Saturday night in Birmingham, Alabama, continued to show why the UAB football program should have never been shut down. In a game that was close from start to finish, the UAB Blazers’ defense and rushing offense was able to get it done in the second half and defeat the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, 25-23.
In the end, the UAB defense turned out to be the key to the victory, allowing only one offensive touchdown for the Blue Raiders all game. By forcing field goals, their offense was able to stay on schedule all game and continue to run the ball on the Blue Raider defense all night with success.
Freshman phenom Spencer Brown rushed 167 yards and a touchdown on 31 attempts. He was a constant force all night for UAB and was able to put the offense in manageable downs-and-distance all night on late downs.
Also effective in the rushing game was quarterback A.J. Erdley, who rushed for 61 yards, with some key scampers and escaped the pocket to make something happen.
As for the Blue Raiders, apart from their first drive, a mixture of mistakes and strong defensive play by UAB made life difficult on offense. If not for the blocked punt returned for a touchdown, this game honestly could have been worse. Even the return of Richie James couldn’t jumpstart this offense like Blue Raider fans would hope.
John Urzua showed once again that he is no Brent Stockstill and that this MTSU offense needs Stockstill to truly function the way it is built operate. Urzua’s two interceptions were really tough, one being in the red zone and another on MTSU’s last real drive to potentially win the game.
UAB now moves to 4-2 (2-1 in C-USA) on the season and faces Charlotte next week. As for Middle Tennessee, they move to 3-4 (1-2 in C-USA) and have a short week to prepare for Marshall Friday night in Murfreesboro.