SAN ANTONIO – A year ago, UAB did not have a football team. This year, it’s near the top of the Conference USA-West.

A large part of the Blazers (6-3, 4-2) rise is the mistake-free play they play. Junior quarterback A.J. Erdely has thrown for 1,692 yards on 144 completions. Of those, 12 have scored and only two of his 236 passes have been intercepted.

UTSA (5-3, 2-3) has the fifth-ranked defense throughout the country in terms of yards per game. It’s defense, though, will need to force more mistakes than its used to. With only 10 interceptions on the year, it may need a few more forces Saturday evening.

Last week, the Roadrunners put up a measly seven points in its loss to Florida International. UTSA quarterback Dalton Strum had his worst game of the year, though, throwing for 105 yards and a touchdown, good enough for an adjusted QBR of 25.4.

History

These two have met up once in a UTSA win 52-31 in San Antonio. Saturday will likely have less scoring, as both teams have found a groove on defense. In the last three weeks, the Roadrunner defense has allowed 14 or less while UAB has kept teams under 25 since its September 24 loss to UNT.

For UTSA, a win here would make it bowl eligible for the second year in a row and fourth time in program history and second year in a row. Games against Marshall and Louisiana Tech remain and are winnable but the Conference USA has been tough so far.

Who To Watch

Converse-native Andre Wilson has 41 catches for 564 yards and six touchdowns. Leading the Blazers in receptions and touchdowns, he is a threat to go deep. But he has not been over 100 yards in five games so he is due. It’ll be hard for him and the UAB offense against a sturdy UTSA defense, but possible.

Jalen Rhodes will need to have a big game for the Roadrunners to be successful. With 572 yards rushing this year, he’s averaging 5.2 a carry. But most of that (424) has come away from home. At home, Rhodes has 36 carries for 148 yards. Granted, only playing four of nine games at home will do that, he is essential to this offense. If Rhodes and the Roadrunners can keep the ball out of Wilson and the Blazers hands, they will control the game.

Game Time

Kickoff is at 6:00 p.m. at the Alamodome. UTSA has two more home games before taking a trip to Louisiana Tech to finish the season.

Gerald Tracy is an assistant editor of Texas football for TexasHSFootball, covering prep football in the San Antonio region. Follow Gerald on Twitter, @GTracySports, and read more of his content here.

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