In a rematch from just one week ago it was the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders taking on the UAB Blazers.
First quarter: Middle Tennessee would start the game with the ball and were really hot out the gate. They put together a seven play drive that ended with only a field goal for a 3-0 lead.
The Blazers would answer with a nice field goal drive of their own. Tyler Johnston got the start at quarterback for UAB and Spencer Brown returned at running back. They would both get the offense rolling but also stalled out in the red zone and the game would be tied 3-3.
Middle Tennessee put together another field goal drive after fourbreally explosive plays lead to stalling out in the red zone. They lead 6-3. UAB would not score again in the first quarter.
The Blue Raiders would finally break through with zero seconds left and on 4th down. Another seven play drive only this one would lead to a touchdown. Middle Tennessee leads 13-3.
Second quarter: This one would be all Blazers. The ground game got going in a big way with the return of Spencer Brown. The first drive of this quarter was 17 plays, 75 yards and ate 8 minutes off the clock. It was capped off by a two yard touchdown run from Brown.
UAB would score again with a long touchdown pass from Johnston to Andre Wilson. The Blazers would take a 17-13 lead.
The Middle Tennessee offense would stall out on almost every drive and only scored three points in this quarter. A Brent Stockstill interception lead to yet another UAB touchdown. This time it was three yard keeper from quarter back Tyler Johnston.
At the end of the half the Blazers lead 24-13.
Third quarter: If the first half was all about offense then the second half was all about defense. UAB would start with the ball but quickly give it back to the Blue Raiders after a Tyler Johnston interception.
Middle Tennessee would get no points off of that turnover but their defense continued to step up. The Blue Raiders stuffed UAB on 4th down late in the 3rd quarter to set up a scoring drive.
That interceprion would lead to a huge “pass” to Zack Dobson who turned the corner and put on the wheels for a Middle Tennessee touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion the score would be 24-22 and that is how we end the quarter.
Fourth quarter: As UAB was beginning to drive the Blue Raiders defense would step up again with a huge stop on third down. Another big play to Dobson would follow but they would stall out in the red zone and settle for a field goal. Middle Tennessee takes the lead though, 25-24.
The two defense would trade stops back and forth until finally the Blazers broke through with a field to take a late lead, 27-25.
On fourth down and what would be Brent Stockstill’s final pass at Floyd Stadium would fall incomplete and UAB would take over on downs under two minutes left to play. But this wouldn’t be a championship game without some chaos.
UAB’s offense wouldn’t move very far and Middle Tennessee would have a chance to get the ball back. But on 4th and 2 the Blue Raiders would have twelve men on the field and the flag was thrown. The penalty would give UAB a first down and that would be the ball game.
Coach Stockstill would tell the media what he told his team after the game “That was tough. I didn’t say a whole lot. I told them I loved them and I’m proud of them. We had a hell of a year”
The UAB Blazers are your 2018 Conference USA Champions.
What a strange way to end a great game. Both teams had fun offenses and really solid defensive plays. This was the game we were all expecting last week but the story is the return of Spencer Brown and the play of Tyler Johnston.
Brent Stockstill played outstanding in this game for Middle Tennessee. He is now tied for 20th all time for passes attempted and had 362 yards and three touchdowns.
This win gives UAB its tenth win on the season for the first time in school history. That’s pretty incredible for a program that didn’t field a team two years ago. They also snapped a four game losing streak for the West division in this game.
Spencer Brown was named player of the game. He had 31 carries for 156 yards and a touchdown.
What a game and what a night for UAB and Blazer fans everywhere. The miracle season that coach Bill Clark and his team put together has been capped off by being called champions.
The is OURS! #WinAsOne pic.twitter.com/PuF6I29bqV— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) December 1, 2018