Week 5 - Tulsa at UAB

Posted Sep 28, 2012

Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Tulsa at UAB

Tulsa (3-1) at UAB (0-3) Sept. 29, 3:00

Here's The Deal: UAB's winless start hasn't come without some valuable lessons and high points along the way. A week after getting annihilated by South Carolina, the Blazers turned heads in a 29-15 loss to Ohio State in Columbus. They outgained the Buckeyes, and held an edge in time of possession, key signs of progress for a program that has a long way to go under rookie head coach Garrick McGee. Tulsa has now won three straight games since losing the opener to Iowa State. The latest win was the most impressive for the West Division contenders, a fourth quarter comeback to just get by visiting Fresno State.

Why Tulsa Might Win: UAB is averaging just 16 points a game, and is undecided whether to start incumbent Jonathan Perry or redshirt freshman Austin Brown at quarterback. Whoever gets the ball from McGee will spend much of the afternoon dodging the Golden Hurricane pass rush. Tulsa leads the country in tackles for loss—and is No. 2 in sacks—attacking opposing pockets with waves of athletic defenders, like FS Demarco Nelson and linebackers DeAundre Brown and Dewitt Jennings.

Why UAB Might Win: When Tulsa pins its ears back, it can often leave the defensive backs alone on an island. It'll be up to either Perry or Brown, who had his moments in Columbus, to make the Hurricane pay by getting the ball in the hands of speedy receivers Jackie Williams and Patrick Hearn. On the flip side, Tulsa QB Cody Green is coming off an erratic three-pick game that could impact his confidence level heading into this week's game.

What To Watch Out For: If Tulsa is going to go ahead and win the West in Conference USA, it'll need Green to have a very short memory. He was awful last week, completing less than 50% of his passes and throwing two picks in his second meeting with a quality opponent. Green possesses the requisite athleticism, but just still needs to attain a higher level of chemistry with his receivers.

What Will Happen: When times get tough, Tulsa can always turn to its talented trio of backs, Ja'Terian Douglas, Trey Watts and Alex Singleton, for help. The Hurricane will put a saddle on the ground game, riding it past UAB's upset bid. The Blazers are a plucky bunch for McGee, but it still lacks the personnel to keep pace with a team like the Hurricane.

CFN Prediction: Tulsa 35 … UAB 19
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Tulsa -13.5 O/U: 59.5