out swinging”, said defensive end Diaheem Watkins.
Linebacker Jake Ganus had similar feeling about the outcome of the game. “Having the score tied in the fourth quarter and then losing it at the end hurts a lot. It goes back to mental errors. We’ve all got to be on the same page with our plays. Everyone’s really upset, we wanted to win, but we’re not going to dwell on it. We’ve got to get our act together and we’re not going to hang our heads over it. We’ve got a lot of work to do for the next game.”
“They had a good game plan. We didn’t score enough points and that’s really all there is to say about the whole thing. We’ve got a long season ahead of us and we’re going to find out what went wrong and how to fix it” said running back Darrin Reaves who had his worst outing of the season on the ground but made up for it with 85 yards through the air.
The Blazers play at Florida International University next Saturday at 6:30 p.m.