The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 11, 2012

UAB holds off Herd’s rally for 38-31 victory

From staff and wire reports
The Register-Herald

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Darrin Reaves rushed for 184 yards and two scores and Alabama-Birmingham withstood a late Marshall barrage to win 38-31 Saturday.

The Blazers (3-7, 2-4 Conference USA) led 31-7 with 5:23 left in the third quarter.

Within 2 minutes, the Thundering Herd roared back with a 10-yard TD pass from Rakeem Cato to Jazz King, followed by Kevin Grooms’ 7-yard TD run and Justin Haig’s 38-yard field goal with 7:18 remaining.

Reaves answered with a 17-yard TD, capping an 11-play, 80-yard drive with 2:50 left to set a single-season UAB touchdown record with 12.

Marshall (4-6, 1-5) then moved downfield quickly and efficiently, with Cato connecting with Tommy Shuler on 30- and 19-yard plays before finding Gator Hoskins for a 3-yard TD with 1:41 remaining.

UAB recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

The Blazers’ Austin Brown threw two TD passes and Jackie Williams had a 79-yard punt return.

Cato was 25 of 34 for a season-low 216 yards and one interception.

Marshall lost despite forcing four UAB turnovers. Brown, a true freshman, threw three interceptions.

The Blazers outgained the Herd 406-337 in total offense.

Reaves outran Marshall on his own. The Herd ran for 121 yards, led by Grooms’ 75 yards on 16 carries. Remi Watson had 31 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.

Marshall was playing without senior wide receiver Aaron Dobson, who was injured on the team’s first snap in a 38-28 win over Memphis on Nov. 3.

The loss guarantees the Herd can finish no better than .500 for the second consecutive season. They host Houston at noon Saturday in their home finale before finishing the regular season at East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 23.

Marshall must win both games to become bowl eligible.

UAB 38, MARSHALL 31

MU (4-6)    7    0    7    17    —    31

UAB (3-7)    14    10    7    7    —    38

First Quarter

MU: Watson 2 run (Haig kick), 12:27.

UAB: Williams 79 punt return (Long kick), 7:59.

UAB: Reaves 4 run (Long kick), 2:39.

Second Quarter

UAB: Hearn 33 pass from A.Brown (Long kick), 14:50.

UAB: FG Long 27, :17.

Third Quarter

UAB: N.Adams 32 pass from A.Brown (Long kick), 5:23.

MU: King 10 pass from Cato (Haig kick), 3:28.

Fourth Quarter

MU: Grooms 7 run (Haig kick), 14:40.

MU: FG Haig 38, 7:18.

UAB: Reaves 17 run (Long kick), 2:50.

MU: Hoskins 3 pass from Cato (Haig kick), 1:41.

Attendance — 11,981.

    MU    UAB

First downs    18    25

Rushes-yards    41-121    42-209

Passing    216    197

Comp-Att-Int    25-34-1    20-34-3

Return Yards    0    104

Punts-Avg.    6-36.3    2-42.0

Fumbles-Lost    0-0    2-1

Penalties-Yards    2-30    5-30

Time of Possession    25:29    34:31

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — MU: Grooms 16-75, Watson 8-31, Butler 9-21, Team 1-(minus 2), Cato 7-(minus 4). UAB: Reaves 32-184, Coles 5-60, Team 2-(minus 2), A.Brown 3-(minus 33).

PASSING — MU: Cato 25-34-1-216. UAB: A.Brown 20-34-3-197.

RECEIVING — MU: Shuler 5-77, Hoskins 4-41, Watson 4-30, Butler 4-13, Anta.Wilson 3-24, Evans 2-18, Crawford 1-11, King 1-10, Cato 1-(minus 8). UAB: Reaves 6-37, N.Adams 3-47, Nelson 3-30, Hearn 2-47, Williams 2-26, Backman 2-8, Accursio 1-4, J.Davis 1-(minus 2).