The Blazers are turned around. Turned around in just one half season of football under the direction of first year head coach Bill Clark.
UAB (4-2) makes the short trip north to Murfeesboro, Tenn., and eyes win No. 5 on the season. Their opponent is Middle Tennessee State, who enters Saturday's 2:30 pm contest with a 4-3 (3-1) record, and is coming off a 49-24 defeat to Conference USA east leading – and undefeated Marshall.
This matchup is huge Saturday, not only for Conference USA East positioning, but potential bowl positioning, as well. The Blue Raiders are led by Sophomore quarterback Austin Grammer and his 1,752 passing yards and nine TDs through the air. Grammer is efficient in the Blue Raiders' offensive identity, completing 70% of his passes.
If the Blazers can contain the pass game defensively, then Bill Clark's UAB squad will have a great chance of bringing win No. 5 back to Birmingham.
Although Middle Tennessee State is balanced statistically offensively, the Blue Raiders need their ground attack to allow for their passing game to prevail. Jordan Parker enters the game as the Blue Raiders' leading rusher with 443 yards on 97 attempts.
Against Memphis, Middle Tennessee State only ran for 88 yards, while only airing it out for 237 yards. In all three losses, Middle Tennessee State has been held under 200 yards rushing, and in all four victories, the Blue Raiders have eclipsed the 200 plus mark on the ground. UAB will need to take out the ground game in order to disrupt the Blue Raider fluid passing attack.
So, for Bill Clark's Blazers to bring back win No. 5 to Birmingham, UAB will need to eliminate the big run plays that the Blue Raiders rely on so heavily.