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UAB vs. Ohio U,
12-22-2017 - Expert Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#217 UAB
#218 Ohio U

Friday, December 22, 2017 at 12:30pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

UAB Blazers

8 - 4


Ohio U Bobcats

8 - 4


Update (12/21/17)

Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke is expected to play on Friday despite dealing with an undisclosed injury. The Bobcats’ running attack will be a bit hobbled as A.J. Ouellette, the team’s second-best runner, is questionable with his shoulder injury. Dorian Brown’s hip problems keep him questionable, and wide receiver Brendan Cope also remains questionable with the ankle injury that forced him out in the regular season finale.

UAB and Ohio will travel a long distance to the Bahamas Bowl at Thomas Robinson Stadium on Friday, December 22nd. Both teams ended with an 8-4 record and had eight victories against the spread. The Blazers won four of their last five games and the loss came at Florida. The Bobcats stumbled to the finish line with back-to-back losses.

Blazers hope defense steps up one more time

UAB’s defense — outside of a blowout against Florida — really stepped up down the stretch. They’ve held teams to 24.3 points per game and none of the four teams in their conference got past that mark in the second half of the season. The latest came against UTEP, where their opponent had a 7-3 lead early, but the Blazers were able to put up 25 consecutive points. They held the Miners to a winless season.

Ohio’s weakness is in their passing defense, so that’s what the Blazers have to focus on. Quarterback A.J. Erdely has been fairly efficient in that category completing 61.8 percent of his passes for 2,077 yards and sports a ratio of 16 touchdowns to 4 picks. The team’s leading receiver, Andre Wilson, has 619 yards on 48 catches with six touchdowns, but he has been held out of the endzone in the last three games.

Bobcats could be without a number of their offensive parts

Ohio fizzled down the stretch with losses at Akron and Buffalo, which held the team out of the MAC title game. Things were looking good after a blowout win against Toledo, but they gave up 68 total points after that in the defeats. Quarterback Nathan Rourke had a respectable campaign as the sophomore completed 54.2 percent of his passes and had a ratio of 15 TDs to 7 picks. He really got the job done on the ground as the second-leading rusher with 877 yards and 21 touchdowns

Running back A.J. Ouellette is just 15 yards away from a 1,000-yard season. However, he may not be able to get there with a shoulder injury and is listed as questionable (UPDATE: Now doubtful). The team’s third-best runner, Dorian Brown (99 rush attempts, 605 yards, 7 TDs), didn’t play in the regular season finale and is questionable with a hip injury. Their second-best receiver, Brendan Cope (35 catches, 494 yards, receiver-high 4 TDs), also missed the finale with an ankle problem.


UAB is:

  • 5-0 ATS against teams with a winning record
  • 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall

Ohio is:

  • Not available

With a number of Bobcats players banged up, the team could have to rely on their dual-threat quarterback even more. It’s hard to lay the points with them, so go with the Blazers and their decent return to football.

Pick: UAB

Even though the Bobcats may not have many of their offensive weapons, don’t expect a low-scoring affair. If anything, both teams will still give up a lot of yards and points in this one.

UAB is:

  • 11-5 on the Over in their last 16 non-conference games
  • 9-1 on the Over in their last 10 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in prior contest

Ohio is:

  • 5-0 on the Over in their last 5 non-conference games
  • 3-0-1 on the Over in their last 4 games after a SU loss

Pick: Over


Brian Spaen

Blogging journeyman and sports handicapper. His passion for statistics, analyzing team reports, and watching multiple hours of sports daily gives him an edge for picking who will beat the spread. Also writes about technology and video games. Hobbies include enjoying life in the big city, spending way too much time on YouTube, and discovering new craft beer and whisky.


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