college football picks Troy at U-A-B 9-18-10

September 18, 2010


DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 18th, 4:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Legion Field (71,594) — Birmingham, Alabama. Television: None. Home Record: Troy 1-0, UAB 0-1. Away Record: Troy 0-1, UAB 0-1. Neutral Record: Troy 0-0, UAB 0-0. Conference Record: Troy 0-0, UAB 0-1. Series Record: Troy leads, 4-3.

GAME NOTES: The UAB Blazers continue their search for that elusive first win of the 2010 season as they play host to the Troy Trojans on Saturday afternoon.

Troy fell to 1-1 on the year after almost completing one of the biggest upsets of the young season last week, falling 41-38 to the Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road.

The Blazers are still winless on the season as they fell to Conference USA rival SMU last weekend on the road, 28-7. The Blazers were coming off a heartbreaker as they dropped a 32-31 decision at home to Florida Atlantic in the opener.

Troy holds a slim margin in the all-time series with UAB, leading 4-3. Last year the teams played in Troy, a game in which the Trojans were the victors, 27-14. The teams have split the four games played thus far in Birmingham, 2-2.

Troy got an impressive performance from quarterback Corey Robinson last Saturday as he connected on 28-of-38 passes for 272 yards and three touchdowns in the hearty battle with Oklahoma State. The Trojan offense has been able to put up an average of 34 points per game, compared to just 19 for UAB this season. Troy boasts a balanced offensive attack, averaging 269 passing ypg with four touchdowns, and 154 ypg with two scores on the ground.

The Troy defense has allowed an average of 425.5 yards per game (141 rushing, 284.5 passing). Oklahoma State was able to gain 348 yards through the air on 29-of-39 passing against the Trojans last Saturday, including two touchdowns. However, Troy was able to come up with two interceptions on the day (three for the year), helping the Trojans to nearly pull off the upset. Troy’s defensive mindset was aggressive, forcing a total of five fumbles on the day, recovering three. Turnovers could play a big factor in this weekend’s battle with UAB, so expect the Trojans to build upon the momentum gained against a formidable foe in Oklahoma State.

UAB is led by sophomore quarterback David Isabelle. As he goes, so do the Blazers. Isabelle started the 2010 season running wild as he scrambled for a remarkable 214 yards and three touchdowns, putting the Blazers in the position to gain the victory over Florida Atlantic. However, the potential winning field goal was blocked, and the Blazers fell in a 32-31 final. Isabelle also threw for 79 yards and one touchdown on 9-of-19 passing. UAB faltered in a more conventional manner in week two as the SMU Mustangs defeated the Blazers, 28-7. Isabelle completed 7-of-15 passes for 109 yards with one score and one pick. He was kept out of the end zone on the ground, as he ran for only 34 yards on 16 carries.

In order for UAB to be successful this Saturday, the Blazers will have to tighten things up on the defensive side of the ball, particularly in the ground game. Going up against a consistent yet manageable offense in Troy, this should be a terrific barometer in figuring out if the Blazers can control a game and let their offense take care of business. UAB has given up a respectable 384 yards per contest thus far in 2010. However, 168.5 of those yards have come attempting to defend the run. Troy will undoubtedly try to continue exploiting this problem in the UAB defense.

The Trojans head into Birmingham on a high after almost toppling a good Oklahoma State squad. Expect Troy to keep Isabelle and the Blazers in check and take the victory.

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