UAB cruises to 48-10 win over Troy in season opener
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Cody Clements passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, while Jordan Howard rushed for two more in helping the University of Alabama-Birmingham beat Troy University 48-10 on Saturday. UAB of the Conference USA-East, opened its 2014 season and the Bill Clark era by falling behind Troy 7-0, but the Blazers rattled off 24-straight points before halftime behind Clements' and Howard's efforts. "It's a good start. I'm definitely proud of these guys," Clark said of getting his first UAB win. "We know what kind of program Troy has, and we have a lot of respect for them." Howard routinely shredded the Trojan defense en route to 74 first-half rushing yards and UAB's first score, a 2-yard touchdown run. Clements, making his first start for UAB, then sandwiched a 34-yard field goal by Ty Long with a pair of touchdown passes to Kennard Backman to put UAB up 24-7. Ryan Kay cut the UAB lead to 24-10 with a 47-yard Trojan field goal as time expired in the first half. UAB sealed the win with Howard's 55-yard touchdown pass and Clements' 1-yard TD run in the third quarter. Howard finished with 179 yards on the ground, while D.J. Vinson added 106 yards and UAB's final touchdown. "We were totally ill-prepared for what we faced," Trojans head coach Larry Blakeney said. "We got to make some changes and adjustments and try to be a more physical-minded football team in all three phases." Meanwhile, the Troy offense struggled in its first game following the graduation of Corey Robinson, who owns virtually every Sun Belt Conference passing record. Redshirt-freshman Brandon Silvers earned the start over junior college transfer Dontreal Pruitt and led the Trojans on a five-play, 75-yard drive on their first possession. Jordan Chunn capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 13:31 left. From that point, UAB limited Troy to 198 yards of total offense. UAB's previous high for margin of victory against Troy was 20, set in 2005 in a 27-7 win. Last year's game ended with a 34-31 overtime victory for Troy, while UAB won 34-33 on a last-second pass in 2010. Clements threw for 150 yards on 12-of-18 passing for UAB. Silvers completed 16 of 23 passes for 153 yards. Brandon Burks led the Trojan ground attack with 42 yards.