Zach Line and Darius Johnson scored two touchdowns apiece as the Mustangs (1-1) captured the conference opener. Line was a huge thorn in the side of the Blazers (0-2), rushing for a career-high 122 yards on 16 carries, with both of his TD runs coming in the second quarter.
SMU's first scoring drive came in impressive fashion, as the Mustangs went 99 yards to paydirt. From deep in his own end zone, Kyle Padron found WR Aldrick Robinson near the 20-yard line to give SMU some breathing room. A facemask penalty at the conclusion of the play tacked on 15 additional yards.
True freshman RB Darryl Fields had a hand in the drive, bursting for a bruising seven-yard run for a first down. On the play, Fields spun away from one would-be tackler and bounced off three more.
Passes to Bradley Haynes and Darius Johnson set the Mustangs up at the UAB six-yard line, where Line took over, scoring on the second of back-to-back carries with 11:24 remaining in the half.
After SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason's unit forced a three-and-out, Padron and Line pounded the football on the ground to give SMU the lead for good.
Padron, who gained 66 yards on nine carries during the game, moved the chains repeatedly with his feet on the drive, including a beautiful 24-yard scramble. Line's scoring run from three yards out gave the Mustangs a 14-7 advantage.
Meanwhile, UAB and its elusive quarterback, David Isabelle, were hamstrung all night by the stifling SMU defense.
The Blazers didn't pick up their initial first down of the contest until the 3:00 mark of the second quarter.
In fact, SMU's goal-line stand at the conclusion of the first half seemed to break UAB's will.
With under a minute to go in the second quarter, the Blazers were knocking on the door, but SMU's Taylor Reed stuffed Isabelle short of the end zone, knocking his helmet off in the process.
UAB had one last chance to put points on the board before intermission, but an errant snap went under Isabelle's legs. RB Derrick Brooks fielded the ball, but was immediately stopped by an alert Youri Yenga.
The second half was all Mustangs.
The Blazers came a couple of yards shy of tying up the game, as Isabelle hit Frantrell Forrest with a long pass near the SMU goal-line early in the third, but DB Ryan Smith jarred the ball loose for a touchback.
From there, Padron (18-of-33, 145 yards, two TDs) continued to mix it up, feeding Line and also working through the air. Johnson's (7-45) two touchdowns came on receptions of 5 and 15 yards, respectively.
Aldrick Robinson (4-51) and Cole Beasley (3-51) were the leading receivers for SMU, which outgained UAB, 421-261, behind the blocking of Adrian Klemm's offensive line.