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Place kicker Nick Vogel (19), a redshirt sophomore, kicks a 45-yard field goal to give UAB a 10-7 lead over Alabama A&M.

- Will Harris: Assistant Sports Editor

The long-awaited return of UAB football came to an end Saturday. In front of a school record 45,212 fans, the Blazers took on the Alabama A&M Bulldogs at Legion Field. UAB received the opening kickoff and marched down the field on a 14-play drive that ended with quarterback A.J. Erdely scoring the first Blazer touchdown in more than 1,000 days.

UAB stopped Alabama A&M and got the ball back, but an Andre Wilson fumble stopped the UAB drive. Late in the first half, Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass passed to a wide-open Roderick Randolph, who took it 46 yards for a touchdown. UAB had just enough time to answer the Bulldog touchdown before halftime. Nick Vogel closed the half with a 45-yard field goal, giving UAB a 10-7 lead.

In the second half, UAB’s second drive ended with Erdely connecting with wide receiver Sederian Copeland in the back of the end zone to put UAB up 17-7. It would only take UAB 31 seconds to find the end zone again, this time from an unlikely source. UAB defensive tackle Anthony Rush intercepted a pass from Glass and returned it for a 27-yard touchdown, giving UAB a 24-7 lead.

UAB’s offense continued to score as Erdely connected with wide receiver Andre Wilson to start the fourth quarter, giving UAB a 31-7 lead. UAB finished off the Bulldogs with a five-yard touchdown run by freshman running back Spencer Brown to put UAB up 38-7. Alabama A&M ran time off the clock and UAB won by a final of 38-7.

Erdely completed 11 passes on 20 attempts and finished with two passing touchdowns as well as a one-yard rushing touchdown. The Blazers used five different running backs in the game. Redshirt freshman Carlos Stephens led the Blazers in rushing with 76 yards, while redshirt junior James Noble III added 74 yards rushing. Collin Lisa led UAB in receiving with three catches for 43 yards. Defensively, UAB redshirt senior Tevin Crews led the Blazers in tackles with seven. UAB held the Bulldogs to 183 offensive yards. UAB will head now to Muncie, Ind. to face Ball State on Sept. 9.

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