2009 UAB Blazers Predictions
2008 Record: (4-8, 3-5)
Coach: Neil Callaway, 3rd year (6-18 overall)
Off. Coordinator: Kim Helton (3rd year)
Def. Coordinator: Eric Schumann (3rd year)
Returning Starters: 18 (11 offense, 7 defense)
Ret. Starting Quarterback: Yes (Joe Webb)
Offense: The bright side for the offense is that they return starting quarterback Joe Webb (6-4, 220), a senior, along with 10 other starters on the offense. The problem is the offense was ineffective last season, ranking 86th in the nation (22.8ppg) in points scored and 76th in the nation in passing (197.3ypg). Webb had 21 touchdowns in 2009, threw for 2,367 yards and ran for 1,021 yards, setting a single-season C-USA qb record. However, he also threw for 16 interceptions, the third-highest total in the conference. Senior Rashaud Slaughter led the team in rushing last year with 514 yards and four TDs. He also ranked second in catches with 29. Junior WR Frantrell Forrest (6-2, 195) is back after leading the team with 536 yards. The offensive returns all five starters, but are moving Greg Calhoun (6-3, 300) to right tackle and are searching for a new left tackle.
Defense: The defense returns seven starters from a unit that allowed 31.3ppg and 429.9yds/game (106th in the nation). They did start to turn the corner the last three games, allowing just 13.7ppg. Up front, they return three of four starters including DE Bryant Turner (6-2, 260), who had four sacks last year. Junior Tim Davs (6-0, 275) moves from tackle to end to make room for senior NT David DeCordova (6-2, 280). Juco transfer Derek Slaughter (6-2, 245) could also make an impact up front. At linebacker, they must replace two starters. Freshman Daniel White (6-2, 220) will get an early nod in the middle, while junior Keon Harris (5-11, 205) is back (47 tackles). In the secondary, UAB must replace three starters in the secondary, including All-C-USA CB Kevin Sanders. SS Chase Daniel (6-3, 190) has the most experience after finishing tied for third in tackles with 47.
Outlook: UAB faces Rice and SMU at home to start the season, so they jump right into conference play. Their non-conference schedule features Troy, Texas A&M Florida Atlantic and Ole Miss. They do take on Southern Miss at home and ECU on the road. Pretty tough schedule for a team that needs to rebuild their defense and find a consistent running game on offense.
This CUSA prediction is courtesy of the ATS Sports Blog. If you are looking for winning college football betting picks be sure to choose ATS Consultants this year, A featured sports handicapping service on Touthouse.com