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November 9, 2012
Blazers present Marshall with plenty of problems
Can the UAB Blazers build on that win last week?
Marshall coach Doc Holliday certainly hopes that was a one-time thing. But he's not sure at all.
"When you talk about UAB, you have to start with their offense," said Hollidy. "They're scoring a lot of points on some good teams. They scored 40+ against Tulsa at home and took them right to the wire. They did the same thing with East Carolina.
"Their quarterback Austin Brown has done a good job at managing their offense. They do a good job at spreading the ball around. I felt when we played UAB last year that their skill people were as good as anyone in the league. Jamarcus Nelson is probably the fastest guy in our league. They have three receivers that can go get the ball.
"They have a tailback Darrin Reaves that averages right at five yards a carry so they will present a lot of problems. For us offensively, we have to make sure we do a good job.
"Defensively, Marvin Burdette is their leader. He flies around and is second in the country in total tackles. We have to have a great week of preparation,"aid Holliday.
He is well aware of the maturity in the offense in Brown and Reaves.
"In that Southern Miss game last week, (Reaves) took the game over in the second half. He rushed for over 200 yards. They won that game because of the running game. Reaves being able to run the football like he has creates a lot of issues with play action and in the passing game. They're doing a much better job at running the ball. Adding that dimension of running the ball is going to make them that much more dangerous, especially with the play action.
"I think a lot of it is that the offensive line has stepped up a bit."
Holliday is also concerned with Brown at quarterback.
"He is dynamic. He's a red-shirt freshman. Just like all freshman quarterbacks it's the first-year in the system and he's getting better as the season goes on. They found a way to win that game and you have to give him credit.
"He is a tough kid. You see him sitting there taking some shots, but he just gets right back up and goes right at it. He's a good player that is managing that offense very well."
Despite the Blazers' record, Holliday knows that UAB is dangerous because they have nothing to lose.
"We have to worry about ourselves. We have a lot to play for. There is a lot left out there on the table for us. I mentioned last week that we had four shots and now we're down to three shots," said Holliday.
"Good things can happen for this football team, but you have to take them one at a time. Shot number one we took care of Memphis and did what we had to do. It's important that all the focus goes onto UAB and all our preparation and efforts have to go to finding a way to win that game. Preparation will be the key to that.
"I told the kids last week that we had some adversity (Hurricane Sandy) just to practice out here. It was awful, but we have to find a way to go out there and get better as a team. I thought that we did. This week the weather is not an issue. We have to go out there today and practice like we always do.
"We have to walk off there a better team and be prepared for UAB. That has to happen,"he said.