Last Updated: 2018-11-30
We’re 7-6 with Our College Pick of the Week, and this week we’ll look at the game between UAB and Middle Tennessee State. MTS is favored by 1 and the total on the game has dropped to 44.5 after opening at 47.
These two played last week and Middle Tennessee came away with a convincing 27-3 victory. The Blazers were without three starting offensive linemen and their leading rusher had just one carry, as he was also banged up. It was essentially a meaningless game for UAB and one that Middle Tennessee needed to get here, so expect a completely different approach to the game by the Blazers.
Both teams averaged 29.5 points per game, but MTS gets a slight nod due to having played slightly tougher defenses during the season. The Raiders don’t run the ball particularly well, but are solid throwing the ball, but UAB is pretty strong against both.
Middle Tennessee averages just 3.7 yards per rush and UAB allows just 3.5 yards per carry, so it’s not likely the Raiders will have a lot of success on the ground. But then again, they don’t need to with quarterback Brent Stockstill, who seems like he’s been at MTS for a decade. He was 22 for 29 last week, but UAB was almost treating the game like a preseason game, which won’t be the case Saturday.
UAB will want to run the ball and they had nearly a 2-to-1 ration of runs versus passes during the season, running 44 times and throwing just 25. While the ground game was non-existent last week, the return of the offensive line will be a huge boost, as will the return of Spencer Brown, who saw just a few plays last week. With the makeshift offensive line, UAB quarterback Erdely rushed 10 times for -48 yards and the Blazers finished with 29 carries for – 1 yard. Brown has rushed for 993 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.
UAB has the better defense and that should be the difference in this game, particularly if the offense picks up a little bit and doesn’t leave the defense on the field for 35 minutes as was the case last week.
Last week, the Blue Raiders had all the incentive, but it’s completely different this week and I think the Blazers will get enough done offensively to pull out the win in what should be a decent game.
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