July 8, 2014

Ranking the Game Schedule: No. 11

In less than two months Mississippi State will open the 2014 football season inside Davis Wade Stadium against Southern Miss. In just a few days SEC Media Days will start up in Hoover, Alabama. And in about one month, players will begin working out in preparation for fall camp. With that said, BulldogBlitz.com is glancing ahead by ranking the 2014 Mississippi State Football Game Schedule.

Each day over the course of 12 days, we're counting down to the most significant game on the Mississippi State schedule.

Our countdown continues with No. 11:

vs. UAB (Sept. 6th - Davis Wade Stadium)

Recap of 2013 UAB Season:

The 2013 season was no picnic for the UAB football program. The Blazers struggled mightily to win games and as a result finished 2-10 on the season. One win came against FCS foe Northwestern State while the other came against FIU in a Conference USA game. To make things worse, after the season, UAB Head Coach, Garrick McGee decided to jump to Louisville to become the new offensive coordinator for rehired Head Coach Bobby Petrino. Then in January, UAB hired Jacksonville State Coach, Bill Clark.

Key UAB Returners:

Jordan Howard (RB, So.), Jamarcus Nelson (WR, Sr.), Jamari Staples (WR, So.), Kennard Backman (TE, Sr.), Brian O'Leary (OG, Sr.), Cameron Blakenship (OT, Jr.), Victor Salako (OT, Jr.), Jontavious Morris (DT, Jr.), Daiheem Watkins (DE, Sr.), Jake Ganus (LB, Jr.), LaMarcus Farmer (CB, Jr.), Calvin Jones (FS, Sr.)

Best UAB Player:

Jamarcus Nelson - Wide Receiver - Senior: Nelson was a bright spot on a bad football team a year ago. He hauled in 42 catches for 846 yards and 8 receiving touchdowns. That was while he had to catch passes from two different quarterbacks. This year UAB will have a new gunslinger throwing passes, but whoever it is, at least Nelson will be able to get on the page with the one guy who wins that battle. Expect Nelson to have an even bigger 2014 than what he did last season.

Previous Mississippi State Meetings with UAB:

All-time Series: Mississippi State leads 4-1
2011 - Mississippi State beats UAB 21-3
2010 - Mississippi State beats UAB 29-24
2007 - Mississippi State beats UAB 30-13
2006 - Mississippi State beats UAB 16-10
2004 - UAB beats Mississippi State 27-13

Why the 2014 Game is Important:

Mississippi State needs to do its best winning games that they're supposed to win. In all their non-conference games, Mississippi State will be heavy favorites. Against UAB, which some could argue is the Bulldogs' best non-conference opponent despite the bad season they had last year. The game is important just because it's one the Bulldogs have to win with ease.

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