Week 12 - Memphis at UAB

Posted Nov 16, 2012

Week 12 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Memphis at UAB

Memphis (2-8) at UAB (3-7) Nov. 17, 2:00

Here's The Deal: UAB is playing better for rookie head coach Garrick McGee, who hopes that it can propel the program into 2013. The Blazers are breaking down barriers weekly. Two weeks ago, they won on the road for the first time. And last Saturday, they upset Marshall in an outcome that's sure to boost the confidence of the younger players. Having matched last year's win total, UAB hopes to surpass it this Saturday.

Memphis is fresh off an impressive win as well, beating Tulane, 37-23, to snap a four-game losing streak. Similar to McGee, Tigers' head coach Justin Fuente is in his first year of a major reclamation project. He's used a swath of young kids, who'll hopefully be paying bigger dividends a year from now.

Why Memphis Might Win: For the first time this season, the Tigers are finding ways to put points on the board.

Memphis has scored 65 points in the last two weekends combined. QB Jacob Karam continues to be a low-risk distributor of the ball, and rookie backs Jai Steib and Jai Steib have helped boost the running game. Unlike UAB this season, the Tigers are protecting the pocket relatively well in 2012, affording Karam the passing lanes to find Marcus Rucker and Keiwone Malone.

Why UAB Might Win: The Memphis offense has shown life, but UAB's has become downright potent.

Under McGee, a former offensive assistant, the Blazers have averaged 36 points over the last four games. Sophomore RB Darrin Reaves has been the catalyst, zipping for 658 yards and nine touchdowns over that time. His unexpected push toward the All-Conference USA Team has kept the chains moving, and more important, provided much-needed blows for the UAB defense.

What To Watch Out For: Yeah, UAB QB Austin Brown is just a redshirt freshman, but he's been on the job too long to still be making so many mistakes through the air. The Blazers have been scoring despite the rookie's turnovers, including seven picks over the last three games. If he can improve his decisions and take a few less sacks, the attack in Birmingham will really be on a roll.

What Will Happen: Motivation will not be a problem on either sideline, as UAB and Memphis attempt to use November as a springboard to 2013. The Blazers offense, though, will be an issue for the Tigers. McGee has his system starting to hum behind the running of Reaves. If Brown can cut down on his errant throws, UAB will make it three in a row, this one by double-digits.

CFN Prediction: UAB 36 … Memphis 24
Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) UAB -10 O/U: 58
Must Watch Rating (5 – Killing Them Softly, 1 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2): 1