UAB football will have their hands full on the road against North Texas this weekend, but we’ll give you our keys to victory.
Control the Clock
You would think a team who has ran the ball almost 100 more times than it has passed it, would dominate the clock. But UAB has only won the time-of-possession battle once this year, and that was by less than a minute against Alabama A&M. There is a reason our defense is getting tired in the second half, and it’s because our offense isn’t doing a good job of controlling the clock. Of course, the defense hasn’t helped itself by failing to get off the field on third down. Our opponents have had the ball over 32 minutes this year to our 27. Iowa had the ball for over 40 minutes against North Texas last week and was able to wear them down. Our offense has got to do a better job of controlling the clock this Saturday to tire out their defense, and to keep our defense fresh.
Move the Pocket
I’m tired of harping on it, but it is what it is at this point — our offensive line can’t pass protect. And even if they could, A.J. Erdely doesn’t trust them enough to stay in the pocket. He’s looking at his first read, and if it’s not there he’s scrambling out of the pocket. The coaching staff needs to draw up some plays that allow A.J. to scramble out, move the pocket and pass on the run. That will throw off the timing of North Texas’ blitz, and it will wear them down by having them chase the quarterback all over the field. I really want to see UAB implement some of these types of pass plays into their offense on Saturday.
Prevent the Big Play
Five of North Texas’ 14 offensive touchdowns have been 20-plus yard plays. Compare that to UAB who has three such touchdowns of their 12. North Texas loves the big play, and their quarterback — Mason Fine — isn’t afraid to launch the deep ball. He’s going to take several shots down field, and our secondary has to be able to not only defend those passes, but make sure when they are completed that their receivers don’t get any yards after the catch. We need to make them work for every point they get, and not allow them to have any big plays for touchdowns.
I really think that if UAB can do those three things they’ll come back home with their first conference win.