October 27, 2012
UAB Falls To Tulane in Offensive Slugfest, 55-45
A showdown between two of the worst teams in Conference USA became an offensive battle that UAB lost. Tulane took advantage of a porous UAB defense and scored more points in the first half than in any other entire game of the season. They kept the pressure going in the second half and left the Superdome with a 55-45 win. Despite the closeness of the score, UAB was never able to catch up with the Green Wave after an early 7-7 tie. The offense could score, but the defense couldn't stop anybody.
Tulane struck first after recovering a UAB fumble. The Green Wave marched 71 yards on eight plays, capped with a 21-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Griffin to Xavier Rush with 8:18 remaining in the first quarter.
UAB tied the game on the next possession, marching 81-yards on 10 plays for the score. Darrin Reaves was the workhorse on the drive, and he finished it with a one-yard run on fourth down for the score.
Tulane didn't break stride, taking the ball and marching 75 yards for a 14-7 lead. The scoring play was again a Griffin-to-Rush combo, this time for 15 yards.
Tulane increased the lead with a two-play drive that ended with a 61-yard touchdown toss to and a 21-7 advantage.
UAB tried to march into Tulane territory, but that ended with an interception. UAB stopped that when Lamar Johnson intercepted for the Blazers at the five-yard line.
That didn't last long. UAB went three-and-out, punted, and Tulane's Darion Monroe returned the punt 57 yards to the UAB three. The Blazer defense stiffened, and the Green Wave settled for a field goal. Still, Tulane held a 24-7 lead with ten minutes to play in the first half.
UAB struck back. Jackie Williams took a short pass from Austin Brown and raced 63 yards to the Tulane 12-yard line. UAB settled for a 25-yard field goal from Ty Long to cut the margin to 24-10.
Tulane didn't slow down. The Green Wave marched to another touchdown, with Grant catching Griffin's fourth TD pass of the day. Tulane held a 31-10 lead with 5:45 remaining in the half. That meant the Green Wave reached a new season high for their offense while still in the first half.
UAB tried to cut the margin again, but that failed when Ty Long missed a 56-yard field goal attempt.
Tulane got the ball back at the 40, but UAB stopped that with a fumble recovery at midfield. From there, they moved in for a touchdown. Kennard Backman caught the one-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds remaining in the half. UAB went to the locker room trailing 31-17.
Tulane got the ball to open the second half, but couldn't move the ball. UAB responded with an impressive drive that ended when Reaves ran the ball in from two yards out. The key play, though, was an impressive pass by Nick Adams that moved the ball to the Tulane 13.
Tulane didn't blink. They took the kickoff and marched for their first touchdown in the third quarter all season long. Griffin hit Wilson Van Hooser with a 16-yard touchdown pass for the score and a 38-24 lead.
UAB responded quickly, with Jackie Williams hauling in a 12-yard scoring pass to make the score 38-31.
But Tulane kept exchanging scores, getting another touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 45-31 lead. Orleans Darkwa got a one-yard plunge for the score.
UAB responded with another touchdown of their own. Darrin Reaves got the score on a 25-yard, fourth-down run. That cut Tulane's lead to 45-38.
Tulane settled for a 30-yard field goal on their next drive, giving them a 48-38 lead with 8:48 to play.
UAB had a chance to cut the margin to three-points, but the Blazers third turnover of the day ended the drive. This time it was an interception. But Tulane returned the favor with their third turnover, a fumble that UAB recovered at their own 33 with 4:38 remaining.
UAB couldn't handle the good fortune. Tulane got the interception, returned the ball to the UAB 32, and scored on the first play from scrimmage. Darwka got the honors and gave the Green Wave a 55-38 lead.
UAB scored quickly, with Brown hitting Kennard Backman for a 20-yard touchdown pass that cut the score to 55-45 with 3:03 remaining.
UAB tried an onside kick and Darrin Reaves recovered the ball at the UAB 48. But the Blazers couldn't move the ball. Tulane took over on downs with 2:38 remaining to play.
Ryan Griffin hit 81 percent of his passes (32-for-42) for 466 yards and five touchdowns. Ryan grant caught six of those passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Xavier Rush also had six receptions, tallying 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Lorenzo Doss led Tulane's defense with two interceptions.
UAB's Austin Brown was 26-of-52 passing for 409 yards and three touchdowns. Jackie Williams was his leading receiver, grabbing six passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. Nick Adams caught five passes for 119 yards. Kennard Backman only caught two passes, but they were both touchdowns.
One bright spot on defense was the work of Marvin Burdette. Burdette ended the day with 24 tackles - a new UAB single game record. He also forced one fumble and recovered a fumble.
UAB is on the road again next Saturday when the team travels to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to challenge Southern Miss.
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