We’ll take a look at how UAB lost to Charlotte on Saturday, and some other takeaways from the game.
First of all, I want to give a lot of credit to Charlotte. They played a really good game on Saturday and earned the win.
There were two plays in this game that stood out to me in aiding UAB’s loss, and they both were on special teams.
The first one was obviously the fumbled punt. I never saw a good replay, but live I thought it was kick-catch interference. Either way, UAB fumbled the football and set Charlotte up for their first touchdown.
At that point it was 17-0 and it looked like UAB was in cruise control. Honestly, that one play was probably the difference in the game, but then UAB doubled-down and made another mistake on special teams.
On the ensuing kickoff Jonathan Haden set the Blazers up with terrible field position returning the ball to the 13 yard line. The UAB drive was stalled at the 43, but with a better return the Blazers could have answered the 49ers touchdown and grabbed momentum again.
From that point on it was all Charlotte and UAB could never get the momentum back.
UAB had a chance to put this team away in the first half, but couldn’t. And they allowed them to hang around in the second half until they finally came back.
It was not a pretty performance at all from UAB, but you have to give credit to the 49ers for not giving up and doing what it takes to get the win.
Here are a few other takeaways from the game:
- Special teams: I know I already mentioned it, but it’s worth mentioning again, the special teams unit for UAB has not been good all year. You can certainly say it cost us this game in Charlotte — although there were certainly other factors that didn’t help as well. We have to get better on special teams going forward if we’re going to win games like this on the road.
- Not finishing drives: I actually thought the offense moved the ball well at times on Saturday, but their drives kept stalling out. They were just 4-13 on third downs, which was actually better than Charlotte’s 3-18. But a lot of UAB’s were third-and-short situations. On their first two possession of the game they had a 3-and-6 on the Charlotte 36 and a 3-and-1 on the 50 and had to punt both times. I know it was early in the game, but those two possessions ended up killing the Blazers.
- You had one job: The defense for UAB was really good on Saturday, expect at doing the one thing everyone knew we had to do, and that’s stop the Charlotte quarterback from running all over the field. He carried the ball 25 times for 140 yards, and, he made it look pretty easy. The most frustrating play of the night was when Charlotte had 4-and-6 in overtime and he ran all the way across the field to get the first down. It was like everyone on our defense was in slow motion as he ran for those six yards.
- More Spencer: I admit I was the one who said I wanted to see A.J. throw the ball 25-plus times in this game — and he did — but I also thought Spencer Brown would get more than 16 carries. Especially in the second half when the offense was sputtering, you have to go back to what you know works, and that’s Spencer Brown running the football.
Look, I’m disappointed, and it hurts to even write this article. But at the end of the day UAB is still 4-3 on the season, which I think a lot of people would have been happy with at this point. Obviously we want to see our team do even better than that, and I gurantee you Coach Clark does, but we have to put this one in the past and keep trying to get better every week.