Here we give our takeaways from UAB’s exciting 23-22 win over La Tech at Legion Field on Homecoming.
Saturday was a wonderful day for the city of Birmingham as UAB came away with a huge conference win over the team who was picked to win the western division.
Here are some takeaways from Saturday’s game:
- Short passing game: I’ve been begging for it for weeks, and the coaching staff finally opened up the short passing game for A.J. Erdely. The quarterback ended up going 21-32 for 188 yards. That’s just a 5.9 average, but it’s enough to keep the defense honest. That’s what allowed our running game to open up in the first half as Spencer Brown went crazy . Eight of Erdely’s 21 completions were for more than 10 yards, and I’m pretty sure at least five of those were to Andre Wilson. Hopefully the coaching staff trusts Erdely to make these short passes from now on to give him some easy reads and to help open up the running game.
- This defense is still good: There were a lot of questions about this defense after faltering in the second half against Coastal Carolina and then getting blown away in the first half against North Texas. But they showed today that with a little rest they are still a great defense. The bye week certainly did them some good, and the fact that the offense was able to put together some long drives in the first half allowed them to stay fresh. You could see them tiring in the fourth as La Tech started to have some success, but when given proper rest this is still a great defense, and they were huge on Saturday.
- Up-and-Down Special Teams: To be honest, the special teams was mostly down again on Saturday. Andrew Wilson had a great punt return to setup their second touchdown, but outside of that it was another poor performance for the special teams. They had another blocked extra point, which I can’t understand. Nick Vogel missed two field goals; although both were from beyond 40 yards, but well within his range. And then Wilson had a blunder on a kickoff return at the end of the game that set UAB up with terrible field possession as they tried to put the game away. The offense and defense both played really well in this game, but the special teams definitely did not have a great performance. But, they did come up with the biggest play of the day with the blocked field goal to win the game. Fortunately La Tech’s special teams was even worse than ours on Saturday.
- We In This: The western division in Conference USA is up for grabs at this point. I think UAB has already played two of the three best teams in the division. I now have no doubt they can play with anyone in this division, especially at home. This win sends a statement to the rest of the division that the Blazers are for real and won’t go away.
Check back with The Daily Dragon for more coverage from UAB’s big win over La Tech and as we preview next week’s game against Middle Tennessee.