Quantcast

Early miscues doom Demons despite bright spots at UAB - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Early miscues doom Demons despite bright spots at UAB

Posted: Updated:
Birmingham, AL -

Courtesy: NSU Athletics

Nothing special Saturday would have been just fine with Northwestern State football coach Jay Thomas, who watched two early breakdowns in the kicking game put the Demons in a two-touchdown hole that defined a 52-28 loss at UAB.

A rain-slicked football sailed past leaping NSU punter Chase Tassin and squirted back to the 8 on the game's seventh play, and the Blazers converted a fourth-and-goal 1-yard TD pass. After an ensuing Demons' 3-and-out, UAB's dynamic returner Jemarcus Russell, third nationally in all-purpose yards, twisted and darted through a pack of defenders then outraced the rest down the Northwestern sideline on a 63-yard punt runback for a 14-0 advantage 4:52 into the game.

"We gave up a punt return and made a bad snap that put us down 14 points right away and if we had not, it probably would have been a three-point game at halftime and we're leading in the third quarter. But every play counts and they made more than we did," said Thomas.

But the Demons (2-2) were much better than last week's 66-9 victims to powerful Cincinnati. They twice pushed back within 10 points, the last time at 31-21 just 68 seconds into the third quarter, and gained a respectable 344 yards, including 100 on 15 carries, with touchdowns of 1 and 3 yards, from Garrett Atzenweiler.

UAB was able to maintain the upper hand thanks to an explosive day from first-team All-Conference USA running back Darrin Reaves, whose power, speed and agility produced 178 yards on 17 runs, including scores of 8 and 50 yards. The Blazers posted 242 rushing yards and threw for 212 more and three scores.

"We didn't tackle well today, in both phases – special teams and defense. You have to give UAB a lot of credit. Their running back was big and physical and their tight ends were big," said Thomas. "We knew that coming into the game, that we were going to have to get them on the ground and we didn't do that enough."

Northwestern got its first break when Fred Thomas made a diving interception at UAB's 36 midway through the opening quarter. The Demons used seven snaps to get on the board when Atzenweiler took a direct snap from the wildcat formation and powered across from the 1.

The Blazers posted the next 10 points to build a 24-7 lead, but a 30-yard Daniel Taylor run set up Atzenweiler's 3-yard TD, and NSU forced a quick 3-and-out late in the first half down 24-14. But the visitors couldn't duplicate their 4-play, 50-yard drive a series earlier, and UAB did, rolling 69 yards on four snaps, the last 8 on Reaves' first score for a 31-14 halftime advantage.

Louis Hollier snagged two Zach Adkins passes on the first four plays of the third period, taking the second 34 yards for a touchdown to draw the Demons within 10. But UAB took command with two long scores, a 41-yard Nelson catch and Reaves' 50-yard run, within 66 seconds sandwiched around a 3-and-out and a shanked punt by Northwestern.

Atzenweiler ripped off a 40-yard scamper on the next series, a 75-yard, six-snap possession capped by a Taylor 6-yard score to blunt a blowout and draw NSU within 45-28 with 5:33 left in the third quarter. But after that torrent of four TDs in 10 minutes, it was another 15 before the Blazers put it away with their final score.

Atzenweiler's outing gave NSU its first 100-yard rusher in eight games and a bright spot for the seven-hour ride home for next Saturday's final non-conference outing, against Langston.

"We love seeing that guy run. It was a good breakout show for him. He ran the ball really physical. I felt like our offense really moved the ball well today and kept us in the game to give us an opportunity," said Thomas.

The contest marked the first time since 1991 the Demons had played their first four games in four different states. They won't leave Louisiana again until an Oct. 26 Southland Conference visit to Sam Houston State.

  • College FootballMore>>

  • Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:43 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:43:27 GMT
    Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State opened defense of its national title with a 37-31 victory Saturday night over Oklahoma State on the same field where...
    Jameis Winston and No. 1 Florida State might have to play better for a return trip to the stadium where the next national title will be decided.
  • Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:10:56 GMT
    Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on...
    Todd Gurley felt strong and healthy.
  • Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:30:50 GMT
    Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Nick Marshall returned from suspension with a 19-yard scoring run to lift No. 6 Auburn to a 45-21 opening victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
    The Auburn offense didn't slow down a bit, even with Nick Marshall a spectator for half the game.
  • FootballMore>>

  • Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Winston, FSU hold off Oklahoma St 37-31 in opener

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:43 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:43:27 GMT
    Jameis Winston threw for 370 yards and scored on a sparkling 28-yard run, and No. 1 Florida State opened defense of its national title with a 37-31 victory Saturday night over Oklahoma State on the same field where...
    Jameis Winston and No. 1 Florida State might have to play better for a return trip to the stadium where the next national title will be decided.
  • Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Todd Gurley leads Georgia past Clemson 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-31 03:10:56 GMT
    Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on...
    Todd Gurley felt strong and healthy.
  • Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Marshall, Johnson, No. 6 Auburn top Arkansas 45-21

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:30:50 GMT
    Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Nick Marshall returned from suspension with a 19-yard scoring run to lift No. 6 Auburn to a 45-21 opening victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
    The Auburn offense didn't slow down a bit, even with Nick Marshall a spectator for half the game.
Section is sponsored by:
AUG 28 6:00pm CDT Missouri State
SEP 6 TBA at Baylor
SEP 13 TBA at Southern Baton Rouge
SEP 20 TBA at LA Tech
OCT 4 TBA at Southeastern LA Hammond
OCT 11 6:00pm CDT Incarnate Word
OCT 18 6:00pm CDT Sam Houston State
OCT 25 TBA at Central Arkansas Conway
NOV 1 6:00pm CDT McNeese State
NOV 8 TBA at Abilene Christian
NOV 15 6:00pm CDT Nicholls
NOV 22 TBA at Stephen F. Austin
  • SportsMore>>

  • Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Hilliard leads LSU comeback win over Badgers

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:59 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:59:50 GMT
    Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.
    Kenny Hilliard scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to cap a fourth-quarter rally for No. 13 LSU in a 28-24 win over No. 14 Wisconsin at NRG Stadium on Saturday night.

  • Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Texas wins Strong debut 38-7 over North Texas

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:55 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:55:03 GMT
    David Ash passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas started the Charlie Strong era with an overpowering 38-7 win over North Texas in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday night.
    David Ash passed for one touchdown and ran for another and Texas started the Charlie Strong era with an overpowering 38-7 win over North Texas in the season-opener for both teams on Saturday night.

  • Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Lamar beats Grambling State 42-27

    Sunday, August 31 2014 1:51 AM EDT2014-08-31 05:51:43 GMT
    Caleb Berry threw for 389 yards and five touchdowns, leading Lamar to a 42-27 win over Grambling State on Saturday night.
    Caleb Berry threw for 389 yards and five touchdowns, leading Lamar to a 42-27 win over Grambling State on Saturday night.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File