BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | Alabama State came up short in its bid to pull off the upset of an FBS opponent, falling to UAB 24-19 in front the third largest crowd in UAB history (39,165) Thursday night at Legion Field.
Duran Bell led Alabama State (0-1) with a career-high 112 yards on the ground on just 10 carries that included a 67-yard first quarter touchdown. Larry Brown III also turned in a career night for the Hornets as he caught five passes for 25 yards, while Irshaad Davis led the defense in his first collegiate game with seven tackles and two forced fumbles.
The Hornets had their chances during the contest, forcing a pair of turnovers and getting inside the three-yard line in the fourth quarter. They got the ball with just three minutes remaining in the contest and moved the ball across midfield, until an interception ended the contest.
How They Scored
UAB got on the board first with a one-yard run by Tyler Johnston III with 8:55 to play in the first quarter to cap off a nine-play, 84-yard drive.
Alabama State answered with a 67-yard run by Bell with 8:13 to play in the quarter (just 42 seconds after the Blazers’ score) to cap off a two-play drive and tie the game at 7-all.
The Hornets took advantage of a turnover and scored when KHA’Darris Davis hit Tyrek Allen for a 16-yard catch and run, giving Alabama State a 13-7 lead with 8:01 left to play in the opening frame.
UAB took a 14-13 lead with 7:43 to play in the opening quarter when Myron Mitchell took the ensuing kickoff 98-yards for a score. The Blazers would add a 46-yard field goal by Nick Vogel (10:33) and a 23-yard pass from Johnston to Kendall Parham (4:39) to take a 24-13 lead into the break.
Alabama State added the final score of the game in the third quarter with 5:31 to play as Davis hit Joshua Knight over the middle with a 7-yard touchdown.
Key Stat of the Game
Alabama State ran the ball 32 times for 145 net yards, while UAB finished the night with just 176 on the ground on 46 carries. The Hornets averaged 4.5 yards per carry, compared to UAB’s 3.8 yards per carry.
Although the defense did not have a sack on the night, they recorded four tackles for loss (14 yards) and had a quarterback hurry with their new defensive scheme. The defense held UAB to 0-10 on third down attempts until 5:24 in the fourth, UAB finished the game 1-13.
Alabama State returns to action next Saturday in the Labor Day Classic against Tuskegee inside ASU Stadium. Kick is set for 5 pm, with pregame set for 4:30 pm on the Hornet Sports Network.
Quotable – Head coach Donald Hill-Eley
“I thought the kids played well. We had a couple miscues against a good football team, and they capitalized on them. The kickoff return, and a great goal-line stance they had against so that is 14 points that could have went our way.” – overall thoughts on the game
“We have to get better from game one to two and overall get better and better every week as we move forward. But I am proud of these men, they took on the Conference USA champions and took them to the wire.” – toughness of the team
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