BIRMINGHAM, Ala - UAB QB Joe Webb rushed for nearly 200 yards and passed for 221 more while leading the Blazers to a 44-24 rout over Rice in the season opener for both teams at Legion Field.
UAB jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after two impressive touchdown runs from Webb, who lead the team in rushing last season. His second scoring run, a 71-yard scamper off a fake option look, put him over 100 rushing yards early in the second quarter. By the end of the night, Webb had rushed for 194 yards on 20 carries, setting the conference record for most rushing yards gained by a quarterback in a single game.
Rice came into the game unsettled at the quarterback position, listing John Thomas Shepherd and Alabama-transfer Nick Fanuzzi as co-No. 1 quarterbacks. Both played, but neither could consistently move the ball on offense. Fanuzzi got the better of the battle statistically, finishing 12 of 20 for 154 yards and a touchdown.
UAB took a 27-3 lead into the half after Webb's two scores and a couple of touchdown passes to Frantrell Forrest. Rice cut the advantage to 17 early in the second half on a Fanuzzi touchdown scramble, but UAB had an answer for every Rice score. The Blazers pounded the football in the second half, finishing with 295 total rushing yards.