Bill Clark talks about the season opener against Troy - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Bill Clark talks about the season opener against Troy

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 The Bill Clark era at UAB is getting ready to kickoff this weekend at Legion Field.

The Blazers will host rival Troy at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

UAB head coach Bill Clark spoke with the media today about the start of the season (click on the video player above).

Opening comments

“I think every school in America is excited about getting started this week. It's been a long time of going against each other and offseason conditioning. Speaking for our team, I am exceptionally proud of the job they have done and of the support we have gotten. The growth we have made since the spring has been great. We will see what happens on the field but they have had a really good camp.”

On expectations for first game

“Our expectations are to win. If you ask Larry Blakeney of Troy, he would tell you the same thing. Our job is to put our guys in a position to win. That will be our expectation every week. At the same time, we are realistic about our opponents. They are trying to do the same thing that we are.”

On quarterback position

“Cody Clements will start us out and Jeremiah Briscoe will be second. We want our offense to feel comfortable with two guys and I think they are. But somebody's got to go out there first and Cody has earned that right. Jeremiah got banged up early in camp, but he has had a great camp. All of our quarterbacks have done a nice job.”

On QB Cody Clements

“He's got a little edge in the movement department. They both can throw the ball very well, but he moves around a little better. Jeremiah may have a stronger arm. Cody was our starter coming out of spring training. Cody has mainly been the ‘A1' guy since we've been here.”

On playing two quarterbacks

“We could. We are not going to say that we will never play the other quarterback, but we don't want the starter looking over his shoulder or the backup to get his feelings hurt if he doesn't play. We have a history of playing two guys, so I think it will work itself out. Cody is going to get every opportunity to be in there.”

On how many plays the offense will run

“I can't really predict that, but I can tell you that we are a tempo team. We may need to slow it down. Troy is a tempo team as well. We play by situations. They have the ability to check anytime they want to and so do we. I won't give you an exact number other than to say that we have been between 75 to 80 (plays). We will see what happens.”

On fast-paced offense helping defense

“It's a double-edged sword. From us preparing for a fast-paced team, how we practice, the energy it takes, and the way we split reps, I think it's great. But it's the double-edged sword if you are not moving the ball on offense and putting your defense right back on the field. We tell the offense all the time that they have been given the gift of tempo and that they need to use it. If they don't take advantage of how hard it is on a defense, then they are hurting our defense.”

On competing against an in-state rival

“We know these guys. We have friends there. Anytime you know people, it makes it a bigger rivalry. We are trying to get the same players. There is nothing personal. It's the first opponent and it's in state. Those are the people that you want to compete against.”

On what to expect from Troy

“Two years ago, they were a top 10 offense in the country. Last year, they had both quarterbacks back. They have all three running backs back and a huge offensive line. Offensively, we expect them to be good.”

On depth

“It would not be where I wanted it to be, but it may never be there. We have created depth by splitting time in practice. We have two practice groups going at the same time. That creates depth. We have guys that know what to do and how to do it. There is a reason that one guy starts over the other, because he's probably a little bit better.”

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