Friday, November 19, 2010

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Tigers at UAB

Posted By on Fri, Nov 19, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Saturday, Birmingham, 3 p.m.

• “The Battle for the Bones” has come to be a game of note for both programs, with an extraordinarily heavy rack of bronze barbecue ribs going to the winner each year. UAB currently has possession of the trophy, having won last year in Memphis, 31-21. The Tigers had won the two previous meetings. Overall, the Blazers own an 8-4 edge in the series.

• The two teams have met every season since 1999, the longest annual series on the Memphis schedule except for Southern Miss. (The Tigers and Golden Eagles have played every year since 1981.)

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• UAB enters the game with a 3-7 record (2-4 in C-USA play). The Blazers beat Troy on September 18th, UTEP on October 16th, and Southern Miss on October 30th. The victory over the Golden Eagles — 50-49 in Hatttiesburg — is one of the biggest upsets in C-USA this season.

• Among common opponents, UAB lost to Tennessee in overtime, 32-29 (Memphis lost, 50-14), beat UTEP, 21-6 (Memphis lost, 16-13), lost to Mississippi State, 29-24 (Memphis lost, 49-7), beat Southern Miss, 50-49 (Memphis lost, 41-19), lost to Marshall, 31-17 (Memphis lost, 28-13), and lost to East Carolina, 54-42 (Memphis lost, 49-27).

• UAB quarterback Bryan Ellis is third in C-USA with an average of 259 passing yards per game. Ellis has completed 57 percent of his passes, with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Blazer tailback Pat Shed is sixth in C-USA with 688 rushing yards.

• UAB ranks 5th in C-USA in total offense (421.4 yards per game), while the Tigers are last in the 12-team league (279.4). The Blazers are 8th in total defense (410.1), while the Tigers are again last (466.2).

• Tiger linebacker Jamon Hughes continues to pace C-USA in tackles with 119, eight more than Marshall’s Mario Harvey.

• Sophomore DeRon Furr’s interception last week at Marshall was the Tigers’ first in six games, and the first of Furr’s career.

• Tiger punter Tom Hornsey is third in C-USA with an average of 43.0 yards per punt. In terms of total yardage, Hornsey is far and away the league leader with 2,965.

• The Tiger offense has the distinction of scoring every time it has entered the opponent’s red zone this season. Trouble is, Memphis has only snapped the ball from inside the red zone on 15 possessions this year. Marshall has the next fewest such trips, with 20, followed by SMU with 27.

• With 10 more points allowed, the Tigers will break the record for points allowed in a season. The 2007 Tigers gave up a total of 419 points (in 13 games; 44 points were allowed in the New Orleans Bowl).

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