Here we’ll give you some of our biggest takeaways from UAB’s 30-23 win over Coastal Carolina on Saturday.
- Offense Started Great and Then Got Conservative
It’s really hard to look at the offensive stats for UAB after this game. I really can’t believe we didn’t have over 300 total yards, and that A.J. Erdely barley passed for 100 yards. After watching their first drive of the day it looked like it would be a huge afternoon for the offense. The gameplan on the first drive was beautiful, and exactly how UAB needed to attack the Coastal Carolina defense. On that opening drive they threw the ball four times and ran it five times, showing a solid mix. The pass plays were short and conservative, but highly effective. On the very next drive they ran the ball five times and then punted … how does that make sense? It’s really hard to believe that Erdely ended up throwing the ball just 14 times, and only had three completions after that opening drive. Coastal Carolina was loading up the box to stop the run, so the short passing game was there all day, but UAB didn’t take advantage. This was definitely a step back for this offense after a good showing against Ball State.
- Defense Got Tired
As we mentioned in the recap, the UAB defense absolutely shut down Coastal’s offense in the first half. But it was a very different story in the second. After giving up just 71 total yards in the first half, they allowed 256 in the second half. To be fair, that triple option attack is made to wear down a defense. Plus, after a passing shower came through, the sun decided to come out and it was melting hot out there. Still, thye were clearly gassed in the second half. Our second unit is going to have to grow up quick in order for the starters to get a breather every now and then. The defense was still the star of the game with three turnovers, and in the end they only allowed 21 points.
- Less Penalties
One great takeaway from this game was the lack of penalties. This officiating crew might not have been the brightest bunch in the world, but they let the two teams play. They could have called a lot of holding calls against Coastal, and they probably let the UAB defensive backs get away with a pass interference or two. In the end, Coastal Carolina was tagged with nine penalties for 75 yards, while UAB had five for 70. Granted, it feels like a lot of those penalties came in the game’s final two minutes when the umpiring crew totally lost their marbles. But the bottom line is, UAB did a much better job of not shooting themselves in the foot with penalties this game, which was nice to see.
Undoubtedly, the difference in this game was the turnovers. Coastal Carolina threw three interceptions in this game, leading to 13 points for the Blazers. I’m not sure UAB wins this game without those interceptions. Obviously, passing isn’t the Chanticleers strong suit, but I really thought the secondary played a good game. One of those interceptions came off a tipped ball, which was a really nice play. I liked what I saw from our secondary today for the most part.
- Third Downs
You could call it an anomaly after one game, but this is two games in a row now where the UAB defense has had trouble getting off the field on third down. And it’s not like these are third-and-shorts that the opponent are converting on. A lot of the third downs Coastal Carolina converted on Saturday were of eight yards or more. I just don’t understand how a defense can be so good on first and second down, and then fall apart on third down. Coastal was able to convert on third-and-longs with running and passing plays, so I don’t know what the defense needs to do, but they need to do something different. These third down conversions are getting annoying.
I hate to sound like such a downer after a win, but this could have, and should have, been a much bigger win for UAB. Hopefully they can clean some of these things up before traveling to North Texas next Saturday.