Cody Clements passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, while Jordan Howard rushed for two more in helping the UAB football team beat Troy University 48-10 on Saturday.
The win gives Blazer head football coach Bill Clark a victory in his debut as UAB's coach. It marks the first season-opening victory for the Blazers since the 2009 season and the first for a UAB football head coach in his opening game.
"It says who we are," Clark said. "One game is one game, but it was a big game and a rivalry game. This is as good of a group I have had to believe and buy into the things we are doing. We probably have had three or four of the best practices I have been a part of. I hope that this is a statement to where we are heading and I hope it creates some excitement."
UAB opened its 2014 season and the Clark era by falling behind Troy 7-0, but the Blazers rattled off 24-straight points going in to halftime behind Clements and Howard efforts.
The Trojans took their opening drive 75 yards on five plays, less than two minutes into the game, but the Blazers outscored the vistitors 48-3 and held Troy to only 197 yards of offense the rest of the game.
Howard, who rushed for a career-best 179 yards and went over 1,000 yards in only his 12th game as a Blazer, 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.
Troy failed to capitalize on a pair of early second half UAB turnovers, before the Blazers sealed the win with Clement's 55-yard touchdown pass and Howard's 1-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Senior D.J. Vinson also eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the Blazers, finishing with 106 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, linebacker Jake Ganus led the Blazers with seven tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Senior defensive end Diaheem Watkins added six stops with a pair of sacks and two tackles for loss.
UAB will travel to Starkville, Miss. next Saturday to take on Southeastern Conference foe Mississippi State in a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on FOX Sports.