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October 12, 2013Ty Long kicked a 28-yard field goal with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game to lead UAB to a 27-24 win over Florida International in Miami Saturday night. The win, the first road win of the season for the Blazers, improved the team's record to 2-4 overall, and evened the Conference USA record at 1-1 for the season.
The game also marked the first for Jimmy Williams as the new defensive coordinator for the Blazers. He took over a defense that averaged giving up 481 yards in offense per game. UAB did only slightly better against FIU, giving up 396 yards to the Panthers.
Still, the 24 points surrendered by the Blazers was the lowest points allowed all season and just the second time that an opponent has been held to less than 30 points. The other was UAB's 52-28 win over Northeastern State University.
The two teams each scored a touchdown in the first quarter, but Kennard Bachman caught a seven-yard pass from Austin Brown early in the second quarter to give UAB a 14-7 lead.
FIU had a chance to cut the lead to 14-10 after kicking a 39-yard field goal. But a UAB penalty gave the Panthers enough for a first down. They took the points off the board and continued marching toward the end zone until a UAB interception stopped the drive.
The Blazers took over and marched 80 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead. Darrin Reaves finished the drive with a one-yard run for the score.
FIU responded with a field goal to make the score 21-10. The Panthers scored a last-second touchdown to cut the score to 21-17 at the half.
The Blazers added a field goal in the second half, and seemed poised to win the game. But FIU mounted a fourth-quarter drive that tied the score 24-all with 2:21 remaining in the game, setting up a final drive by UAB that ended in the game-winning field goal.
A last-minute drive by FIU that attempted to tie the game ended with a fumble recovery by UAB.
Jordan Howard led the Blazer offense with 159 rushing yards
UAB has an open date next week. They return to action on October 26 when they travel to San Antonio to challenge UTSA.