It was released today (January 14) who will be included in UAB football’s non-conference schedule in 2017 when the program starts back up.

#TheReturn will officially happen on Sept. 2, 2017 when the UAB Blazers will host Alabama A&M at Legion Field!

The team will then travel to take on Ball State on Sept. 9, 2017 before hosting Coastal Carolina at home on Sept. 16, 2017. It’s a home-and-home deal with Coastal Carolina so the Blazers will travel there on Sept. 15, 2018.

The Blazers will take on an SEC foe on Nov. 18, 2017 when the travel to the Swamp to take on the Florida Gators.

The rest of the UAB football schedule will be filled with eight Conference USA games, – four at home and four on the road – giving UAB a total of six home games in their first year back.

It’s also been announced that UAB will join the Western division of Conference USA along with Rice, North Texas, Southern Miss, UTSA, UTEP and Louisiana Tech.

Let’s take a very early look at UAB’s confirmed opponents for 2017:

Alabama A&M
The Bulldogs of Alabama A&M struggled to a 3-8 record in 2015, while playing in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) – more commonly known as Division 1-AA. The only Division 1 program A&M played in 2015 was the Cincinnati Bearcats who beat them down 52-10. By 2017 their leading quarterback, De’Angelo Ballard, should be gone, but Damion May also received playing time at quarterback in 2015 as a redshirt freshman and could take over the role by then.

Regardless, this should be a great game for UAB to warm back up to college football. The crowd will be pumped and should be rewarded with a victory.

Ball State

After starting the 2015 season 2-1, the Cardinals won just one game the rest of the way to finish with a 3-9 record. Ball State currently plays in the Mid-American Conference where they have yet to win a conference title in football. Their quarterback, Riley Neal, played as a freshman this year and threw for 2,276 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also rushing for 399 yards and two more scores. He could be a force to reckon with come 2017.

Coastal Carolina

UAB will host another FCS team in Coastal Carolina, but this one might be a bit more difficult. The Chanticleers finished the 2015 regular season 9-2 before losing in the first round of the FCS playoffs. In 2014 they went 12-2 and lost to the eventual champion North Dakota State in the second round.

Coastal Carolina’s top passer and rusher will both be gone by the time they take on the Blazers in 2017, so that’s good news, but it sounds like this could be a very difficult challenge early for UAB in their first year back.

Florida

The Gators went to the SEC Championship in 2015 in Jim McElwain’s first year as head coach where they lost to the eventual champs in Alabama, but it was still a great start for McElwain at Florida. The defense was the best part of this team as they struggled to get anything from the quarterback position. This is a team that is on the rise and will be a tall task for the Blazers in 2017.

 

That was fun!

It sure is exciting to see actual opponents on paper for the UAB football team. I can’t wait to see the full schedule and start breaking down these teams in detail as we get ready for the return of UAB football!