Schedule and Odds
While UAB finished last year with just three wins, they have a little bit going for them. Head coach Garrick McGee is in his second year and the players have his back. They return 18 total players from a year ago, including nine on the offensive end where they scored close to 30 points per Game.
Austin Brown is back at quarterback (C-USA All-Freshman) and will hopefully remain healthy for the entire season. He battled numerous injuries throughout 2012 and even in spring practice earlier this year. Leading receiver Jackie Williams is back for his Fourth year as a starter and will receive plenty of looks. He’ll be complemented by Nolen Smith who missed last year with a knee injury. Tight end Kennard Backman also is a threat at tight end after tying for the team-lead with Four TDs last year. The running Game has plenty of options, most notably Darrin Reaves who topped the 1,000-yard mark last season to go with 13 TDs. Behind a line that returns Four starters, a better year can be expected from this group.
The same can be said about the defense who returns talent at every level. The Blazers are set to run more of a 3-4 defense this year which will be used more as a work in progress, switching back and forth with a 4-3. No one in the unit is outstanding, but with plenty of experience, they should improve after allowing 37.5 points per Game a year ago.
2013 UAB Football Schedule
Aug. 31 at Troy
Sept. 7 at LSU
Sept. 21 vs. Northwestern State
Sept. 28 at Vanderbilt
Oct. 5 vs. Florida Atlantic
Oct. 12 at Florida International
Oct. 26 at UTSA
Nov. 2 vs. Middle Tennessee
Nov. 9 at Marshall
Nov. 16 at East Carolina
Nov. 21 vs. Rice
Nov. 30 vs. Southern Miss
The problem for UAB is that their out-of-Conference Schedule is tough. Three of their first Four Games are on the road against the likes of Troy, LSU and Vanderbilt. That will likely lead to three losses.
From there, they’ll need to get going in C-USA play because their first three opponents are all weaker teams. Road Games at Florida Int. and UTSA will be telling for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, UAB’s next Four Games will all be difficult matchups against teams near the top of the conference. The Blazers will at least get an easier task to end the season on a good note against Southern Miss.
While their Schedule is tough, the Blazers have a chance to reach five wins this year if all goes well. The offense should be able to bring in three or Four wins, but the defense will need to improve to win one of their road Games.