Here are The Daily Dragon’s staff predictions for the week three game against Coastal Carolina.
UAB returns home to Legion Field this Saturday as the Blazers host the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina. Coming off its first loss of the season, UAB is looking to rebound this week. I don’t like calling games this early must-win games, but this game in Week three feels a whole lot like a must-win game. The Blazers made impressive strides on the offensive side of the ball from the first game to game two, but too many mental mistakes and not being able to get off the field on third down plagued UAB against Ball State. The Chanticleers will be looking to run, run, run and run some more, so being able to put them in obvious passing situations will be a key. The most important thing to watch for me will be the crowd. Now that the hype from #theReturn is over and the first game has come and gone, will the UAB faithful show up? I’m not expecting the 45k that showed up for game one, but having at least 25k is a must. It should be a pretty decent game with a high noon kick, and it will be interesting to see if the Blazers come up with a lot of energy following a loss. UAB needs to win this game, but it won’t come easy.
UAB 31 Coastal Carolina 23
Much like last week, UAB will go into Saturday’s game with the focus on stopping the run game of their opponent. Other than one long run play that was a result of a missed tackle in the backfield, the Blazers did a fantastic job controlling the line of scrimmage against Ball State. This week they’ll be tasked with stopping a very good option heavy offense, which will feature multiple quarterbacks as well as their slot receivers to give different looks running the ball. Ball State was able to pass the ball on third down effectively despite good coverage, but Coastal Carolina does not have the passing quarterback Ball State did. Most of their pass plays will come out of play action. I believe UAB will put on another great run stop performance and impose their will on Coastal’s smaller skill players and line. This is a great opportunity for the Blazers to flex their muscles against the team that on paper they have an advantage at every position.
UAB 42 Coastal Carolina 21
I think a lot of people will look at that score in the Ball State game and think UAB still isn’t all the way back. But that certainly isn’t the case, and the Blazers will prove that this weekend. I mean no disrespect to Coastal Carolina who is playing their first season in Division 1, but I just think UAB matches up very well with them. The one constant through both games this season has been the UAB run defense, and all Coastal Carolina is going to try and do is run the football. Granted, the option attack is a very different look and different than what UAB has faced, but I still think we have the speed and talent to slow them down. If the offense plays like it did against Ball State, but limits some of the mistakes, I don’t think we’ll have any issues putting up points. The fact that UAB is an underdog on it’s home field to a team they should beat, better put a chip on their shoulders. This is a great chance for UAB to put college football on notice and let everyone know they are here to compete in #theReturn.
UAB 34 Coastal Carolina 17