Thursday, November 7, 2013

Marshall Football: Fast Facts, UAB

Eighteen facts your need to know about UAB before they face-off against Marshall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon.

1) Last week against Middle Tennessee State, UAB’s first 26 offensive plays were all runs. In total, the Blazers ran the ball 56 times for 299 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Jonathan Perry only attempted nine passes, completing six of them while also throwing one touchdown and interception.

2) Marshall fans should be familiar with Blazers running back Darrin Reaves. Last year he ran for 184 yards on 32 carries and two touchdowns in a 38-31 win over the Thundering Herd. In eight games this season Reaves has carried the ball a team high 137 times for 678 yards and seven touchdowns.

3) True freshman running back Jordan Howard complements Reaves in the backfield. Standing 6-foot-1, 228 lbs., Howard is a bruising runner that has rumbled for 650 yards on 95 attempts and two touchdowns.

4) After being named starting quarterback for last week’s game against MTSU, Perry will get another opportunity to lead the Blazers on Saturday at Marshall. More of a rushing than passing threat, Perry has run for 294 yards this season and two touchdowns. As a passer the Maryland native has completed 35 of 66 throws for 512 yards, six touchdowns, and three interceptions.

5) On Monday UAB head coach Garrick McGee announced that starting left guard Roscoe Byrd broke his leg against MTSU and is out indefinitely.

6) UAB has only allowed 14 sacks but that might have more to do with their lack of passing attempts than great protection. The Blazers rank third to last in Conference USA with only 238 passes attempted.

7) Speaking about passing, wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson leads UAB with 27 receptions for 492 yards and 6 touchdowns. True freshman Jamari Staples (25 Rec., 365 Yds., 4 TD) and tight end Kennard Backman (23 Rec., 253 Yds., 2 TD) are also popular receiving threats.

8) UAB has committed ten turnovers this season and in the time of possession battle they average just under 30 minutes per game. By contrast, Marshall averages almost 27 minutes of possession per game and has turned over the ball 15 times.

9) Among Conference USA’s 14 schools, UAB ranks fifth in rushing offense (292 Yards/G), eight in passing offense (213.9 Yards/G), and sixth in total offense (391.6 Yards/G).

10) UAB starting defensive ends Chris Rabb (concussion) and Diaheem Watkins (shoulder) left Saturday’s game against MTSU with injures and are not expected to play against Marshall. Watkins has started every game, recording 28 tackles and a team high 3.5 sacks. Rabb is second on the team with two sacks.

11) The Blazers defense is spearheaded by linebacker Jake Ganus. The sophomore leads UAB with 62 tackles and six tackles for loss.

12) UAB is allowing a C-USA high 273.3 passing yards per game. Their four interceptions are a league low.

13) They are not much better at defending the run, the Blazers are giving up 195.88 rushing yards per game.

14) If you can’t stop the pass or the run, you get a defense that is surrendering 469.1 yards per game. Only UTEP (479.8 Yards/G) has been more generous to opposing offenses in C-USA.

15) Ty Long is one of the best kickers Marshall will face this season. He has converted 14 of 18 field goal attempts with a long of 50 yards. UAB has not allowed a blocked kick or punt this season.

16) Punter Hunter Mullins is adequate, he averages 41.8 yards per attempt with a long of 61 yards.

17) If you don’t get off the field before your opponent scores the opportunity to return punts doesn’t exist. UAB falls into that category with only six punt returns this year.

18) UAB running back Greg Franklin is tied for the C-USA lead in kick returns over 30 yards (four) and 40 yards (two). 

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