A historic sixth win for UAB has fans and supporters preparing for a bowl game for the first time since 2004.

What a day for UAB and what a day for Birmingham. It’s finally starting to feel like this team is becoming something bigger than just the die-hard fan base’s passion. I believe we are on the cusp of a UAB athletics renaissance.

Let’s take a look at some of the takeaways from UAB’s win over Rice.

A.J. Erdely has become one of the best quarterbacks in Conference USA

A.J.’s stats don’t jump out at you at first glance and he likely won’t be up for any quarterback specific post season awards. However those who have watched him grow this season know he is as valuable as any quarterback to their team in the country. He takes care of the ball having only thrown two interceptions this season and he always seems to make the right decision on crucial third downs. As his receiving options become more reliable and plentiful he’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

UAB is becoming more than just Spencer Brown on offense

We certainly lean on Spencer when we need him but we’re starting to see more options become reliable outlets for Erdely. Donnie Lee has found his niche as a go-to passing option out of the backfield and James Noble adds a speed element to the run game that it is a perfect complement to Brown’s power running. Andre Wilson has gotten better and better and Ubosi and Pittman have had some bright moments in the past few weeks.

UAB Football Earns Bowl Eligibility with Dominant Performance Against Rice

Our defense is legit

Once again UAB’s bend but don’t break defense has kept their opponent’s under 14 points in the first half for the third week in a row. Both Southern Miss and Rice featured dual threat quarterbacks that were tough to bring down for sacks but UAB has been able to pressure them enough to cause errant, hurried throws that have led to three interceptions. Yesterday Stacy Keely looked a lot like the dominant force we saw earlier in the season and Garret Marino has been blowing up pockets regularly. I think it’s time to say that our secondary is darn good especially when defending outside runs or short passes to the flats. The rest many of our starters got during the fourth quarter should pay dividends next week when they face the elusive dual threat Dalton Sturm of UTSA.