After a rusty first half, UAB pulls away late 38-7 by way of their dominant defense.
The final score may show seven points for the Alabama A&M Bulldogs, but for those watching this was a game totally controlled by a UAB defense worthy of a shut out. The Bulldogs accumulated just 183 total yards and 45 yards on the ground. To put that into perspective, UAB’s two feature running backs nearly doubled their run total each.
The day was won by UAB’s stout and deep defensive front, but let’s give some credit to the guys behind them. Despite being down one starting corner, the Blazer’s secondary controlled the air for most of the game.
If you took away their longest reception of 46 yards, which was quite obviously offensive pass interference, the stats would have been more reflective of their performance.
Tevin Crews is an animal, and honestly, I feel sorry for our future opponents. There were few times when he was on the field that he wasn’t impacting the play in a significant way. I can’t think of a better example and leader for Thomas Johnston, who played well himself on Saturday, than Crews and Shaq Jones.
In the trenches a steady diet of Thagard, Rush, and Marino kept the Bulldogs’ quarterback under pressure in the pocket or on his back. This may be the quickest and biggest defensive line we’ve had here in some time if not ever. Stacy Keely and Shaq Jones on opposite ends is a terrifying mix of strength, size, and speed that left the Bulldog backs with virtually no lateral room to work. I can’t say enough good things about this defensive line that should only get better with time.
Defensive MVP: Anthony Rush
AJ Erdely deserves a round of applause. In pass protect situations let’s just say UAB’s offensive line left a lot to be desired. Conversely, I felt they hit their mesh points well and on time when running the ball and really dictated their superior skill against a sluggish defensive line.
I was extremely impressed with the receivers down field blocking, which led to two runs over 25 yards. As we all saw, we certainly ran the ball by committee. Stephens should be a staple in the offense going forward with his low center of gravity and shiftiness. I believe the coaches may have saw something in Spencer Brown in his late game appearance. He has the size, strength, and north-south running style similar to Jordan Howard. Could he be the late down counter punch to Stephens going forward?
I’m not going to be too harsh on the receivers given that Erdely rarely found himself with enough time to get them open. I love Ubosi and Turner’s size, and I think with better line play we’ll see more deep ball opportunities for them.
Lisa and McCoin are exactly as advertised — great route runners and key safety valves for Erdely. With the injuries we’ve had at tight end the position is still pretty fluid and Clark hasn’t shown us much yet like he has in years past featuring the position often.
Offensive MVP: Sedarian Copeland
In review, what more can be said other than Saturday’s return game was like a dream. A lot of work is left to be done, and this week’s opponent Ball State with be significantly more skilled and formidable. We’ll have plenty of breakdown for that game and more in the coming days.