Conference USA might be seeing another post-season eligible team in the 2009 season. UAB has been making some progress over the past couple of years under head coach Neil Callaway. Although the Blazers had a losing record, they did show signs of improvement and hope to build off that late season success in 2009.
The offense didn’t have great statistical numbers last season, only putting up 22.8 points per game, and 366 total yards per game, but they are returning a majority of the starters and hope to build off of their experience. Senior quarterback, Joe Webb, will be the main weapon for the Blazers. He is coming off a junior season where he passed and rushed for over 1,000 yards.
When the Blazers take the ball out of Webb’s hands, they will have some talented and experienced receivers to throw to. Frantell Forrest had a breakout season where he led the team in receiving and Mario Wright is a solid receiver. Rashaud Slaughter will be the featured tailback and should be a good compliment in taking the pressure away from Webb.
The defense is going to need to play a lot better then last season if the Blazers are going to become bowl eligible. Although the defense is returning a bunch of their starters, the top three tacklers are not coming back. The Blazers ranked pretty low in all of the defensive statistical categories last season and this must improve if UAB wants to be contenders in the conference.
Bryant Turner has to have a big year on the line and continue to put pressure on the quarterback. In addition, Anthony Barnes and Derek Slaughter will have to help Turner out in getting into the backfield. It will be vital for the guys up front to get the job done because the secondary, which finished 108th in the nation last year, will be very inexperienced
The Blazers have shown glimpses of promise, but without the consistency and experience in the secondary, the Blazers will come just short again of being bowl eligible.