In what was a very evenly matched football game Friday night in Birmingham, it was the Louisiana special teams unit that carried the Ragin Cajuns to a 24-20 victory.
The road win ended the UAB Blazers 21 game home winning streak, which had been the third longest streak in the nation.
On the positive side, Spencer Brown became UAB’s all time leader in total touchdowns.
The first quarter was all defense, as both teams struggled to move the ball. Three punts and a turnover on downs was all that both sides could muster. The latter led to a Blazer field goal to put the home team up 3-0.
UAB seemed to be pulling away, responding to a Ragin Cajun field goal with a field goal and TD drive to put them up 13-3. That’s when the Cajun special teams got involved.
Chris Smith took the following kickoff 100 yards to steal back all the momentum from the Blazers.
Can’t catch Chris Smith. https://t.co/DMVDCSfwdg— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Football (@RaginCajunsFB) October 24, 2020
As you can see, UAB could have gone into the half up 10 but instead was only up by three at the break.
Louisiana kept that momentum and rode it the second half, keeping the UAB offense to one touchdown, a punt and two interceptions. One of those interceptions came as UAB was driving down the field in what could have been a game winning drive.
Perhaps the play of the night, though, was Louisiana punter Rhys Burns’ 74 yard punt with 1:30 to play. That punt put UAB at their own 6 and basically ended UAB’s impressive 21 game home win streak.
UAB led basically the entire game but just couldn’t get enough offense to put the Cajuns away. It doesn’t help that UAB had 10 penalties, their third game this year with 10 or more (they’re averaging 9.2 penalties a game), something I can’t understand why they haven’t cleaned up yet.
The defense looked great but Lucero definitely looked like a freshman. He made some throws but outside of Spencer Brown, the passing game doesn’t seem to have much of an identity. I hope they can figure that out next week against Louisiana Tech.