BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —– Now just a week away from the annual spring game, the UAB football team scrimmaged for nearly two hours Saturday morning at Legion Field.
UAB head coach Garrick McGee said after Friday’s practice when the defense had the upper hand, it was the Blazer offense’s turn to shine on Saturday.
“I thought we had another good practice,” McGee said. “Our practices kind of go back and forth with a little bit of give and take. Yesterday was a huge practice for our defense and they pretty much dominated. Then today, our offense came out with the energy, more enthusiasm and controlled the ball. So, our team is going back and forth.”
It didn’t take long for the offense to get started in Saturday’s scrimmage as the Blazers’ No. 1 unit went 65 yards on seven plays for a touchdown on the opening possession, the drive capped off by a 15-yard pass from quarterback Jonathan Perry to wide receiver Jackie Williams.
The Blazers demonstrated a good balance on the offense throughout the scrimmage as they posted 241 rushing yards and 337 yards through the air.
Running back Darrin Reaves, a first-team All-Conference USA performer last season, rushed for 81 yards on only nine carries, scoring on a nine-yard run. Greg Franklin had 61 yards on nine attempts and scored twice on one-yard touchdowns. David Calloway added 50 yards on 11 rushes, scoring on a three-yard touchdown.
Three UAB signal-callers spread the ball around to 13 different receivers. Perry hit 13-of-19 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. Mike Miller hit 13-of-20 passes for 78 yards while Jeremiah Briscoe connected on 5-of-10 for 97 yards and one touchdown, hitting a 51-yard pass for a score to Jamal Hundley. Austin Brown missed Saturday’s scrimmage with a leg injury.
The leading Blazer receivers were Williams with four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown, Nyakki Height who had four receptions for 43 yards, Dequindre Adams with three grabs for 41 yards and Hundley who registered two catches for 56 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, linebacker Shaq Jones was the leading tackler with eight stops. Cornerback Devon Brown added six tackles while linebacker Jake Ganus, linebacker Daniel White and cornerback Zachary Warren all had five.
Linebacker Tevin Crews had four tackles, including two sacks and a pair of tackles for loss. Linebacker Destin Challenger recorded an interception in a scrimmage for the second straight week with Lamarcus Farmer also coming up with a pick.
With three practices remaining on the spring schedule, McGee said the Blazers need to focus this week on closing out what they’ve been doing the past three weeks.
“We just need to finish strong, finalize what we’re doing,” McGee said. “We need to get a better idea of what we’re doing and really work on our fundamentals and techniques. The spring game is going to be a really physical day.”
Rushing – D. Reaves 9-81, 1 TD; Franklin 9-61 2 TDs; D. Calloway 11-50, 1 TD; A. White 4-26; Perry 2-13; S. Jones 2-10.
Passing – Perry 13-19, 162 yds., 1 TD, 2 INT; Miller 13-20, 78 yds.; Briscoe 5-10, 97 yds., 1 TD.
Receiving – J. Williams 4-67, 1 TD; Height 4-43; Vinson 2-53; Hundley 2-56, 1 TD; D. Adams 3-41; A. White 5-21; Nelson 2-10; M.Reaves 2-10; Hrabowskie 2-10.
Tackles: S. Jones 8; D. Brown 6; J. Ganus 5; D. White 5; Warren 5; Crews 4, 2 sks, 2 TFL; Challenger 1 INT; Farmer 1 INT