Here are The Daily Dragon’s staff predictions for the week one game against Alabama A&M.
College Football is back on the Southside. UAB returns to the field after two years without a program this Saturday to face Alabama A&M. Excitement is at an all-time high and fans are eager to see the Blazers back in action. The weekend kicks-off Friday night at Uptown with a free Sam Hunt concert. A lot of hype has been surrounding the defensive side of the ball for the Blazers, but I am looking forward to seeing what the offense is able to do. A.J. Erdely will lead the charge at quarterback. The running game may be a “by the committee” approach until someone runs away with the job. James Noble and Donnie Lee will get the first shot in the backfield. Lucious Stanley will be someone to watch too. The receiving core will be led by Collin Lisa. Speedster Jonathan Haden will be someone the Blazers will look to get in the flat and let his speed take over. Xavier Ubosi will be a contributor. As for A&M, they finished the 2016 campaign 4-7. The lost to Conference USA member Middle Tennessee 55-0. Coach Clark emphasized in his Monday press conference that the Bulldogs will be ready and that some teams are probably “tired” of hearing about the Blazers. The green and gold just need to remain focused and take care of business. Saturday will be a historic day for this program, university, and city. UAB wins big.
UAB 35 Alabama A&M 10
Also Read: Week 1: UAB Football vs. Alabama A&M Preview, Analysis and Prediction
Emotions will be extremely high on Saturday for everyone, and rightfully so. The key will be controlling those emotions and making sure the players and coaches are focused on their opponent. The Alabama A&M defense should be very strong this year with a lot of key players back. I think they could give an inexperienced UAB offense some problems early on in this game. But once things settle down I don’t see UAB having any issues with the Bulldogs. Alabama A&M will be breaking in a new quarterback, and while they have a good running back, UAB’s front seven is the strength of this team. I could see things being a little uncomfortable late into the second quarter, but I think UAB ultimately pulls away for a win the #theReturn.
It’s hard to imagine a more ideal program for UAB to host on the day the football program returns from it’s ill advised demise 1,005 days ago. The Bulldogs should bring a healthy contingent from Huntsville as well as Birmingham where their alums are plentiful. I’d expect an electric atmosphere and a record first home game crowd for UAB. Schematically speaking, UAB should have more talent at every position than Alabama A&M. However, the unknowns are countless and jitters will be expected. UAB should be able to expose the Bulldog secondary in the passing game, which will hopefully lead to a stat stuffed night for quarterback A.J. Erdely. Defensively the Blazers deep and talented defensive line should nullify the Bulldog’s run game, which they’re expected to lean on heavily.
Prediction: UAB 42 Alabama A&M 3