UAB (1-6) at Tulane (1-6)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (73,208) -- New Orleans,
Louisiana. Television: None. Home Record: UAB 1-3, Tulane 1-3. Away Record:
UAB 0-3, Tulane 0-3. Neutral Record: UAB 0-0, Tulane 0-0. Conference Record:
UAB 0-3, Tulane 1-2. Series Record: Series is tied, 4-4.
GAME NOTES: Two teams at the bottom of Conference USA will be pitted against
one another when the UAB Blazers travel to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to face
the Tulane Green Wave.
UAB was able to keep up with East Carolina for most of its last contest, but
ended up on the wrong side of a 42-35 decision. The loss was the second in a
row for the Blazers and dropped them to 1-6 on the season. UAB's only win came
against Southeastern Louisiana , an FCS program. The last time UAB defeated an
FBS school was last season when the Blazers upset eventual C-USA champion
After ending a nation's worst 15-game losing streak with a 27-26 win over SMU,
Tulane fell right back into the loss column with a 24-20 defeat to UTEP last
weekend. That loss also put Tulane at 1-6 on the season although the Green
Wave's win over SMU did give it a conference win, the first for Tulane since
That conference victory came against UAB coincidentally and with the victory
the Green Wave evened the all-time series at four games a piece. UAB had won
the previous two games in the series.
In the 12-team C-USA, UAB is squarely in the middle in terms of offensive
production as the Blazers are putting up 393.4 yards of total offense and
scoring 28.0 points per game. The offense has come despite the team constantly
allowing opposing defense into the backfield. The Blazers have allowed 25
sacks and 54 tackles for loss, which are both the most in the conference.
Austin Brown has officially secured the starting quarterback job from Jonathan
Perry. After Perry started the first two games, Brown has been the starter in
the last five. In that time he has thrown for 1,420 yards and eight touchdowns
while completing 59.2 percent of his passes. Against East Carolina he threw
three touchdown passes which was the second time this season he has had that
many in one game.
Brown's favorite target has been Adam Nicks, who has accumulated a team-high
25 receptions since Brown took over. Adams is coming off his first 100-yard
game of the season against ECU, when he brought in four passes for 114 yards.
Jackie Williams (29 receptions, 474 yards) has been the overall leader this
season among receivers. Jamarcus Nelson (384 yards, 4 TDs) has fewer yards but
has been an explosive threat in the passing game as well.
Darrin Reaves has been the squad's best option in terms of running the ball,
although he as only averaged 50.7 yards per game. Still, his 355 yards and six
touchdowns are more than twice any other ball carrier.
The UAB defense has been lit up for 437.9 yards per game this season which
ranks sixth in the defensively weak C-USA. UAB has also had trouble with
keeping teams from putting up points, allowing 35.7 points per game with teams
converting on 88.6 percent of their red zone attempts, the worst mark in the
UAB does have the benefit of having one of the best tacklers in the conference
in Marvin Burdette, who has racked up 80 already this season. That is just two
behind the conference leader DeAundre Brown of Tulsa. Burdette also has a
team-high 7.5 tackles for loss and is tied for the team-lead with two sacks.
In the secondary, Lamarcus Farmer has been effective with seven pass breakups.
There are a number of reasons Tulane has struggled to get wins in recent
seasons, and its inconsistency on offense is one of them. The Green Wave
are ranked last in most offensive categories in the conference, including
total yards (251.0 pg), scoring (13.1 ppg) and rushing, where it has
accumulated only 190 yards total this season to rank dead-last nationally.
With such little help from the run game, added to the fact that the Green Wave
are often playing from behind, there has been a lot of pressure on the
quarterback. Ryan Griffin has largely been the starter although D.J. Ponder
and Devin Powell have also been given shots. Griffin has thrown for 979 yards
while completing 62.8 percent of his passes. More importantly he has six
touchdowns and just one interception.
Ryan Grant is the best offensive weapon with the receiver totaling a team-high
474 all-purpose yards this season. Grant has had three 100-yard games this
season including a season-high 116-yard outing against ECU.
Rob Kelley (181 yards) and Orleans Darkwa (102 yards) are the only backs who
have shown an ability to run the ball with some effectiveness. Darkwa's 61-
yard game against ECU was a season-high by any Tulane running back.
Tulane is also at the bottom of the C-USA barrel in defense, allowing teams to
put up 474.7 yards per game. The Green Wave has been marginally better in
limiting teams on the scoreboard, ranking 10th in scoring defense (37.4 ppg).
Darion Monroe is the team's leading tackler with 52, although he has just one
tackle for loss on a team that ranks last in the conference in the category.
That ranking is despite the efforts of Austen Jacks, who has 7.5 tackles for
loss and 3.5 sacks this season.
Neither of these teams figure to be in the C-USA discussion in the near
future. Tulane already put an end to its losing streak and in this matchup UAB
may have just enough to push the Green Wave's current skein to two games.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UAB 22, Tulane 19
10/24 10:36:43 ET