The Alabama-Birmingham Blazers put on an offensive showcase Thursday night in Mobile in their 42-10 defeat of the South Alabama Jaguars.
When all was said and done, the Blazers had put up 509 yards of total offense, 105 of which went to RB Spencer Brown who added three touchdowns to the team’s cause to become the program leader in career rushing touchdowns.
While Spencer Brown’s accomplishment was the highlight of the night, Brycen Lucero had a great game in his first career start and helped the UAB cause by stretching the field and keeping USA on their toes. It was a very entertaining game to watch as there was quite a bit of chirping throughout the game.
Here is a breakdown of the action from Thursday night.
Brycen Lucero’s first start began in memorable fashion with a 55 yard pass to Austin Watkins on the game’s first play. Three plays later, Spencer Brown ran it in from 15 yards out to put UAB up 7-0.
Chance Lovertich didn’t have as much luck on his first drive. After a couple good runs led to a first down, the Jaguars sputtered and had to punt it away.
Really, though, it was all about Spencer Brown in the first quarter. UAB rode the back all the way to the end zone twice in the 1st. Those two touchdowns (Brown’s 34th and 35th of his career) tied Pat Green for most rushing TDs in Blazers’ program history.
Lucero had a lot of great throws and looked very poised in the pocket.
Blazers’ D blanketed South Alabama’s offense, only allowing two first downs and not allowing a completed pass. This tweet pretty much sums it up.
STAT TIME— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) September 25, 2020
UAB out-gained South Alabama 163-28 in the first quarter, picking up six first downs to the Jaguars' two. pic.twitter.com/3OmAUOWYzO
The 2nd quarter started out the exact opposite of the first as Lovertich completed two of his first three passes, one of which went for a TD. USA’s offensive frustration showed as they were chirping quite a bit after the score.
A targeting call on the touchdown pass gave the Jaguars a kickoff from the 50 and they used that good field position to pull off a surprise onside kick, which they recovered.
It was at this moment that we had a game! (Or so I thought when I first wrote this) USA would get a field goal out of the possession to make it 14-10 UAB.
Brycen Lucero wouldn’t be phased by the sudden swing in momentum, however, quickly connecting with Austin Watkins for a gain of 39 yards to get UAB back on track.
A few plays later, Spencer Brown would take the rock 20 yards to the house for his third touchdown of the first half. It was also his 36th career rushing touchdown, which breaks the UAB school record!
Spencer Brown's third TD of the night breaks a @UAB_FB program record!— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) September 25, 2020
Brown now holds the top spot for most rushing TDs in program history with 3️⃣6️⃣ career touchdowns
WATCH > https://t.co/SsY6y08AJ7 pic.twitter.com/IOgrX9locI
UAB really did whatever they wanted offensively, showing that they were the better team all first half. Lucero was 7/11 for 193 yards and one touchdown, Spencer Brown had 14 carries for 95 yards and three touchdowns and Austin Watkins had three catches for 117 yards. UAB’s three headed dragon could not be stopped, helping UAB build a 28-10 halftime lead.
It was more than enough to close out the game.
Noah Wilder is quickly becoming my favorite player on the defense. The former walk on is all over the field constantly making tackles and being around the football. He stood out to me all game but I have to mention him here because the 3rd quarter was really a “grind them down, wear them out” quarter for the Blazers. The D kept making stops and the offense ran the ball to keep the clock moving.
It was more of that in the 4th quarter as both teams knew that UAB had this game in the bag. Although it did feature this awesome grab by Austin Watkins, who gained some NFL buzz following the win.
What a ridiculous grab pic.twitter.com/yYQFEwkLdc— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 25, 2020
.@UAB_FB WR Austin Watkins Jr. making a name for himself in front of national ESPN audience and checking all the boxes for the @seniorbowl tonight. We see you @Golden_Ticket6!— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 25, 2020
*NFL body ✅
*Deep ball production ✅
*Red-zone skills ✅ pic.twitter.com/EpNpsmc1X5
- The Blazers really looked good against USA. The offense and defense really couldn’t do anything wrong. Both sides of the ball did exactly what they needed to do.
- The team once again had 11 penalties for 122 yards. This is the second straight game of over 10 penalties for the Blazers. Best clean that up come conference play time.
- Brycen Lucero had a great first start, finishing 18-28 with two touchdowns and 319 yards. Austin Watkins was his favorite target finishing with 7 catches for 183 yards and a TD. They are my stars of the game, along with Noah Wilder (six tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss).