UAB got its second bowl win in team history Saturday.
DeWayne McBride rushed for over 180 yards in the Blazers' 31-28 upset over No. 13 BYU in the Independence Bowl. The win means UAB finishes the season at 9-4 and has won at least nine games in three of the past four seasons.
It’s an incredible turnaround for a program that didn’t exist in 2015 and 2016 after it was shut down. UAB hadn’t finished above .500 from 2005-2014 and university leaders didn’t think the program was worth having around any longer.
A grassroots push helped bring back the program after a two-year absence and it has flourished since. UAB has finished with a winning record in every year since football restarted in 2017 and the team’s new football stadium opened in October.
UAB’s first bowl win came in 2018 when the Blazers beat Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl. Saturday’s win is the biggest for the school since the team was restarted. BYU was 6-1 against Power Five opponents in 2021 and nearly made a New Year’s Six bowl after running roughshod against the Pac-12.
McBride put UAB up 14-0 with a 64-yard TD run, though BYU quickly tied the game at 14-14. Gerrit Prince’s second TD catch of the day put the Blazers up at halftime, but BYU punched back again and took a 28-24 lead on Tyler Allgeier’s third TD run in the early seconds of the fourth quarter.
Eight minutes later, UAB had the lead for good. Trea Shropshire capped a 15-play drive with a 14-yard TD catch from Dylan Hopkins.
BYU (10-3) looked like it was going to have a formidable chance to take the lead or at least tie the game after UAB went back ahead. But Samson Nacua simply dropped the football as he tucked it away to turn up field on a 22-yard catch. UAB recovered with 3:36 to go and ran out the clock.