The coaching staff obviously read our keys to victory for La Tech, so we’ll try to help them out again this weekend against Middle Tennessee.
In all seriousness, the coaching staff did a great job coming up with a game plan to beat La Tech. The good thing is, MTSU is very similar to La Tech so that same game plan should work against the Blue Raiders this weekend.
- Prevent the big play: Especially if Richie James is on the field at wide receiver, the UAB defense will need to prevent any big plays. If they can keep everything in front of them and force MTSU to have to work for everything they get, I think we’ll have a lot of success. The Blue Raiders want to move quickly and pick up big yards. We need to do a good job of not letting that happen. We have to let their offense beat themselves. They’re going to move the football, this offense is too good. But if we can keep them behind the sticks and prevent them from getting yards after the catch and yards after contact, we’ll be successful on defense Saturday.
- Work the outside on offense: Whether from reverses or bubble screens, we have to spread things out on offense. MTSU is very good at stopping the run, and as good as we’ve been running the football, we aren’t just going to lineup and find success up the middle unless we are able to spread them out. I think A.J. Erdely could have a big day running the football on option plays. If he pulls the football out a couple of times for big gains on the outside, that will open up that defense and allow Spencer Brown to do his work up the middle.
- Special teams: Even though it was the special teams that ultimately won the game for us against La Tech, it was the special teams who allowed La Tech to have a chance to win the game. We have to do better on special teams and not miss out on the opportunities given to us. We can’t miss multiple field goals and have extra points blocked and expect to win games like that. If we can play a much cleaner game on special teams I think that will go a long way in the Blazers securing another big conference win.
The things we mentioned last week — balanced attack, red zone defense and holding onto the football — all apply in this game as well. We’re at the point now where UAB is capable of beating anyone they play as long as they don’t beat themselves.