Despite the Cougars defeating UAB 56-13 last season, the past eight games between them have been split 4-4.
Head coach Tony Levine said the Blazers will present a stiff competition.
“One thing that stands out more than anything is that they play very hard,” Levine said. “They are extremely young, which shows how well they’ve done recruiting. They play extremely hard in all phases of the game.”
UAB is coming off its first victory of the season, 52-3 against Southeastern Louisiana. UAB features redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown, who led the Blazers to victory in his first collegiate start.
After putting up 337 yards in UAB’s previous game, Brown threw 266 yards and a touchdown, all before the half against Southeastern Louisiana.
Levine said the Blazers two-quarterback system is a difficult challenge.
“Offensively they’ve been playing with two quarterbacks and the statistics are deceiving,” Levine said. “They’re throwing for 303 yards a game and not running effectively but they’ve had some big negative plays that have hurt their rushing statistics. Young quarterback Austin Brown has done a good job of utilizing his weapons on the outside.”
Sophomore line backer Derrick Mathews said stopping the Blazers running game is paramount.
“We try to eliminate the big plays, then you limit the yards or the touchdowns you give up,” Mathews said. “They have a very effective running game. Every week we look to stop the running, so that will be a great goal for us this week.”