UAB returned to the hallowed halls of Legion Field Saturday afternoon for a successful Spring Game. In front of almost 8,000 fans the Green team, made up of mostly first teamers, defeated the Gold team 49-7.
The Green team ran for 326 yards on the ground and passed for 269 yards. In a mostly run first offense, Kalin Heath, James Noble, and linebacker turned running back Donnie Lee led the ground attack for the Green.
One of the most intriguing stories coming into the game was the battle at quarterback. A.J. Erdely and Tyler Johnston both took reps with the starters, and both had some bright spots.
Let me be the first to tell you, AJ Erdely knows how to spin a football. When the Green team decided to throw the ball, AJ knew where his receivers would be and hit them between the numbers.
For the freshmen Johnston, he looked pretty impressive as well. After an early miscommunication on a toss play that was put on the ground, the kid from Spanish Fort settled in and made some impressive throws.
No surprise who the favorite target for both quarterbacks was as Collin Lisa had five catches for a 115 yards and a touchdown.
Overall, the defense looked pretty solid. Throughout the game there were not that many missed tackles and it did not look like many guys were out of positions scheme wise. Players on the defensive side will be competing into fall camp to see who will be starting where.
The play calling in this Spring Game was pretty vanilla, and that’s understandable since the game was on ESPN3 and MY68. Coaches did not want to give away too much, and I don’t really blame them.
The story of the day though was the fans. As the team arrived at Legion Field the band, cheerleaders, alumni and fans met them as they stepped of the bus and entered the stadium.
Parking staff had to open more lots for tailgaters and for people to park as the number of people in attendance exceeded what they expected. And just remember this was an exhibition game.
Throughout the day it just felt so normal. Football, again, was back on the South(West)side.
As the day ended and the annual UAB alumni flag football game came to an end, you could feel a different vibe in the air — almost like a buzz. Everything about this Spring Game felt different in a good way. It truly was an incredible day.
It seemed as almost a new day, a new era, and it was. This is another chapter in the story of UAB athletics, and this team is determined for it a be a good one.
And in a 153 days they begin to write the next chapter of UAB football.