Date: Saturday, October 8, 2022
Time: 3:30 ET, 2:30 CT
Location: Protective Stadium - Birmingham, Alabama
Radio: WJOX 94.5 FM (Birmingham)/ WGNS 1450 AM (Murfreesboro)
Betting Line: UAB -9, O/U 52.5
Series History: The current series is tied at 4-4. UAB won the last meeting by two, all the way back in 2018.
*Odds/lines subject to change. T&C’s apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details
The UAB Blazers play well at home. Since 2017, they’re 26-3 at home and have won their last four home dates. As far as this season goes however, it hasn’t quite been a dream start to Bryant Vincent’s time as the program’s head coach. The Blazers are 2-2 and coming off of a surprising loss last week to another C-USA team at Rice in Houston.
Running back DeWayne McBride has continued his impressive college career so far with a rushing average of 173.7 yards per game. McBride leads all of FBS in that category. The rest of UAB’s running back room, including Jermaine Brown Jr., are contributing as well. The team’s rushing average is 220 yards per game, which leads the league.
The Blazers’ defense are also playing predictably well, allowing a league best 17.5 points per game. They also have a stellar pass defense, allowing 161.8 yards through the air per game, and just two passing touchdowns total. Mac McWilliams, a sophomore corner, has defended six passes and intercepted one pass on the year as he continues to improve. Additionally, veteran linebacker Noah Wilder leads C-USA in tackles with 42 tackles and an average of 10.5 per game.
In addition to being UAB’s homecoming game, this will also mark the sixth year in a row that UAB will mark the occasion by wearing their alternate gray jerseys with lime green accents and the names of patients at Birmingham’s Children’s Harbor Hospital on their backs.
For Middle Tennessee, it’s a chance to pick up yet another road win. MTSU have won four out of their last five road games, including an upset at then-25th ranked Miami. Rick Stockstill’s squad have a record of 3-2 on the season.
Offensively, the passing game has been working in the Blue Raiders’ favor. Wide receiver and Phil Steele preseason All-American Jaylin Lane is coming off a career game against UTSA where he pulled in 10 catches for a career-high 179 yards.He also has back-to-back 100-yard games after grabbing four balls for 130 yards against Miami. Veteran quarterback Chase Cunningham is completing 68.2% of his passes for 1368 yards through the air. MTSU’s offense is averaging 33 points per game.
Here’s the thing about the MTSU offense, however. When they don’t get a good run/pass balance, bad things happen. The offensive line will need to pave the way for Frank Peasant, or another bell cow back, to get roughly 20 carries for about 100 yards. That should be enough for the UAB defense to respect that aspect of their attack and keep the passing game open.
Defensively the Blue Raiders have been particularly impressive. They rank fifth nationally in sacks per game (3.80, 19 total) and sixth nationally in tackles for loss per game (8.4, 42 total). Defensive back Decorian Patterson is currently tied with three other players for the national lead in interceptions with four, while also ranking eighth nationally in passes defended with eight.
UAB have the edge in experience and should be playing angry following last week’s surprising loss. If they control the ball, they should come out on top. 28-21 Blazers