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UAB Blazers vs. UTSA Roadrunners, Preview, and Odds
NCAAF: Saturday, October 12, 2019, Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, 6:00 pm EDT
The UAB Blazers moved on from their first defeat of the season and worst offensive display of the year against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and bounced back with a comfortable win over Rice. It was the Blazers’ fourth victory of the campaign, and they are at the top of Conference USA with the same record (4-1) as the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. However, the Bulldogs are 2-0 in conference play, unlike UAB (1-1), and the Blazers must win this game in which they are labeled as firm favorites. UTSA, on the other hand, snapped the three-game losing streak with a road win over UTEP. It’s going to be hard to continue winning against the Blazers, who were better in the last two H2H encounters.
The Blazers shut down Rice in the second half to get a winUAB didn’t have any luck against Western Kentucky, but they quickly put that game behind with a solid home display against the Rice Owls, 35-20. The Blazers kept the visitors off the scoreboard in the second half, and even though they were scoreless in two quarters, it was more than enough for an easy victory. Sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnston III completed 14 of 25 passes for 282 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He and senior wideout Kendall Parham connected for 109 yards and a couple of scores on three receptions. The team’s leading receiver Austin Watkins had 78 yards and a TD on five catches while Myron Mitchell ended the game with 70 yards on three receptions. Running back Spencer Brown suffered a foot injury early in the game, but Lucious Stanley excellently substituted him. Stanley recorded 88 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, and he will likely continue to lead the rushing offense on Saturday as Brown is listed as out indefinitely.
UTSA has one of the worst defenses against the run in the country, allowing 225.0 yards per game. Although the running is not UAB’s better part of the offense, Stanley should easily have his first 100+ yard display of the season while we can expect the visitors to have around 200 rushing yards here. Surprisingly, the Roadrunners have a top 10 secondary in college football that is letting just 153.8 yards to the opposing receivers. The Blazers might struggle to move the chains through the air, but they can always turn to their running and control the clock and tempo.
The Roadrunners ran over UTEP in a road winUTSA snapped their three-game losing run with a 26-16 road victory over the UTEP Miners, thanks to an excellent running offense. Freshman running back Sincere McCormick had a game of his career with 189 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries while quarterback Lowell Narcisse followed him with 115 yards and a score on 19 attempts. Narcisse didn’t use his receivers much but managed to pass for a touchdown as he connected with Blaze Moorhead in the third quarter.
The Roadrunners are one of the worst offenses when it comes to passing (138.2 yards per game), and I don’t expect Narcisse to throw the ball often against the top 20 secondary that is allowing 183.4 yards per contest. UAB’s defense against the run is even better (90.6 yards per game), and it’s going to be extremely hard for the inefficient hosts to move the chains on Saturday. UTSA should consider themselves lucky if they get anywhere near 300 yards in the offense.
- 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record
- 2-10-1 ATS in their last 13 home games
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win
- 6-0 ATS in their last six games in October
- 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record
- 8-2 ATS in their last ten games following an ATS win
- 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The visitors are a better team in general and they need a conference win. UAB has the top 20 defense in the country that is allowing only 16.4 points per contest and under 280 total yards. The Roadrunners’ already inefficient offense (18.2 points per game) will have a lot of problems to advance with the ball, especially on the ground. Considering the running offense is the primary weapon in Frank Wilson’s system, I am afraid UTSA can replicate the last season’s display against the Blazers, when they scored three points in a loss. Although I don’t think the Blazers will score 52 like they did the last time out, I am backing Lucious Stanley and UAB to get a victory.
Prediction: UAB Blazers -11 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The Blazers didn’t allow more than 20 points in a game this season while the Roadrunners failed to score more than 14 points in each of their three defeats this year. I already backed the visitors to win, which means that I am also backing them to contain the Roadrunners’ offense. Even though UAB scored 52 in the previous H2H duel, that’s not going to be the case this time around. After all, they are averaging 27.6 points per game. That being said, the total of 45.5 seems like an attractive option to go with Under. I expect the ball to be on the ground often, so the time will flow without much interruption, which is always a good sign for a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Under 45 (-110)