FACTS & STATS: Site: Razorback Stadium (72,000) — Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Television: SEC Network. Home Record: UAB 3-1, Arkansas 2-1. Away Record: UAB
1-2, Arkansas 1-1. Neutral Record: UAB 0-0, Arkansas 0-2. Conference Record:
UAB 2-2, Arkansas 0-4. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The UAB Blazers are set for their final non-conference game of the
season, as they take on Arkansas this Saturday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds
UAB sits at 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Conference USA play after last weekend’s
34-22 setback at Middle Tennessee. The Blazers held a 22-21 lead with just
over 11 minutes to play in that game before the Blue Raiders rallied with two
late touchdowns to seal the outcome. This will be the second opponent the
Blazers have faced from the Southeastern Conference this season, as they lost
at now top-ranked Mississippi State, 47-34, back on Sept. 6.
Meanwhile, Arkansas has followed up a three-game win streak by losing three in
a row, including last week’s 45-32 setback to 10th-ranked Georgia. All four of
the team’s losses this season have come against teams that were ranked in the
top-10 at the time of the matchup. The Razorbacks will now try to win their
Homecoming game for the eighth time in the last nine years.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between these two schools on the
UAB currently ranks No. 22 in the nation in scoring offense (37.6 ppg) and
24th in total offense (477.9 ypg). In fact, the Blazers were able to move the
ball quite well in that earlier meeting with Mississippi State with 548 yards.
Last week, they outgained Middle Tennessee, 405-370, with sophomore running
back Jordan Howard carrying 32 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. It marked
the fourth time this season that Howard went over the century mark. However,
quarterback Cody Clements threw for only 185 yards, was intercepted twice and
sacked five times in the loss.
The UAB defense has yielded an average of 28.4 ppg and nearly 400 total yards
per game, both figures ranking in the bottom half of the Football Bowl
Subdivision. The pass rush was effective last week as Blue Raiders quarterback
Austin Grammer was sacked four times and completed only 6-of-19 passes in the
face of steady pressure. However, UAB was gashed for 229 yards (5.6 ypc) and
three scores on the ground, including the go-ahead score on a 67-yard scamper
in the fourth quarter.
Similar to UAB, Arkansas boasts a productive offense. The Razorbacks rank
ninth nationally in third-down conversion percentage (0.495), 17th in rushing
(256.9 ypg) and 19th in scoring offense (38.3 ppg). The running back duo of
junior Jonathan Williams and sophomore Alex Collins is a big part of that, as
Arkansas is the only team in the nation with two running backs to gain at
least 600 yards rushing. Williams is third in the SEC with 677 yards, while
Collins is fourth with 665. Williams also leads the league with nine rushing
touchdowns, followed by Collins with eight.
The Arkansas defense was unable to contain Georgia’s Nick Chubb, who reeled
off 202 yards (6.7 ypc) and two scores on 30 carries last week. The Bulldogs
really took control early by scoring on each of their first six possessions,
including five touchdowns. Although the Razorbacks managed to eventually
settle in and get some stops, the damage had already been done. Josh Williams
finished with a game-high 14 tackles, but the defense failed to generate any
The Razorbacks have the toughest schedule in the nation based on 2013 winning
percentages, and they are still winless against SEC foes. They have a winnable
matchup here, especially at home, but a loss would all but vanquish the team’s
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas 35, UAB 27