NCAA Game Summary - Middle Tennessee at UAB
(Saturday, November 2)
Final Score: Middle Tennessee 24, UAB 21
Birmingham, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Cody Clark connected on an 18-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds to lift the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders to a 24-21 victory over the UAB Blazers in a Conference USA thriller at Legion Field.
The Blue Raiders (5-4, 3-2 C-USA) tallied 17 points in the fourth quarter to earn its second last second victory in as many games. Logan Kilgore, who threw a game-winning touchdown pass as time expired in last Thursday's 51-49 win over Marshall, completed 11-of-22 attempts for 160 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Marcus Henry made five catches for 136 yards including a 93-yard touchdown reception. Reggie Whatley tallied 155 yards on just 15 carries to help the Blue Raiders overcome the absence of star tailback Jordan Parker.
UAB (2-6, 1-3) amassed 299 rushing yards and attempted passes on just nine of its 65 offensive plays. Jordan Howard racked up 154 yards on 23 carries while Darrin Reaves rushed 27 times for 119 yards and a score. Jonathan Perry hit on 6-of-9 pass attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown while Vashon Landers anchored the defense with eight tackles. The disappointing loss was the second in a row for the Blazers, who had two players gain over 100 rushing yards in the same game for the first time since 2009.
UAB's commitment to the run was evident from the start as it opened up the contest with 26 consecutive rushing plays. Neither offense found too much success in the early going. The only score of the first half came at the 3:25 mark of the opening frame when Reaves rushed 21 yards across the goal line to give UAB a 7-0 lead.
The Blue Raiders were held to only 167 total yards of offense over the first 30 minutes of the contest. They managed to drive to the UAB 27-yard line near the midpoint of the second quarter, but they came away empty after Jeremiah Bryson was stopped for no gain on fourth down.
UAB made it a two-possession game with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period as Ty Long made a 37-yard field goal try. Middle Tennessee finally ended its drought three minutes later when Kilgore completed a three- yard touchdown pass to Kyle Griswould.
The Blazers extended their lead in the opening minute of the fourth stanza as Long drilled a 50-yard field goal try to make it 13-7. The Blue Raiders responded with a big play as Kilgore and Henry hooked up for a 93-yard score. Clark converted the ensuing extra point attempt to give the visitors their first lead of the game at 14-13.
Middle Tennessee's defensive unit made its mark as Stephen Roberts picked off Perry and returned the interception 40 yards for a score.
The Blazers refused to go away as Perry redeemed himself with a 21-yard scoring strike to Jamarcus Nelson. After his throw brought UAB within two points, Perry rushed across the goal line to even the score at 21 with only 1:50 left in regulation.
The Blue Raiders used a pair of big offensive plays to set up Clark's game- winning kick. Whatley broke away for a 33-yard run before Kilgore found Henry for a 33-yard passing play.
Although UAB finished the game with 19 first downs and held the visitors scoreless in the first half, the Blue Raiders held a 429-356 edge in total yards of offense. The Blazers lost despite dominating the time of possession battle with control of the ball for nearly 39 minutes.
11/02 19:29:20 ET