MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Spencer Brown ran for 156 yards and a touchdown, Nick Vogel put UAB ahead with a field goal with 3:23 remaining and the Blazers, who reinstated their program last season after a two-year hiatus, beat Middle Tennessee 27-25 in Saturday’s Conference USA championship game.
The Blue Raiders, who beat UAB in Murfreesboro 27-3 last weekend in a regular-season finale, were set to get a final chance with 1:21 to play but were flagged for having 12 men on the field as the Blazers prepared to punt, and UAB took a knee twice to run out the clock.
The victory gave UAB (10-3) its first 10-win season and its first Conference USA championship. The program was shut down after the 2014 season before being reinstated and taking two years off.
Brown’s 30-yard run from the 50 was the key play in setting up Vogel’s winning kick. Brown went 1,000 yards rushing for the second year in a row.
Trailing 13-3 after the first quarter, the Blazers scored 21 straight points in the second quarter on a 2-yard run by Brown, Tyler Johnston III’s 40-yard pass to Andrew Wilson and Johnston’s 3-yard run that came after Chris Woolbright intercepted Brent Stockstill’s pass giving the ball to UAB at the Middle Tennessee 35.
The Blue Raiders cut into the lead on Crews Holt’s field goal as time ran out at halftime then scored on Stockstill’s 46-yard pass to Zack Dobson in the third quarter and took the lead at 25-24 with 10:08 left in the game on a Holt field goal.
Middle Tennessee (9-4) came in 5-0 at home this season.