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October 13, 2013UAB's second win of the season was a validation that coach Garrick McGee made some good moves last week by shuffling his defensive coaches' responsibilities.
Jimmy Williams took over as defensive coordinator and the Blazers responded with a victory where they held the FIU Golden Panthers to 24 points, the lowest point total of the season. FIU still rolled up 396 yards of total offense, 85 yards below their season average. So the UAB defense is still a work in progress but for UAB fans it is at least progress in the right direction.
The UAB defense made adjustments after giving up 17 points in the first half. They held the Golden Panthers to one touchdown and 109 yards of total offense in the second half.
The Blazers put together a 70-yard drive in the final two and a half minutes to set up Ty Long's winning kick. That has been missing from the Blazers' offense for a long time. And they had to do it with a clock malfunction at the stadium.
"I've never really seen anything like that. I mean, I was mad that it happened, but it is really good home field advantage," said McGee. "I don't want to accuse them of anything, but it was interesting stuff."
Austin Brown engineered the game-winning drive.
"I didn't get any direction on what to tell him," said McGee. "I didn't really know what to tell him we just had to try to keep it in our minds and keep asking. It did go from 1:41 to 15 seconds really fast and we were able to catch it and luckily we saved timeouts you know. But that was an extreme situation, not knowing with the clock going out."
McGee was asked what pulling out that last drive says about his team.
"Well it either says that we've gone up, or it says that we play better when they don't know how much time is in the game," he said. "But that could be the answer, that they didn't understand how much time was left so they just played and it was the best fourth quarter with everything on the line."
The game feature another outstanding game by freshman Jordan Howard.
"Well we all know Jordan's a good player. You know, 20 for 167, that's a pretty good day," said the UAB coach.