Snyder warns UAB dangerous opponent

Published 3:02 am Friday, October 17, 2008

Marshall head football coach Mark Snyder sees something in the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers that he has seen in his own team.

A dangerous opponent.

After starting 0-7 last year, Marshall stunned its opponents by winning three of its last five games.

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UAB is 1-6 and 0-3 in the East Division of Conference USA. The Herd is 2-0 to lead the East and 3-3 overall.

“This is a dangerous team. Obviously, they are down numbers and that reminds me a little bit of us over the last couple of years. But as we all know, we jumped up and bit some people and they are very capable of that,” said Snyder.

Marshall is 3-0 lifetime against UAB including a 46-39 win last year. The Herd’s last trip to Legion Field resulted in a 20-19 win in 2005.

“They have some outstanding individual talent. It seems like they are not quite putting it together,” said Snyder.

“We’ll have a challenge in front of us. We need to start fast and it always comes down to special teams and turnovers. We cannot go down there and turn the ball over and let them make anything on special teams.”

Quarterback Joe Webb is UAB’s leading rusher and passer. He has thrown for 1,509 yards and eight touchdowns with nine interceptions. He has carried 116 times for 588 yards and six TDs.

Sophomore receiver Franttrell Forrest had 33 receptions for 419 yards and two scores.

Snyder said Rashaud Slaughter, Forrest and Webb are all dangerous weapons.

“Those are the cats that make it go for them. They are their playmakers and we need to know where those guys are at all times,” said Snyder.

The Blazers’ defense is headed by linebacker Joe Henderson with 48 tackles including 7.5 for aloss. Safety Will Dunbar has 41 tackles, an interception and four pass breakups.

“They are aggressive and very athletic,” Snyder said of the Blazers’ defense. “They get after you and I’m sure they will get after (Herd quarterback Mark Cann) being young. We’re going to have to handle their pressure and be able to run the football.”

Marshall has not played since Oct 3 and has spent the down time making adjustments. The Herd could make some changes on the offensive line. Chad Schofield is expected to start with Jimmy Rogers playing some at right guard and Daniel Baldridge getting time at right tackle.

“I thought Daniel seized the moment this week. He had some great practices. We’ll still roll them like we’ve been doing. Not a whole lot of shakeup,” said Snyder.

Kickoff is 4 p.m. Saturday.