UNT-UAB five things

UAB head coach Bill Clark reacts during a game in the 2017 season. North Texas will host the Blazers, who have won two of the last three Conference USA titles, on Saturday at Apogee Stadium.

North Texas will host UAB on Saturday at Apogee Stadium.

The Mean Green fell to 1-1 following a 35-12 loss to SMU last week. UAB is also 1-1 after being blown out 56-7 by Georgia.

Here are five things UNT fans should know about the Blazers.

1. UAB has dominated C-USA’s West Division recently

The Blazers have won 35 games since 2017, the most of any Conference USA team.

UAB is also the first C-USA team to win its division three years in a row after capturing the West in each of the last three seasons. The Blazers were picked to win the West again this year in C-USA’s preseason media poll.

UAB is 18-3 against C-USA West Division opponents since 2017. One of those losses was a 46-43 thriller UNT pulled out in 2017.

2. The Blazers have a veteran QB in Tyler Johnston III

UNT will see a familiar face at quarterback in Tyler Johnston III this week.

The Alabama native has started games for the Blazers in each of the last four seasons and has won two C-USA championships as UAB’s starting quarterback. He’s 14-6 in his career.

UNT safety Makyle Sanders spoke highly this week of Johnston’s accuracy and ability to hit on the deep ball. Johnston enters this week’s game tied for third in UAB history with 37 touchdown passes and ranks fourth with 4,787 passing yards.

3. UAB will open its new home stadium soon

UAB will play its first game in Protective Stadium, a $200 million venue in Birmingham, on Oct. 2 when the Blazers host Liberty.

The stadium will be a dramatic upgrade for UAB’s program, which previously played at Legion Field.

The Blazers are playing their first four games on the road before the grand opening.

4. The Blazers have a veteran offensive line

UAB has one of the more experienced offensive lines in college football.

The group has 98 starts over the course of their careers. UAB is just one of 19 teams competing on the Football Bowl Subdivision level with at least seven returning offensive linemen who have started games in their careers.

Tackles Sidney Wells (25) and Colby Ragland (22) as well as guard Andrew Smith (20) have all started at least 20 games.

5. Bill Clark has never had a losing season

UAB coach Bill Clark has been remarkably consistent in a 16-year career that began at the high school level in Alabama.

He’s never had a losing season. He posted nine straight winning seasons at Prattville High, including back-to-back 15-0 seasons in 2006 and 2007. He went 11-4 in his lone season at Jacksonville State in 2013 before jumping to UAB.

Clark went 6-6 in his first season with the Blazers in 2014. He brought UAB’s program back in 2017 after it was shut down and revived.

The Blazers went 8-5 in their return season before going 11-3 and 9-5 the next two years. UAB went 6-3 last season.

Clark is now 41-23 in six seasons with the Blazers.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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