Alabama State went into Birmingham ready to fight in its season-opener against in-state FBS foe UAB. ASU went into hostile territory and nearly ended up with a win, falling 24-19 to UAB at Legion Field.
Khar’Darri Davis completed 18 of 31 passes for 112 yards for Alabama State, adding on two touchdowns and one costly interception. Duran Bell finished with 10 carries for a 112 yards and a touchdown.
Duran Bell wrecked havoc all night, scoring two touchdowns in the first half. Bell ran for a 67 yard touchdown, tying the game at 7-7 heading into the second quarter after an early UAB score. A fumble by Starling Thomas set up a quick 16 yard touchdown pass from Davis to Tyrek Allen to take a 13-7 lead with eight minutes left in the second.
Hunter Hanson responded with a kick return touchdown giving the Blazers as 14-13 lead. Halting any momentum the Hornets built off of their quick score. A quick 10-point flurry to end the half left the score 24-13 in favor of the Blazers at intermission.
Alabama State pulled together a nine play drive to inch closer to UAB. A Davis pass to Joshua Knight for a seven yard touchdown and a failed two point conversion attempt gave ASU some confidence in the middle of the third.
The Hornets forced their second fumble of the night and recovered the ball the very next possession, but struggled to put points on the board heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter would be an exciting and frustrating one as ASU received good field possession on its first attempt to score in the fourth and was able to put together five solid plays to get to the three yard line of the Blazers. KHA’Darri Davis was stuffed on fourth and goal and that lead to a turnover on downs.
The Hornets defense gave their offense another chance to score in the middle of the fourth. On the eight play of the drive Davis threw an interception that sealed up the last bit of momentum the Hornets were able to amount in this game.
UAB’s three headed rushing attack lead the way in the trenches, adding up to 182 yards to finish the game, lead by Spencer Brown’s 77 yards.
A loss is still a loss, but Alabama State came to play against an FBS opponent and gave it a serious scare. The rest of its opponents surely had to have paid attention to that. Except maybe Florida State. But hey, you never know.