UAB 43 North Texas 46
They didn’t have to prove it to us and they didn’t have to prove it to themselves either. However, Saturday night’s thrilling loss at North Texas proved to Conference USA that the Blazers ain’t a cupcake but rather a team with nothing to lose and much more left to accomplish.
I am as guilty as many of you who nearly gave up on the Blazers early in the third quarter when we seemed to be a one dimensional running team with no threat or ability to hurt North Texas in the passing game. At this point is when I decided to never doubt AJ Erdely again. Behind a much more stabilized offense line in the second half, AJ completed pass after pass and kept drive after drive going and refused to let UAB slip away. Give offensive coordinator Les Koenig some credit as well. The play calling was superb and gutsy.
Defensively the Blazers went from allowing six of eight third down conversions in the first half to allowing zero of five in the second half. Bill Clark is an adjustment wizard. North Texas scored their last touchdown of the game with 6:56 left in the third quarter. That’s a far cry from four allowed in the first half. Third down had been our nemesis this season and I expect it to be a major focal point between now and our next game.
Where do we go from here?
We go in to our bye week with a lot to be proud of and a ton to learn from. UAB showed it can compete with arguably the best offense in the conference but our defense needs to shore many things up. Players need to get healthy (Will Dawkins) before we host another fantastic team in Louisiana Tech on homecoming October 7. The Bulldogs lost in similar fashion at South Carolina on Saturday when a late Gamecock field goal gave South Carolina the win and their only lead of the game. There won’t be any lack of motivation or us or the Bulldogs in a couple weeks I can assure you.
Chins up and Go Blazers!
Current Conference USA Offensive Stats