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UAB and USM is Defense vs Offense

Tyler Johnston III is a solid quarterback for UAB. His arm and his ability to scramble made him the choice to lead the Blazers over former starter — and since departed — AJ Erdely.

The problem is that he is prone to some interceptions. Against WKU he was poor.

Southern Miss has the quality and speed on defense to make him do that again — especially in Hattiesburg.

On the other side of the ball is one Jack Abraham, completion percentage maven and someone with his own tendency for turnover. Again, he is fortunate this game is at the Rock.

Abraham has thrown 19 scores and only five interceptions in two years at home. He has tossed a measly nine touchdowns and an ungodly 14 interceptions on the road.

If any team can make you feel uncomfortable in your own house it is UAB’s defense.

The Birmingham fans will tell you this team is actually better than last year’s championship winning squad but your eyes will see they are a little less resilient when things get rough, and definitely less tested.

That is not to say this year’s edition of Bill Clark’s Boys will not repeat, but that they will need more from the offense — and from the QB position especially — to do that.

Southern Miss is CR’s Must Watch team of the year, with no less than five players that can take it the distance from anywhere on the grid.

This team lit up North Texas at home and nearly escaped Ruston unscathed before succumbing to — you guessed it — interceptions late.

This is not quite a division decider, but it will put LA Tech in a golden spot no matter the victor. Tech will be playing North Texas roughly at the same time. If they pull out the victory as favorites, they will have a loss-column advantage over each and maybe a head to head one also.

This game is a statement game for Southern Miss, with a fully capable team playing a big division game at home. If they drop this, questions should be asked.

For UAB, this is not a referendum on the team, but merely a hiccup. It is the kind of game they won last season, and got close to winning two seasons ago. We will at least learn what this edition of the Blazers is made of.

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