After a shaky start, UAB fans were getting a bit restless as the Blazers began the 2021 season in Montgomery against Jacksonville State. The nerves didn’t last long however, and the points quickly added up as the Blazers earned the victory.
Both teams were scoreless through the first quarter after UAB lost a fumble, in addition to two dropped long balls by UAB’s receivers, and Jacksonville State only earned one first down.
In the closing minutes of the second quarter, the Blazers drove 97 yards for a touchdown on a drive highlighted by a 46-yard completion to RaJae’ Johnson-Sanders, which moved Tyler Johnston III up a spot in the UAB record books. Johnston is also now third in career passing touchdowns at UAB after tossing two on Wednesday.
Johnston finished 17 of 21, throwing for 320 yards with two scores, including this laser to Gerrit Prince in the third quarter.
UAB finished the game with 524 total yards compared to 147 from Jacksonville State. 153 of those yards came on the ground.
After firmly establishing the lead, the Blazers put their ground game to work, as the second half quickly passed. Jermaine Brown Jr. added a 10-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter for their one rushing score of the night.
Johnston exited the game early in the fourth quarter, as Clark gave Dylan Hopkins at shot at running the offense. Hopkins showed his own deep ball ability with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Trea Shropshire.
The remaining three points came from a Matt Quinn 27-yard field goal, who also missed a 52-yard attempt on the night.
We also learned during this game that Blazer head coach Bill Clark met his wife when Jacksonville State head coach John Grass introduced them on a blind date at O’Charley’s, where Clark forgot to take the tag off of a pair of acid wash jeans...which is a chef’s kiss worthy moment of suburban bliss.
The defending C-USA champs next head to Georgia for a September 11th, matchup against the #5 Bulldogs.