FACTS & STATS: Site: Legion Field (71,594) — Birmingham, Alabama.
Television: Sinclair, ASN. Home Record: NT 2-1, UAB 2-1. Away Record: NT
0-2, UAB 1-1. Neutral Record: NT 0-0, UAB 0-0. Conference Record: NT 0-1,
UAB 1-1. Series Record: UAB leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Two up-and-down Conference USA foes will face off at Legion Field
on Saturday afternoon, as the UAB Blazers play host to the North Texas Mean
Since losing its one and only C-USA game at home to Louisiana Tech on Sept. 11
(42-21), North Texas easily dismissed Nicholls State on Sept. 20 (77-3) before
dropping a road contest at Indiana last Saturday (49-24). The Mean Green are
2-3 overall and have yet to win on the road in two tries.
Just like North Texas, UAB has neither won nor lost two straight games this
season, settling in at 3-2 overall and 1-1 in league play. The Blazers are
coming in on a high note after capturing a 42-39 triumph at Western Kentucky
In the only previous meeting between these programs back in October of 1995,
UAB came away with a 19-14 win.
On the season, North Texas has been very efficient in scoring a lot of points
(34.4 ppg) while generating only 320.0 ypg. It only scored 24 points a week
ago, with most of that production coming late in the game already down by four
The Mean Green only throw for 141.0 ypg and employ two quarterbacks under
center. Dajon Williams has been the more effective passer, completing 61.8
percent of his throws for 479 yards, eight touchdowns (two rushing) and two
picks, while Josh Greer (.480, 171 yards, two INTs) has struggled.
In the backfield, Reggie Pegram (228 yards, three TDs) and Antoinne Jimmerson
(224 yards, two TDs) earn the majority of the work, although Erick Evans (19
carries, 157 yards, three TDs) has arguably been the most efficient runner.
Carlos Harris (24 receptions, 262 yards, two TDs) is the unquestioned top
target for the quarterbacks, as he has more than twice as many catches and
yards as anyone else.
Defensively, North Texas has performed solid yet unspectacularly, allowing
27.6 ppg and 364.8 ypg while forcing 12 turnovers.
Derek Akunne leads the squad with 34 tackles. James Jones (24 tackles) has two
interceptions and a fumble recovery, while Chad Polk (4.5 sacks) and Tillman
Johnson (3.0 sacks) have generated a strong pass-rush.
UAB’s offense exploded in the second half last week, overcoming a 13-point
deficit and finishing with 591 yards. Moving the ball up and down the field
has come easily for the Blazers, as they average 37.0 ppg and 498.4 ypg.
Jordan Howard and D.J. Vinson make up a potent running back duo. Howard has
turned 103 carries into 564 yards and five touchdowns, and while Vinson’s rush
totals are modest (84 carries, 346 yards), he has a nose for the end zone with
Cody Clements has been stellar under center by completing just shy of 70
percent of his passes for 1,035 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions.
He’s also a threat outside the pocket with 105 rushing yards and three
The Blazers employ a big-play passing game, with JJ Nelson (339 yards, TD),
Josh Magee (218 yards, two TDs) and Gerald Everett (180 yards, TD) all
averaging at least 22 yards per catch. Kennar Backman (18 receptions, 193
yards, three TDs) is the most trusted possession guy.
UAB’s defense has underperformed. Despite holding opponents to just 32 percent
on third-down conversions, the unit still allows 28.8 ppg and 388.0 ypg and
has only created five takeaways.
Jake Ganus (25 tackles) and Diahee Watkins (21 tackles) are the defense’s top
playmakers and have combined for 10.5 TFL and 5.0 sacks.
These are two evenly-matched teams with solid offenses and suspect defenses,
but with UAB playing in front of its home crowd against a North Texas squad
that has struggled on the road, figure for the Blazers to take this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UAB 38, North Texas 34