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Southern Miss tops Blazers, 62-27, in season ending game
The Blazers fall to University of Southern Mississippi in the final game of the season 62-27. The Blazers kicked off the first half of what started out as a hopeful game for UAB. Southern Miss made a touchdown pass early in the first quarter but the Blazers came back with a touchdown run from running back Darrin Reaves. Wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson secured another touchdown with a 48 yard catch from quarterback Jonathan Perry in the last 23 seconds of the first quarter, bringing the begging of the game to 14-7, UAB.
Southern Miss was able to score a couple field goals in the second half which were answered with a UAB touchdown from wide receiver Darius Powell with a 23 yard run.
“We went into halftime fired up but then the pressure built up on us. We ended up collapsing. I saw a look I’ve seen before in their eyes and I could see the pressure that we’ve got to overcome”, said head coach Garrick McGee.
The third quarter brought an end to UAB’s prospects for the season. Southern Miss made four touchdowns in the third quarter, three of them within the first eight minutes of the second half. The pressure got to the Blazers as they fumbled the ball, failed to stop the offense, and had a field goal attempt blocked. Southern Miss ended the third quarter with a score of 41-21.
The fourth quarter saw little improvement. Southern Miss made another touchdown with 12:00 still on the clock before Jamarcus Nelson was able to catch a 21 yard pass from Jonathan Perry for UAB’s final touchdown of the season. Southern Miss made two more touchdowns, the latter of which was scored with ten seconds left in the game, bringing the final score to 62-27.
Jamarcus Nelson ended the game with a game-high 117 yards receiving for UAB. UAB’s defense ends the season ranked last in Conference USA, allowing an average of 500.2 yards per game. Southern Miss gained 472 yards against the UAB defense.
With the end of the season come the inevitable evaluations for the UAB football program. “The evaluation has already started and tomorrow morning there are going to be a lot of difficult conversations for everybody, including myself. This program has a lot going on right now. I think this program has the potential to be a great football program but we’re going to have to get serious about the improvements on every level”, said head coach Garrick McGee.
“Football is a tough, hard sport and it has so many different pieces to the program that make the sport what it is and right now we need to improve from top to bottom. There are programs out there that have all the resources in the world and they still lose games. Nothing is going to work unless every player is working as a unit and is contributing and using their heads.”
UAB closes the season with a conference record of 1-7 and 2-10 overall.