UCF vs UAB: Game Preview

The Knights will attempt to end their season on a three-game win streak as they host the UAB Blazers, who have been streaky all season. Seniors will also have a chance to say goodbye to fans and vice versa as they play their final game at Bright House Networks Stadium.

UAB Blazers vs. UCF Knights
Saturday, November 29th, 2008 - 1pm EST


Records: UAB 3-8, UCF 4-7

UCF leads series 5-0.


UAB offense- 62nd overall (77th passing, 39th rushing); Scoring-78th- 23.5 ppg. vs. UCF defense- 42nd overall (55th passing, 38th rushing); Scoring- T61st- 24.9 ppg.

The Blazers have been up and down offensively but have some players across the field that have serious playmaking ability.

Joe Webb is UAB's ‘Mr. Everything' at quarterback, as he leads the team in passing and rushing yards. The junior has thrown for over 2,000 yards and rushed for 941 while compiling 21 touchdowns total. While extremely athletic, Webb can also be very erratic when throwing the ball, as he has 16 interceptions to just 10 touchdowns through the air.

Rashaud Slaughter also has some versatility for the Blazers, as he lines up at running back and receiver. The junior is a little undersized (5'9", 185 lbs.) but he has game breaking speed, so the Knights must keep an eye on him wherever he goes. He ranks second on the team in both rushing and receiving.

Along with Slaughter, the Knights must also contain Frantrell Forrest, a physical sophomore receiver who started the year off strong but he has been mediocre since hitting a slump mid way through the season.

The Knights defense has been playing at a high level lately and the team's offensive emergence has only made the defensive look more impressive. The Knights' all senior secondary could potentially have a memorable finale as Webb will have to be sharp to avoid giving the opportunistic defense a chance to make plays.

UAB's offensive line hasn't been overwhelming this year and with all weighing under 300 lbs., it seems that the trend of them not opening things up will continue. Torrell Troup continues to be a wrecking ball up the middle and now Bruce Miller is grasping the three-gap position inside.

Best offensive matchup for UAB: Webb vs. UCF's linebackers- If UAB is to have success against UCF's defense it will be because of Webb's feet, not his arm. Even if the numbers don't dictate it, Webb will have to serve as a distraction to get things done, so the Knights' linebackers must play their assignments and keep Webb in check from getting big plays when he scrambles.


UCF offense- 119th overall (115th passing, 98th rushing); Scoring- 110th- 18.1 ppg. vs. UAB defense- 110th overall (116th passing, 92nd rushing); Scoring- T104th- 34.1 ppg.

There hasn't been much to write home about with the UAB defense, as they has given up over 34 points per game, including giving up 70 points to Southern Miss earlier this month.

The Knights have been showing signs of life recently on offense. The line is starting to gel and thus is giving Brynn Harvey some room to run. The freshman back is playing fabulous football, as he is showing better vision each and every week; if he is recovered from a concussion that he suffered last week, he should continue his growth.

UAB has an undersized line and is short on playmakers. Sophomore end Bryant Turner has a high motor and that has enabled him to record four sacks this season. After Turner though, Anthony Barnes has been the only other lineman to consistently make plays in the backfield.

Middle linebacker Joe Henderson is having a phenomenal season as he has totaled 81 tackles, 12.5 for a loss, on the year. Henderson is a strong and athletic player who roams around the field making plays.

UAB's defensive backs have been up and down this year as well, but Kevin Sanders has been a constant, picking off six balls on the year. Will Dunbar has also logged two picks from free safety and can also be physical for a defensive back.

Best offensive matchup for UCF: Brynn Harvey vs. UAB's front seven- It's difficult to imagine that the Blazers will stop Harvey if he is at 100 percent. Harvey has been showing bursts of being the next UCF back to make an impact at the pro level, although he has a ways to go. If UCF's line can handle UAB's then Harvey should tear it up.

Best defensive matchup for UAB: UAB's secondary vs. Rob Calabrese- The freshman quarterback has been taking baby steps but this is the best defensive backfield he has seen in some time. If he isn't careful the Blazers can make some big things happen.


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