UAB Blazers 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 26, 2021
Record – 6-3
ATS – 3-6
The Blazers fought their way to their 3rd consecutive C-USA Championship Game and won it for the second time during that stretch. The took down a really good Marshall squad for the honor (W 22-13) and did it as small underdogs. They lost for the first time at home since the program reboot when the Cajuns came to town and did the honor (L 24-20). Expectations are high once again heading into 2021. Let’s go!
UAB Blazers 2021 Outlook
The Blazers did it with balance LY averaging 200 YPG on the ground (#29 FBS) and through the air (201 YPG, #88). The QB play was erratic as Bryson Lucero and Tyler Johnston combined for a 14-9 TD to INT ratio, and the Blazers completed just 56% of their passes overall (#8 C-USA). Johnston is back as the starter and while he hits a lot of big plays in the THROW GAME he also makes a few too many mistakes (35-25 TD to INT career). There’s bad news at WR where the top-two WRs depart (Watkins, Mitchell) and they were the team leaders in receptions and receiving yards by a large margin LY. Hayden Pittman is a fine TE (2nd team C-USA) and WR Trae Shropshire averaged 22 YPC LY, but the WR/TE group looks to be down a notch. They are deep at RB but lose #1 Spencer Brown and his 10 rushing TDs from a season ago. Dewayne McBride averaged 9.3 (!!) YPC in 2020 and they add a transfer from Miss St (Lee Witherspoon). Everyone returns up front and this is the best OL in the conference. They averaged 4.9 YPC LY and only allowed 4 sacks (!). Hopefully Johnston can stay healthy. <knocks on wood>
UAB boasted the #7 total defense in the FBS LY (!) and allowed a mere 311 YPG. They were particularly stingy vs the pass and ranked #6 in the FBS in pass efficiency D (53%, 15-8 TD to INT). Impressive PENETRATION was also achieved (#3 C-USA TFL/game, sacks/game). Eight starters return but they’ll miss leading sack man Jordan Smith (4.5 sacks, 9.5 TFL, 8 QBH). The Blazers are loaded with the return of their top-two tacklers in LB Noah Wilder (2nd Team C-USA) and Kristopher Moll (1st Team C-USA). All three starters are back up front and they add DE Justin Thomas from LSU. The secondary will still be excellent. This is clearly the best defense in the conference.
This should be one of the better units in the conference with the return of PK Matt Quinn (11/12 FG LY, 5-5 40+) and P Kyle Greenwell (40.5 net). Jermaine Brown averaged 25.5 on KR LY.
Overall – The non-conference slate has some tough ones in there. They take on Georgia (!) and Tulane on the road and face Liberty at home. They’re in the easier half of the conference but draw Marshall and Florida Atlantic from the East. November road tests vs the Herd and the Roadrunners LOOM LARGE.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Tulane (September 25th)
This will be their 3rd straight road game and 4th consecutive game away from home to start the year. Their home opener is on deck (see below).
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 26
Over 7.5 -145
Under 7.5 -125
The schedule isn’t easy, but this is the most talented team in C-USA.
UAB begins play in their new stadium on October 2nd when they take on the potent Liberty Flames!
The Blazers are missing some key pieces on offense from last year’s squad but still have a devastating defense and a savvy veteran QB. Hopefully, they can avoid a slow start as they don’t play a true home game until October. They’re well-coached and are the clear favorite to take the West division and go to their fourth consecutive Conference USA title game.
Want more UAB Football ?
Hashtag – #WinAsOne
Accounts to follow