Here are The Daily Dragon’s staff predictions for the week 11 game on the road against UTSA.
After becoming bowl eligible, the Blazers hit the road to San Antonio, Texas to face the RoadRunners of UTSA. UAB dominated Rice last weekend 52-21 and are currently sitting at 6-3 (4-2). Last Saturday was probably the most complete game the green and gold have played all season, and asserted themselves early and often to put the game out of reach. Before the season began I pegged this game as a loss for the Blazers, but as the season has gone on UTSA hasn’t been all that impressive. Sure, they beat Baylor to begin the season, but have you seen the Bears this year? They are awful. The RoadRunners only conference wins have been against Rice, Rice baby and UTEP. The injury bug has affected UTSA, especially on the offensive line. This will certainly be a test for the Blazers as UTSA has an impressive front seven and defend the run very well. The RoadRunners will look to put UAB in obvious passing situations and see if quarterback A.J. Ederly can make some plays with his arm. Spencer Brown gets a lot of press and attention, but Ederly has really come into his own this season and is really playing good football. Last week, if it were not for a dropped pass he would of completed all of his passes. He has also been impressive with his legs and decision making. Like I said, I predicted before the season started that UAB would lose this game, now I really believe it is a winnable game. UTSA still has the home crowd and is still a really good football team, but so is UAB. The key will be if UAB is able to make plays on offense if UTSA stops our running game. This should be a competitive contest, but I think UAB finds a way to win on the road behind the arm of quarterback AJ Ederly.
Prediction: UAB 31 UTSA 27
After putting together their best performance of the year against Rice to become bowl eligible, the Blazers now hit the road to face UTSA. Since that debacle against Charlotte, it seems like UAB is much more focused now. Hopefully even after gaining bowl eligibility they’ll continue to stay focused this weekend. Technically they’re still alive for the West division, so there is plenty to play for. UTSA is number one in Conference USA in just about every defensive category, and will sell out to stop the run. A.J. Erdely will need to be as efficient as he was against Rice to win this game. Regardless, I just hope UAB comes out and plays free and loose. I don’t want to see a conservative game plan just to stay in the game, open up the playbook and see what happens. They’re really isn’t much to lose at this point, so unleash the dragon. In the end, I think the UTSA defense and the home crowd will be too much.
Prediction: UTSA 27 UAB 17
If you’d told me two months ago that UAB would be bowl eligible and UTSA was still working their way towards it when our game is played, I would have questioned your sanity. But alas, here we are looking for our second road win of the season against a team who has been battling injuries for weeks. Offensively, I’d expect more of what we’ve had success with of late — power running with Brown and high percentage short passes from Erdely. We mentioned in our game preview that maybe this game is a good time to take some chances and air it out some since we’ve reached bowl eligibility and the West division is all but won by North Texas. I certainly wouldn’t object to adding in some deep passes or maybe a trick play or two. Defensively, we must make containing Dalton Sturm our main focus. He is the most athletic quarterback UAB has seen all season and he can take over a game similar to how Johnny Manziel used to. He is dynamic and fearless and will have the support of the passionate fans in the dome. Limiting UTSA’s success early should set the tone, and I like our chances if we are in it late. Stopping the run and forcing UTSA to beat us in the passing game is key.
Prediction: UAB 30 UTSA 20