UAB football gets win over Middle Tennessee, 41-14
The following article is from the UAB Athletics Department:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB football team had a season-high 581 yards of total offense as the Blazers downed Middle Tennessee 41-14 on Saturday afternoon at Protective Stadium.
Facing Middle Tennessee’s top-ranked rushing defense which only allowed 107.8 yards per game coming into the contest, the Blazers (3-2, 1-1 C-USA) notched a season-best 303 yards on the ground and added 278 through the air for the dominating victory.
Trea Shropshire had six catches for 193 yards and one touchdown through the air, all in the first half, while Jermaine Brown Jr. and DeWayne McBride combined for 234 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. The nation’s leading rusher, McBride had 120 yards and three touchdowns. He now has nine touchdowns in four games this season and is averaging 160.3 yards per game.
Led by Keondre Swoopes with a career high 14 tackles, the Blazers held Middle Tennessee (3-3, 0-2 C-USA) to 336 yards of offense and had three sacks, seven TFL, one interception and seven pass breakups.
Winners of five in a row at Protective Stadium, the Blazers are now 6-2 in their new home and 27-3 overall in Birmingham since returning to action in 2017.
The Blazers’ offense got going quickly on the first drive of the game. Dylan Hopkins found his big-play wide receiver Trea Shropshire for a 46-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage to set up the scoring drive. DeWayne McBride punched it in from five yards out just a few plays later to make it 7-0.
After forcing a three-and-out on the first Blue Raider possession, the UAB offense picked up right where it left off. This time, Jermaine Brown Jr. did the bulk of the work for the Blazers. Brown took three carries for a total of 55 yards including a 24-yard touchdown carry to put the finishing touches on the drive.
Trailing 14-0, the Blue Raiders led their first touchdown drive, going 72 yards in 10 plays. Chase Cunningham found Jaylin Lane in the back of the end zone on third and goal from the 15 yard line to cut the UAB lead in half.
Hopkins and Shropshire again connected for a big play, jump-starting the Blazers’ offensive possession with a 45-yard pass. McBride finished the drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone to put the Blazers’ lead back at 14.
On the ensuing MTSU drive, the Blue Raiders reached midfield before Cunningham’s deep ball on first down was picked off by Grayson Cash. Cash returned it for 10 yard to set up the UAB drive at the Blazers’ 26.
Looking to make it a three-score game, the Blazers drove the length of the field in 14 plays before they settled for a field goal. Matt Quinn’s 19-yard attempt put the score at 24-7 for UAB.
The UAB defense stepped up after the Blue Raider offense moved across midfield to the Blazers’ 35 yard line. The secondary force three-straight incompletions and Fish McWilliams sacked Cunningham on fourth down to turn the ball over to UAB.
McBride punched in his third touchdown of the half with a 27-yard scamper to extend the Blazers’ lead to 24. After the UAB defense forced a quick three-and-out, Hopkins and Shropshire connected on yet another deep ball for a 68-yard touchdown. UAB held a 38-7 lead at the half.
The Blazers opened the second half with a stop before adding three points on a 48-yard field goal from Matt Quinn. MTSU responded with a 15-play touchdown drive to cut the Blazers’ lead to 27.
The Blazers controlled the clock for the remainder of the game on offense and the defense kept the Blue Raiders off the scoreboard. UAB’s Devondric Bynum’s fourth down stop in the fourth quarter from inside the Blazers’ 10-yard line held the score at 41-14, where it would stay.
Prior to his performance tonight, Swoopes had never accounted for more than six tackles in a game during his collegiate career. The Blazers have had six individual 100-yard rushing performances over their five games this season.
UAB is back in action next weekend when the Blazers return to Protective Stadium to host Charlotte. Kickoff is once again scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
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