LSU opponent preview: UAB Blazers

UAB running back DeWayne McBride. PHOTO COURTESY OF UAB Athletics

UAB BLAZERS (5-5, 3-4 in Conference USA
FACES LSU: Nov. 19, Tiger Stadium, 8:00 p.m., ESPN2 (Baton Rouge)
HEAD COACH: BRYANT VINCENT (interim) (5-5 at UAB, 5-5 overall)
NUMBER OF HEAD COACHES, 20 SEASONS: Five
2021 RECORD: 9-4 (6-2)
OVERALL RECORD, 10 SEASONS: 61-62
CONFERENCE: CONFERENCE USA
LAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: 2020
CONFERENCE TITLE GAME RECORD: 2-1
TOTAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
THIS SEASON: UAB produced 505 total yards in last week’s 41-21 Conference USA win over North Texas … Running backs DEWAYNE MCBRIDE led the for the Blazers with 120 yards and three touchdowns, the third time this season he cracked the 100-yard mark. He also set the school single-season mark for touchdowns with 17 … Cornerback DEVODRIC BYNUM contributed eight tackles, two PBUs, two TFLs and a sack in the win over North Texas … Quarterback DYLAN HOPKINS has completed 99-of-148 passes for 1,467 yards with two interceptions and eight touchdowns … Zachary High graduate wide receiver TREA SHROPSHIRE leads Blazers with 30 catches for 612 yards and 4 TDs … Linebacker NOAH WILDER tops defense with 96 tackles to go with four TFLs and three quarterback hurries … Strong safety JAYDEN KEY has 43 tackles and two interceptions and placekicker MATT QUINN is perfect on extra points (37 of 37) and 11 of 16 kicking field goals

NAME GAME: Former UAB offensive coordinator Vincent rose through the Alabama high school ranks and was named interim head coach on June 27, three days after BILL CLARK resigned, reportedly citing chronic back issues … Clark was 49-26 in six seasons at UAB, including the first two bowl wins in program history (Boca Raton, 2018; Independence, 2021) … The Blazers have a 1-2 backfield punch in running backs McBride (204 carries, 1,371 yards, 13 touchdowns last season) and JERMAINE BROWN JR. (631 yards, 5.1 per carry) … Starting offensive lineman KADEEM TELFORT checks in at 6-foot-8, 330 pounds … Defensive lineman FISH MCWILLIAMS, a 6-foot, 315-pounder, had 5.5 tackles for loss in a mostly reserve role last season; his brother, 5-10, 185-pound cornerback MAC MCWILLIAMS had six starts last year before injury cut his season short … Fifth-year starting punter KYLE GREENWELL has the most punt yards in program history
TIDBITS: The Blazers have had five straight winning seasons … UAB was picked second in the Conference USA preseason media poll, trailing UTSA; the Blazers received eight first-place votes to 14 for the Roadrunners … UAB has gone bowling four of the past five years and beat BYU at last season’s Independence Bowl in Shreveport.

FUN FACT

Clark was UAB’s coach in 2014 and reassumed his sideline spot when the Blazers reestablished football in 2017 following a two-season cost-cutting hiatus that didn’t go over well in the Birmingham community. The Blazers have a new downtown stadium and are out of historic but rundown Legion Field.

INFLUENCER

Running back

DEWAYNE MCBRIDE | 5-11 | 215 | Junior

A product of Vanguard High in Ocala, Florida, McBride averaged 6.7 yards per carry from a 2,000-yard backfield last season. He rushed for 210 yards and a career-high four touchdowns in an early November win over Louisiana Tech, igniting a stretch with four wins in five games to close UAB’s season.

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