November 10, 2012
UAB Upsets Marshall, 38-31
After giving up a fumble on the two-yard line that led to a Marshall touchdown, the UAB Blazers scored 24-straight first-half points and held on for a 38-31 upset win over the Thundering Herd at Legion Field Saturday. The Blazer defense kept the Herd's vaunted offense in check for the first half and controlled enough of the second half to win.
Marshall scored its first touchdown without making a first down. After getting the ball first, the UAB defense stopped the Thundering Herd with a three-and-out. UAB took the punt at the twenty, and fumbled the ball three plays later. Marshall recovered the pigskin at the UAB three and scored on the next play for a 7-0 lead.
UAB got a 42-yard kickoff return from Greg Franklin on the next possession, and UAB moved the ball to the Marshall 34 before disaster struck again. This time it was an intercepted pass at the 19-yard line that stopped the drive.
UAB stopped Marshall again and that sparked the Blazers' first score of the game. Jackie Williams ran the Marshall punt back 79 yards, diving into the end zone while being tackled, to tie the score 7-7.
UAB took the lead on their next possession, a 64-yard drive highlighted by a 39-yard run by Bashr Coles. Darrin Reaves got the score with a four-yard run around right end for a 14-7 score. Reaves touchdown was his 12th of the season, a new UAB season record for rushing touchdowns.
UAB added to its lead on its next possession, scoring on the first play of the second half. The score came on a 33-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Hearn that gave UAB a 21-7 lead.
The Blazers stopped the next Marshall drive with an interception in the end zone. Cornelius Richards made the interception in the end zone and returned it to the UAB 17. That drive ended, though, when Austin Brown's pass was intercepted at the Marshall four-yard line.
Marshall couldn't move the ball either, and UAB got the ball back when they stopped the Herd on fourth down at the 44.
The bad news? Patrick Hearn was injured on the drive by a personal foul at the 25-yard line. He was taken off the field on a cart. UAB settled for a 26-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining in the period for a 24-7 halftime lead.
UAB got another touchdown in the third quarter before Marshall got its offense running well. The Thundering Herd ran off 17 straight points to cut the UAB lead to 31-24 late in the fourth quarter.
The Blazers responded with a touchdown drive to seal the game. Darrin Reaves ran 17-yards for the score with 2:50 remaining to seal the win.
Marshall used the final two minutes to score one last time, but their onside kick was covered by UAB. The Blazers then ran out the clock.
Reaves was the workhorse for the Blazers, running the ball 32 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Austin Brown completed 20-of-34 attempts for 197 yards and two touchdowns. He also had three interceptions and a fumble.
Marvin Burdette led the defense with 17 tackles, setting a new career record for UAB in the process. Cornelius Richards had an interception in the end zone to squash one potential Marshall score.
Marshall quarterback Rasheem Cato completed 25-of-34 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He had one interception.
Kevin Grooms led the Marshall ground game with 75 yards on 16 carries.
UAB improved to 3-7 on the season with the win, while Marshall dropped to 4-6. The Blazers return to Legion Field next week when they host Memphis in the annual "Battle for the Bones" trophy.
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