CoogFans' Opponent Preview - UAB

There are some decent players to build around and a whole slew of junior college transfers will give the team some much needed depth, but there is still a long, long way to go.

UAB Blazers
Conference USA

2007 Record: (2-10, 1-7)
2007 Bowl: none
Coach: Neil Callaway (2-10 at UAB, 2-10 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Kim Helton
Defensive Coordinator: Eric Schumann

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Rashaud Slaughter, RB, 325 yards
Passing: Joseph Webb, QB, 679 yards
Receiving: Frantrell Forrest, WR, 563 yards
Tackles: Will Dunbar, S, 122
Sacks: Joe Henderson, LB, 5.0
Interceptions: Kevin Sanders, CB, 3

Other Key Returnees: TE Jeffrey Anderson, DT Tim Davis, OT Terence Edge, OT Matt McCants, DT D.J. Reese, C Jake Seitz, LB Mike Tashman, S Matt Taylor, DE Bryant Turner, K/P Swayze Waters, WR Mario Wright

Key Losses: QB Sam Hunt, TE David Sigler, G Adam Truitt

Fourteen true freshmen saw action for UAB during Coach Neil Callaway's first season. The question now is how much will that year of experience help a team that only won one game against a Division I, or FBS, team? There are some decent players to build around and a whole slew of junior college transfers will give the team some much needed depth, but there is still a long, long way to go.

Strengths:
The now departed Sam Hunt saw most of the snaps last year, but quarterback Joseph Webb has the folks in Birmingham excited. The 6-4 junior is full of potential. He has a great arm to reach his talented receivers, but he can also run. And with his size, he does not just run around people…he can run them over. The versatile quarterback even was second on the team in receiving last year, catching 30 passes for 459 yards. That skill adds another fun dimension to the trick play. But Hunt will not need to catch too many passes since he has Frantrell Forrest on the team. Forrest led the team in receiving as a freshman and fellow sophomore Mario Wright had a great spring. Mike Jones could develop into a decent deep threat and tight end Jeffrey Anderson earned All-Freshman honors last season.

Weaknesses:
The offense sounds alright, but it will not be if the Blazers cannot find a running game. Rashaud Slaughter led the team with just 325 rushing yards and now he will be moved to wide receiver. Second and third on the rushing list last year were the two quarterbacks. That leaves…well not much. UAB hopes Aaron Johns will finally be eligible to play, but that might not happen. In the meantime, the job is Dexter Barnett's and Justin Brooks'. The Blazers defense could not stop anybody except Alcorn State. The experience is a good thing, but safety Will Dunbar, who led the team in tackles and is easily the best player on defense, needs some help.

The Bottom Line:
Players like linebacker Joe Henderson, end Bryant Turner and corner Kevin Sanders have potential, but this is still a young defense that could use more depth. On the offensive side of the ball, the passing game could end up being quite impressive, but it will need some help from the running game if the Blazers want to amass more than two victories.

2007 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 110.25 (104th in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 215.33 (65, 8)
Total Offense: 325.58 (104, 12)
Scoring Offense: 19.58 (105, 12)
Rushing Defense: 256.83 (119, 12)
Pass Defense: 230.75 (64, 2)
Total Defense: 487.58 (114, 9)
Scoring Defense: 35.08 (105, 9)
Turnover Margin: -.42 (88, 8)
Sacks: 1.42 (101, 9)
Sacks Allowed: 1.33 (19, 2)


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