Conference USA Championship: UAB Blazers vs Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, 12–1–2018
UAB Blazers vs Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders
NCAAF: Saturday, December 1st, 1:30 PM EST
Odds: MTSU -1.5, 45
The Conference USA Championship kicks off on Saturday at 1:30 pm at Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium is a stadium in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. These two teams met just last week to close out the regular season with the Blue Raiders beating the Blazers, 27–3. The Blazers had won eight straight before losing their final two games to Texas A&M and MTSU. The Blue Raiders finished the season winners in five of their final six games.
UAB (9–3, 7–1 C-USA) never got their offense going in a 27–3 loss to Middle Tennessee State last week to set up a rematch for the CUSA championship. The Blazers had a fantastic season led by a ferocious defense that was 9th in points allowed (16.7 PPG), 7th in passing yards (166 YPG) and 7th in Total Yards (287 YPG). The defense was fairly reliable all season and they hope to get their offense back on track. UAB’s offensive line allowed seven sacks and 12 tackles for a loss in last week’s loss, which prevented them from running and throwing the ball effectively. The Blazers will need to keep QB A.J. Erdely upright and provide protection to allow him time to throw and open up holes for the running game which features RB Spencer Brown (996 yards, 15 TDs).
The Blue Raiders (8–4, 7–1) are no stranger to conference championship games, Middle Tennessee has won it 13 times — (11 times in the Ohio Valley, twice in the Sun Belt). MTSU has put together a solid season and if it weren’t for going (0–3) vs the SEC, they may have more wins. The best unit on the field last week vs UAB was the Blue Raiders defensive front. They wreaked havoc on the UAB offensive line and they will approach this matchup with the same game plan. QB Brent Stockstill (2841, 26 TD, 6 INT) has been efficient all season and limiting turnovers has been the key to this offense.
What has changed in one week? Not much. The Blue Raiders played a balanced game from an offensive and defensive perspective. UAB’s offensive line was not able to block the Blue Raiders defensive front and had trouble moving the football. UAB’s defense has been the star all season but this unit gets taxed when their offense is going three and out. I like the Blue Raiders to win and cover the small spread at home. I expect the Blazers to play this game closer than last week after making adjustments but MTSU is the better team and they are 5–0 SU at home this season.