Football 9/16

UAB RB Carlos Stephens runs the ball into the end zone during the Blazers 30-23 over Coastal Carolina.
Photo by Ian Keel / Photo Editor.

Will Harris, Asst. Sports Editor

Coming off a road game loss to the Ball State Cardinals, the Blazers defeated the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 30-23 Saturday at Legion Field. UAB entered the game with a 1-1 record, while CCU entered 1-0 after not competing last weekend.

Coming off a road game loss to the Ball State Cardinals, the Blazers defeated the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers 30-23 Saturday at Legion Field. UAB entered the game with a 1-1 record, while CCU entered 1-0 after not competing last weekend.

On the first drive of the game, UAB marched down the field without any incompletions or negative yardage plays to score on an A.J. Erdely 7-yard touchdown. A Nick Vogel extra point put the Blazers up 7-0. On the following drive, CCU drove down and went for it on fourth and eight at the UAB 30-yard line. The pass was broken up by UAB senior Darious Williams.

Late in the first quarter, UAB sophomore Fitzgerald Mofor intercepted a deflected pass at the CCU 21-yard line. UAB took advantage of the turnover and scored on an 11-yard run by freshman Spencer Brown. The ensuing extra point was blocked and taken back for a 2-point conversion for Coastal. UAB lead 13-2 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, CCU faced a third and long at the UAB 46-yard line. CCU quarterback Tyler Keane threw it long but was intercepted by UAB junior Mar’Sean Diggs at the UAB 14-yard line. After a short drive by UAB, CCU got the ball back but settled for a 46-yard field goal to make it 13-5. On the next kickoff, UAB fumbled at their own 21-yard line to give the Chanticleers good field position. UAB’s defense held strong and forced a 29-yard field goal which missed wide right. UAB drove down the field and kicked a field goal on fourth and two at the CCU 3-yard line. UAB lead 16-5 at halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Keane was intercepted by UAB senior Tevin Crews to give the Blazers the ball at the 29-yard line. Two plays later UAB scored on a 26-yard touchdown by freshman Carlos Stephens. Nick Vogel added the extra-point to make it 23-5.

The Chanticleers answered the Blazers with a 12-play 82-yard touchdown drive. CCU was successful on the two-point conversion to cut the UAB lead to 23-13. On CCU’s next drive they were stopped yet again by another missed field goal.

In the fourth quarter, the Chanticleer offense wore down the UAB defense converting on three third downs that were all 8 yards or more. The UAB defense halted the drive and allowed a 33-yard field goal to make it 23-16.

Late in the fourth quarter, UAB got the ball back with the lead. With the help of three penalties on CCU, UAB was able to march down and score on a 3-yard run by Brown with 2:54 remaining. Vogel added the extra-point to make it a 30-16 game. CCU quickly answered on a 2-yard run by senior Osharmar Abercrombie with 1:19 remaining. Coastal attempted an onside kick and a wild scramble for the ball ensued. UAB appeared to recover at first, but CCU players emerged with the ball. After a review of the play, UAB recovered the ball. CCU got the ball back with 29 seconds, but could not move the ball. UAB won by a final score of 30-23, and moved to 2-1 on the season.

“I told the guys if they would just hang in there and believe, really good things are going to happen for this team,” UAB head coach Bill Clark said. “This is the game we needed. We needed to fight our tails off and win.”

UAB will now go on the road to face the North Texas Mean Green in Conference-USA play. The Blazers have one of the best offenses in the conference, averaging 398 yards of total offense in their first three games. Quarterback A.J. Erdely thinks they can do more.

“We haven’t even shown our real selves,” Erdely said when he talked about the potential for the Blazers. “I don’t think you’ve seen the best UAB football team.”

Will Harris can be reached at willhrrs@uab.edu or on Twitter @willeinstein74.

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