UAB's season got off to a bad start with their 34-31 overtime loss to Troy. Now the Blazers are getting ready for their showdown with #12 LSU this weekend in Baton Rouge.
Blazers head coach Garrick McGee's coaching philosophy was on full display against the Trojans on Saturday night. There's one thing McGee and LSU head coach Les Miles have in common: They both like to make aggressive calls on fourth down and on special teams if they think the game is there to be won.
A classic example of McGee going for the kill came in the third quarter of UAB's loss to Troy. UAB wide receiver Jamarcus Nelson's incredible 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown gave the Blazers a ten point lead, 24-14. But on the ensuing kickoff, McGee elected to try for a surprise onside kick instead of kicking the ball deep. Troy recovered at the UAB 46-yard-line, and cut the lead to seven via a field goal on that possession. McGee told us a story about how coaching under Bobby Petrino at Arkansas helped him develop his aggressive mentality.
"We were playing a game," McGee said. "It was 4th and 1. The clock was running. (Petrino) calls a 'Go Route' down the sideline for a touchdown to win the game. I sat and talked with him about what's the deal with that call. I was thinking run. (He said) 'No. You go for it.' When you get the opportunity to go for the kill, you go for it because you don't get that opportunity much."
"I love it," Nelson said. "I might not look like it, but I'm an aggressive guy. Whether it's Playstation 3 or anything, I'm going to go for it."
McGee did admit when you look at the result, it was the wrong call to make.
UAB and #12 LSU will kickoff Saturday, September 7th at 6:00 PM.
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