As we get ready for the game against Middle Tennessee this weekend, we’ll look at three players from each team who will have a major impact on this game.
Andre Wilson – WR
After a huge game against La Tech, we’ll see if the speedy junior can repeat that performance. We’ve kind of been waiting on someone to emerge at wide receiver all year, and Wilson seems like the guy we’ve been waiting for. He now leads the team with 21 catches for 356 yards and 3 touchdowns. In the past two games alone he’s caught 13 passes for 255 yards and 2 touchdowns. He and quarterback A.J. Erdely have certainly got in rhythm and hopefully that continues against MTSU this Saturday.
Broderick Thomas – S
Speaking of players who have been on fire lately, free safety Broderick Thomas has 17 tackles in the last two games. He now leads the Blazers with 40 tackles on the season. We will need that type of performance from him this weekend against MTSU’s high-flying passing game. As I mentioned in our Keys to Victory article, UAB will need to prevent any big plays. Thomas will have a big part in that as the starting free safety. MTSU’s receivers can’t break free after catching passes, the secondary will need to wrap them up on the spot. Look for Thomas to have another big game.
Nick Vogel – Kicker
Vogel was a perfect 4-4 before last week’s game, so we had no question to doubt him, But after a couple of misses – albeit both were from 44 yards out — it’s safe to say confidence in him has dwindled a bit. Hopefully he hasn’t lost confidence in himself. UAB has to take advantage of every scoring opportunity they have. We can’t leave points on the board like we did against La Tech. Hopefully Vogel bounces back with a big week.
Obviously if Brent Stockstill and Richie James play in this game they will be key factors. As far as I can tell, Stockstill is listed as doubtful and James is listed as questionable. If I had to guess, Stockstill doesn’t play this weekend and James does. I think MTSU is more than comfortable with Urzua at quarterback, and having James back out there will just make them even more comfortable. If James is out there, then you almost have to keep safety help on his side of the field.
Khalil Brooks – LB
This guys has been a monster for Middle Tennessee this year. He’s second on the team with 31.5 tackles, and is first in tackles for a loss with 10.5 and he’s first in sacks with 5.5. The guy obviously loves to play in the backfield. I’m hoping UAB can take advantage of his aggressive play with some option runs. The 5-foot-11, 200 pound sophomore will be all over the field on Saturday, and UAB is going to have to do a good job of knowing where he is and blocking him.
Walter Brady – DE
It seems like we go up against a very good defensive end in every game, and Brady is no exception. The 6-foot-3, 267 pound defensive end has two sacks on the season. In order to keep A.J. upright and make sure he has time to pass the football, UAB will need to do a good job of keeping him out of the backfield.
It’s hard to know exactly who will have an impact on this game for MTSU because of the injuries, but I think we know who has to have a big game for UAB, and hopefully those guys show out on Saturday.