2:00 PM ET, October 4, 2003
Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Darrell Hackney threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as Alabama-Birmingham built an early lead and held on for a 24-10 victory over Memphis.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Blazers (2-3, 1-1 Conference USA), who have now won four straight in the series. The Tigers (3-2, 0-2) have struggled after the UAB game in recent years; they're a combined 2-12 after losing it the last three seasons.
A fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Hackney to Nick Coon for 57 yards sealed the Blazers win. Hackney, who completed 14 of 28 passes, hit the receiver in stride at the Tiger 15 for the game's final points.
It was the only fourth-quarter score allowed by Memphis in its three home games this season.
Memphis's only potential scoring drive in the final quarter was erased on a fumble by receiver Maurice Avery, who otherwise had a big day with a school-record 13 receptions.
The Tigers hurt themselves with seven penalties for 95 yards. They roughed the passer twice and the kicker once, all to keep UAB drives alive.
The Blazers dominated the first half behind the running of freshman Trey Chaney, who had 60 yards in the half, including a 9-yard score to give UAB a 17-0 halftime lead. Chaney finished with 81 yards on 29 carries.
UAB's other first-half touchdown came on a 2-yard pass from Hackney to Cedric Hampton, and Nick Hayes added a 43-yard field goal.
Hampton's touchdown came with a lot of help from Memphis. The Tigers had punted to the UAB 27, but were called for a facemask penalty. Jason Southall returned the ensuing punt to the Tigers 39, and a Memphis personal foul gave the Blazers the ball at the 24. Hampton scored seven plays later.
The Blazers had 212 yards in the half, including 144 through the air as Hackney completed 10 of 17 passes.
Meanwhile, Memphis managed but 80 yards -- 45 on the ground and 35 in the air. There were dropped passes, busted plays and penalties to thwart the Tigers' efforts. Of the 45 rushing yards, 38 came on a run by DeAngelo Williams late in the half. It also was the Tigers' only time across midfield in the first two periods.
Memphis couldn't convert, though, as Stephen Gostkowski pulled a 31-yard field goal to the left.
Memphis began a comeback in the second half as Danny Wimprine completed all 12 of his passes in the third quarter. One of those was a 23-yard touchdown to Avery on the opening drive of the half.
The Tigers moved again on their next possession, but stalled at the Blazers 5 and settled for a 26-yard field goal by Gostkowski to cut the UAB lead to 17-10 after three quarters.
A pair of fourth quarter fumbles and the long pass from Hackney to Coon ended any comeback hopes for the Tigers.