Blazers unveil challenging schedule for 2012 football season

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- Games against six teams that earned bowl invitations, including three that finished among the top 20 in the final national rankings, highlight the 2012 UAB football schedule that was announced Thursday.
UAB will play three of its four non-conference games in September before the Conference USA opener on Sept. 29 at home against Tulsa.
UAB will begin the Garrick McGee era under its first-year head coach on Saturday, Sept. 1 when Troy visits Legion Field for the 10th meeting in the series between the two schools.
After an open date on Sept. 8, the Blazers will travel to Columbia, S.C. to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday, Sept. 15. The contest will mark UAB's third trip to Williams-Brice Stadium and third all-time meeting with South Carolina. The Gamecocks won the first two matchups in the series. South Carolina, which finished in the top 10 in the final national polls, compiled an 11-2 record last season and culminated the campaign with a 30-13 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
A week later, the Blazers will venture to Ohio State as they take on the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. The game will be the first-ever between the schools and will be UAB's third all-time matchup against current Big Ten Conference members.
The Blazers' first C-USA game of the season is scheduled for Legion Field against Tulsa on Sept. 29. The Golden Hurricane has won the first three meetings between the teams.
On Oct. 6, UAB will play its final non-conference game of the season when the Blazers play host to Southeastern Louisiana. UAB's contest with the Lions will be the first for the Blazers against the school from the Southland Conference.
UAB travels to Houston to take on the defending conference West Division champion Cougars on Oct. 13. Houston finished with a 13-1 record and ranked as high as 14th in the final polls for 2011. The Cougars defeated Penn State, 30-14, in last season's TicketCity Bowl. The series with Houston is knotted at 4-4.
On Oct. 20, the Blazers will play host to league division foe East Carolina in the 12th all-time meeting between the schools. The Pirates, who hold a 7-4 series advantage over UAB, have won the past five games in the series after the Blazers had captured victories in four of the previous five contests.
Back-to-back road games against Tulane and Southern Miss close out the month of October and get the November slate started for UAB. The Blazers make their first trip to New Orleans since a 41-24 win over the Green Wave in 2008 when they venture to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Oct. 27.
A week later, UAB will be in Hattiesburg, Miss. as the Blazers look to keep their recent string of success going against the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. UAB has won the past three meetings against Southern Miss after losing the first nine games in the series history. The Blazers handed the defending C-USA champion Golden Eagles one of their two losses in 2011 when UAB dealt USM a 34-31 defeat at Legion Field on Nov. 17. Southern Miss also finished among the top 20 teams in the final national rankings last season.
UAB will then play two consecutive games in Birmingham as the Blazers conclude their 2012 home schedule with contests against Marshall and Memphis. UAB will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Thundering Herd when the teams play at Legion Field on Nov. 10. Marshall leads the all-time series by a 6-1 margin.
The Blazers play their final home game of the season on Nov. 17 when Memphis comes to town. UAB holds a 10-4 lead in the series with the Tigers and has won 10 of the past 12 matchups, including a 41-35 win at Liberty Bowl Stadium last November.
UAB wraps up the 2012 regular season on Nov. 24 when the Blazers play at UCF. UAB defeated the Knights, 26-24, last season but trails UCF in the all-time series by a 7-2 margin. The Blazers also concluded the 2006 and 2008 regular seasons with a road game in Orlando against UCF.
Sept. 1 TROY
Sept. 8 OPEN
Sept. 15 at South Carolina
Sept. 22 at Ohio State
Sept. 29 TULSA*
Oct. 13 at Houston*
Oct. 27 at Tulane*
Nov. 3 at Southern Miss*
Nov. 17 MEMPHIS*
Nov. 24 at UCF*
* Conference USA game
* Times and games designated for TV will be announced at a later date