October 20, 2012
Blazers Fall to East Carolina, 42-35
LEGION FIELD - The UAB offense had its second-best game of the season, but the defense couldn't match that success. The Blazer defensive eleven got its last defensive stop of the game in the second quarter. The only time ECU did not score in the second half was when they ran out the clock on their last possession. East Carolina scored at will in the second half and left town with a 42-35 Conference USA win. UAB dropped to 1-6 on the season.
Neither team did much with their opening possession, with both going three-and-out. However, East Carolina corrected that on their second try. They marched 84 yards in 13 plays for a 7-0 lead. Michael Dodson scored the touchdown on a two-yard plunge.
On their next possession, the Pirates marched 88 yards to the UAB three before settling for a 20-yard field goal from Warren Harvey on the first play of the second quarter. That gave ECU a 10-0 lead.
UAB struck back when Austin Brown hooked up with Nick Adams for a 66-yard pass completion to the ECU one-yard line. Darrin Reaves punched the ball in on the next play to cut the ECU lead to 10-7.
ECU quickly got some of the points back when Harvey kicked a 25-yard field goal for a 13-7 lead.
UAB got its first lead of the game on their next possession. The Blazers marched 63 yards in five plays, with Brown hitting J. J. Nelson with a 35-yard scoring pass for the 14-13 lead. That held up for the halftime score.
UAB took the opening kickoff of the second half and march 78 yards for a touchdown. The drive took 13 plays and nearly six-and-a-half minutes off the clock and was capped by a four-yard touchdown pass to Sam Acursio - the first touchdown pass of his UAB career. The catch gave UAB a 21-13 lead.
ECU matched the score on their possession, marching 54 yards in nine plays. Vintavious Cooper got the touchdown, running it in from one-yard out on fourth down. Still, UAB held on to a 21-20 lead.
UAB went three-and-out, and East Carolina quickly took the lead. The Pirates marched 63 yards on four plays, with the score coming on a 30-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Shane Carden to Cooper. ECU took over the lead with a 27-21 score.
UAB regained the lead early in the fourth quarter when Brown hit Kennard Backman with a nine-yard touchdown pass. The score was Backman's first career touchdown for the Blazers, and it gave UAB a 28-27 lead with 12:31 remaining in the game.
East Carolina regained the lead on their next possession, driving 75 yards in 11 plays. The score came on a 20-yard pass from Carden to Justin Hardy. ECU went for two-points on the conversion, made it, and held a 35-28 lead with 9:21 remaining in the game.
UAB went three-and-out after the kickoff, and East Carolina took advantage by scoring another touchdown for a 42-28 lead. Cooper got the honors with a three-yard run with seven minutes remaining in the game.
Darrin Reaves scored from nine-yards out with 3:47 remaining to pull UAB to within seven points.
The Blazers never got the ball again. East Carolina reeled off a couple of first downs and simply ran out the clock.
Quarterback Austin Brown performed will, hitting 22-of-37 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. He threw no interceptions and was not sacked a single time.
Darrin Reaves led the Blazer ground game with 79 yards on 21 carries while scoring two touchdowns. Marvin Burdette led the defense with 17 tackles and moved into second place on the all-time UAB tackle list.
Carden directed East Carolina's offense, connecting on 23-of-35 passes for 386 yards and two touchdowns. Cooper rushed for 173 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown.
UAB returns to action next week when they travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane. Game time is currently set for 2:30 pm.
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