Second time is a charm?
Certainly for UAB, this can be applied accurately.
Last week’s first game in the newly minted Protective Stadium resulted in a Blazer meltdown at the hands of Liberty. This week, the FAU Owls were much more accommodating house guests. UAB notched their first victory at their new home and posted their fourth victory on what looks to be a successful season ahead.
The energy around Protective Stadium intensified as gametime neared. The Blazer Village tailgating area, and all the Uptown Birmingham watering holes became popular spots. A makeshift fraternity row housed partying college kids under Greek lettered tents. The pregame team walk marched through fans toward the stadium entrance, and the band pumped up the crowd with university favorites. The scene was set to right to ship from last week’s debacle.
The Blazers got off to a fast opening start with a touchdown capping their initial drive. A bit of volleying scores back and forth kept the game tight until late in the first half as FAU was on the doorstep to taking the lead. An errant 2nd and goal pass turned into a record breaking play in UAB history. Grayson Cash intercepted the foul throw roughly four yards deep in the end zone and returned it from goal line to goal line extending the Blazer lead to 24-14 – a lead they would not surrender.
The 100-yard interception return vaulted the crowd to its highest decibel level of the day. It was an active crowd, but a slightly disappointing turnout for a good team entering its debut games in a sparkling new stadium. The interest for the Auburn/Georgia game may have kept a few folks opting for the bar instead. The shadow of War Eagle and Roll Tide continues to be tough to emerge from, but this new stadium and a promising season is a good start toward stealing a few future headlines in the great state of Alabama.