Playin' Nice: UAB

Drew Champlin of the Birmingham News was kind enough to answer some questions on the Blazers.

1. What can you tell us about the Blazers in general? It's been 12 years or so since UAB has come to Baton Rouge, and I have to admit, I just haven't kept a lot of tabs on the Blazers.

UAB has gone through a lot since then, mostly downs, though they're hoping that Garrick McGee has them on the right track. The talent is improving, but this is the year McGee needs to beat teams on a similar level, like Troy, which they did not do last week. UAB was very good for three quarters but not so much in the fourth.

2. Garrick McGee was considered a young up-and-comer a few years ago as Arkansas' offensive coordinator under Bobby Petrino. How's he doing in Birmingham so far?

Right now he's 3-10 with only one win over an FBS team that won a game last year. UAB has bad facilities but he says the talent is here, so they can still probably win 5-6 games this year. He's known for developing quarterbacks and Austin Brown's improvement from last year looked evident in the first game. He's aggressive, sometimes to a fault with his love for going for it on fourth down a bit much and with the onside kicks. We haven't seen any fake punts of FGs (this year) yet, so that's probably a matter of time.

3. What style of offense and defense can LSU look forward to seeing?

It's a pro-style offense, but one that will use tempo and move fast against the CUSA-type schools. They line up with one or two tight ends a lot and use powerful running back Jamari Staples. Defensively, it's a 3-4 with the intent of slowing down fastbreaking CUSA offenses that spread the field and go no-huddle.

4. Some say UAB is something of a dead-end job, with the program not able to get real traction financially in a state that already has a pair of major programs. What do you say to that?

It's a tough job, for sure. There is no on-campus stadium, but a bigger need first off is a much better football facility, which players would be able to be in every day of the year, not just 5-6 days for home games. That should be presented to the board and probably passed this fall. If you build that with a big 100-yard turf field behind it, all that's left is to fill in some stands.

5. Finally, care to offer any prediction for Saturday?

I'll go LSU 45-17, with UAB covering that massive spread because I think they'll score a little bit.

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