The UAB Blazers defeated the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, 26-21, surprising perhaps no one at this point in the season.
The game went down exactly as predicted, despite UAB backup Dylan Hopkins taking most of the snaps for the Blazers. Hopkins finished 6 for 12 passing with 99 yards and no touchdowns.
But that turned out to be adequate for the visiting team, as UAB (9-3, 6-2) rolled over the predictably soft North Texas defense. The team finished with 203 rushing yards overall, with most coming from Spencer Brown (19 carries, 111 yards, one touchdown). Just behind was Lucious Stanley, who finished the game with 14 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, which is significant because both UNT rushers combined for only 70 yards all day.
After a complete meltdown last week against Rice, Mason Fine went out with as big a bang as he could muster, clearly comfortable throwing again as he completed 22 passes on 34 attempts, finishing with 268 yards passing. He threw two touchdowns, but two interceptions. Fine finished the season with his fewest passing yards since his freshman year.
Overall a fairly ugly game and for the Mean Green (4-8, 3-5), and as they head into an uncertain offseason, one can only hope these past two weeks have been as big of an eye-opener for head coach Seth Littrell and AD Wren Baker as for the rest of the country. They have some decisions to make, and will have to make them without Fine.
UAB, meanwhile, clinches its second-straight C-USA West title after Southern Miss’s loss to FAU. The Blazers owned the tiebreaker over La Tech.
The Blazers will meet the FAU Owls in the C-USA title game December 7. It will be the first meeting between the two since 2014.