Pitt takes on UAB for first road game of season

A preview of Saturday's matchup between the Panthers and the Blazers in Birmingham

Pitt (1-1) is coming of a 14-12 loss to Texas A&M last weekend. UAB (1-1) is coming off a 27-26 win over Troy State. Freshman QB Darrell Hackney came off the bench and went 11-of-15 for 139 yards and a TD. He did have to leave the game with an ankle injury late in the 3rd quarter. Senior Thomas Cox is the regular starter at QB for the Blazers and he is known for his running skills to go along with his passing skills. Last year he went 16-of-36 for 198 yards passing against Pitt. That game was one of his best games all season. Huge Kendal Gibson leads the UAB rushing attack. He goes 5-11, 240 lbs and has averaged 5.9 yards per carry this season.

The Blazers feature two solid WRs in 6-3, 190 lb senior Kenny Borders and 6-2, 210 lb sophomore Chico Cleveland. UAB returns 8 starters on offense from last year so they are an experienced unit. On defense, UAB returns only 2 starters after having a unit that ranked within the top 5 in the country in defense last season. They are 6-1, 190 lb senior safety Chris Brown and 5-11, 185 lb junior CB Dio Hill.

Chris Brown had a 91-yard fumble return for a TD last week against Troy State. The Blazers suffered a tough blow last week when they lost senior starting defensive tackle Marvin Nickson for the season with a torn ACL. UAB had to replace their entire defensive line this season as all 4 starters departed and two went on to the NFL. Although UAB has had to rebuild their defense, they are always known for playing tough defense. They still will have two big defensive ends that go 265 and 285 lbs each. They also have nose guard Shamar Abrams who goes 6-2, 330lbs.

Pitt will need to get off to a better start on offense this week after being shut out last week in the first half. They will need to put longer drives together and score more points to take the pressure off of the defense. They will also need to eliminate turnovers as UAB forced three turnovers by the way of fumbles last week. The Pitt defense will need to correct the problems they had last week in the secondary. Many times they let WRs get behind our secondary.

UAB has been really building this game up with a lot of festivities. They are calling this the "Steel City Showdown" and also will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of Legion Field by wearing a patch for the remainder of the season, starting with this Saturday's game. UAB is known to be one of the best upset specialists in the country. As recently as the 2000 season, they upset SEC power LSU 13-10 in Baton Rouge!


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