Back-to-Back! UAB wins West Division with 26-21 victory at North Texas

UAB’s TD Marshall (18) (UAB Athletics)

DENTON, Texas – The UAB football team claimed its second-consecutive Conference USA West Division title with a 26-21 victory over North Texas on Saturday afternoon at Apogee Stadium.
UAB (9-3, 6-2 C-USA) earned the right to defend its C-USA title and will travel to Florida Atlantic (9-3, 7-1 C-USA) for the championship game next Saturday, Dec. 7, at 12:30 p.m. CST on CBS Sports Network. 
Junior defensive back TD Marshall made the play of the game as his 76-yard pick-6 with 20 seconds to go in the third quarter gave UAB a 26-21 lead and proved to be the game-winning touchdown. 
The nation’s sixth ranked defense had a heroic effort, especially late, and concluded the game with seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and two interceptions. Both Kristopher Moll and Jordan Smith had two sacks, and Garrett Marino had the final sack on 4th-and-11 to secure the victory. UAB held North Texas to just 21 rushing yards for the entire game. 
Offensively, the Blazers did most of their damage on the ground, compiling 203 rushing yards. The ground attack was spearheaded by Spencer Brown and Lucious Stanley, who combined for 183 of the 203 rushing yards, and each scored a touchdown. 
Brown rushed for a season-high 111 yards, and in the process became UAB’s career leader in 100-yard rushing games with 13. 
The Blazers took a 17-14 lead into the locker room behind second quarter rushing touchdowns from Brown and Stanley. Stanley’s 2-yard score capped a 95-yard drive with :33 remaining in the half. 
UAB outgained North Texas 191-144 in the opening half behind a balanced attack of 97 yards rushing and 94 passing. 
Nick Vogel’s 41-yard field goal opened the scoring in the second half and gave the Blazers a 20-14 lead, but North Texas regained a 21-20 lead with 6:24 left in the third on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Mason Fine to Jaelon Darden. 
Following that touchdown, UAB fumbled the ensuing kickoff, but no damage was done as Starling Thomas V came up with his first career interception in the end zone to halt the Mean Green momentum. 
North Texas then moved down to the UAB 29 yard line on its next possession, but faced a 4th-and-1 which resulted in Marshall picking off UNT quarterback Mason Fine and returning it 76 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
The Blazers had four of their seven sacks in the second half, and two of them on North Texas’ final possession. 
Next week’s title game pairs the last two Conference USA champions against each other as Florida Atlantic won it in 2017 and UAB in 2018.