The clock has officially struck midnight on UAB’s Cinderella season.
Ohio (9-4) jumped out to a 27-6 halftime lead and UAB (8-5) couldn’t get much closer than that the last two quarters, with the Bobcats heading back to the States with a dominating and impressive 41-6 win in the fourth annual Bahamas Bowl. With the win, Ohio snapped a three-game bowl losing streak, winning its first postseason games since the 2012 Independence Bowl. The win also improves Frank Solich‘s bowl record to 3-6 at Ohio and 5-9 for his career (he was 2-3 at Nebraska).
As they have throughout the season, Ohio did a significant amount of its damage on the ground. The Bobcats, who came into the game 17th nationally averaging just over 244 yards per game, ran for 250 as a team on the afternoon. Dorian Brown had himself a game individually, accounting for 152 of those yards — on just 12 carries — and four rushing touchdowns. The latter number tied the single-game Bahamas Bowl record previously set by Western Michigan’s Jamauri Bogan in the 2015 game.
Brown, not surprisingly, was named the Player of the Game.
Quarterback Nathan Rourke also acquitted himself quite well, completing 12-of-18 passes for 185 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns in just three quarters worth of work. This marked the first time since October that the sophomore had thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game.
In a losing effort, A.J. Erdely passed for 248 yards. That effort was the third time in 13 games this season that he’s thrown for 200-plus, and served as the second-highest total behind the 321 yards the junior put up in a Sept. 23 loss to North Texas.
Despite the lopsided loss that was its worst of the year, what UAB has done this season should be applauded. With a resounding standing ovation.
After the administration unnecessarily disbanded the football program in December of 2014 and then, under intense public pressure and alongside a massive fundraising effort, resurrected it less than a year later, the Blazers resumed football on the field in 2017 following a two-season sabbatical. And what a remarkable return it was as Bill Clark‘s squad won eight games in the regular season, the most in the program’s history — topping the old standard of seven set in 2004 — and finished second in the Conference USA’s West division.
Today was just the program’s second-ever bowl game as the Blazers were looking for their first-ever postseason win. While they didn’t find it, everyone involved should be proud of what they’ve accomplished this season.