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UAB Coach Trent Dilfer On UGA Football: "They Are NFL Coached"

September 20, 2023

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ATHENS - Kirby Smart and UGA football are hosting Trent Dilfer and the UAB Blazers this weekend at 7:30 PM inside Sanford Stadium.

Here’s what UAB head coach Trent Dilfer said about the Bulldogs this week...

Opening Statement…

“Obviously, coming off another very disappointing performance, the focus is on getting better. As Blazers, we got to get better at football. We got to get better at coaching. We got to get better at running this building. The challenge only gets greater playing a, not good, but great Georgia team at their place. Primetime game, a lot of challenges there. So, trying to build this thing on embracing the challenges and doing hard things, and I got what I asked for. It can’t get any harder than this, they’ve allowed 24 points this year and we allowed 24 points in the first half of one game. We got our work cut out for us.”


On Georgia…

“Well I think that’s two different things. Number one, and you know what, that’s something I’ve been doing all morning is studying them. I think three things jump out. Number one, they have great culture, great energy and they play together. It is team football. Second would be they have really good people doing it, right? They’ve recruited at a very high level. They’ve developed players that they’ve recruited, so they’re better now than they were when they got them. The third thing, that is my NFL eye, is that they are NFL coached. They are incredibly well coached. From their eye discipline, to their hands, to their communication, they shed blocks and they sustain blocks. That is football at its highest level is can you shed blocks and can you sustain blocks when you’re on offense. Their schemes fit into the coaching realm. They’re very complex defensively. Offensively, they’re multiple. So, you can’t guess. You can’t get into a guessing game with them. It very much looks like, when did I retire, in 2008? This is 2006, 2007 or 2008 as a backup quarterback studying defense from a coaches eye, it looks very similar. It looks very much like getting ready for the Baltimore Ravens, or getting ready for the Rams, or Chargers or whoever you’re playing that week. You have really good players that are really well coached, and that know what they’re doing, and that know what you’re doing. They can adjust, and they finish. That would be the other thing I would say about really good players. People talk so much about height, weight, speed, measurables and all that. All that is true, but a great player finishes, and they have finishers. When their defensive lineman gets through and has a tackle in the backfield, they make the tackle. When their secondary player triggers on a blocker and needs to shed them and stay outside leverage, he does, and he tackles the ball carrier. When their corner needs to reroute and stay on the backside hip in man coverage and play the ball, he does, and it gets picked. When the ball is in the air and it needs to be intercepted, it gets intercepted. They have finishers, and that’s what I’m accustomed to. And that’s what we need to get better at is developing our really good players. We have really good players. But they got to develop, and they have to learn how to finish.”


On the opportunity to play on prime time national television…

“It’s a great opportunity if we play well. If we have great energy, if we support each other, if we keep our composure and if we can handle hard things that are going to happen. Bad things will happen to the Blazers in this game. I can promise you that. How do we respond? I think you have to know that going in and you got to respond. Bad things don’t mean losses, right? It’s how you respond to those things. It’s a great opportunity for us IF, and that’s the message. This is a great opportunity if we can go out there and be the best versions of ourselves, and that’s what this week is about. This week is about getting better at football, it’s getting better as a head coach, it’s getting better as a wide receivers coach, it’s getting better at recruiting and getting better at operations. We have to get better at every single thing in this building. If we can do that then it’s a good opportunity to show off our best selves.”

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Bulldogs Welcome The Blazers To Town

Top-ranked Georgia will face its third non-conference opponent of the season and complete a four- game homestand with UAB coming to Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2). The 2023 Bulldogs return nine players with starting experience on offense, including junior C Sedrick Van Pran and All-American and John Mackey Award winner junior TE Brock Bowers, who was the 2021 and 2022 leader in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.

Junior QB Carson Beck is in his first year as the starter. He played only in the first three quarters in the first pair of games after the Bulldogs built substantial leads. In the SEC opener against South Carolina last Saturday, he helped rally the Bulldogs from a 14-3 deficit while the defense blanked the Gamecocks in the second half. Georgia’s offense got a big boost with the return of senior RB Daijun Edwards who missed the first two games with a knee injury. In his first career start, Edwards ran for a career-high 118 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown versus the Gamecocks.


About UAB

The UAB Blazers (1-2), coached by former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, are coming off a 41-24 home loss to Louisiana. After a scoreless first quarter, the game was delayed one hour and 51 minutes due to weather. Then, Louisiana struck for 24 points in the second quarter and cruised to a victory. Earlier this year, UAB beat N.C. A&T 35-6 and lost at Ga. Southern 49-35. UAB is averaging 30.3 points per game while allowing 32.0 ppg. Against the Ragin’ Cajuns, quarterback Jacob Zeno finished 27-for-38 for 280 yards and one TD with two INTs. Also, he netted 52 rushing yards despite being sacked seven times.

Bulldogs Again Among The Leaders In Scoring Defense

Since the arrival of Kirby Smart in 2016, the Bulldogs have featured talented defenses and twice led the nation in Scoring Defense. This season, Georgia is ranked third nationally allowing only 8.0 points/ game. Glenn Schumann is in his second season as the Fain & Billy Slaughter Defensive Coordinator. Also, the 2023 defensive staff features Will Muschamp (co-Defensive Coord.), Fran Brown (DB), Tray Scott (DL) and Chidera Uzo-Diribe (OLB). The Bulldogs return 12 players who have starting experience from a group that ranked fifth nationally in 2022 allowing opponents only 14.3 points per contest.

The Bulldogs carried a shutout to the fourth quarter during their first two games of 2023 and allowed just 10 total points. UT Martin scored a TD with 6:39 left in the contest. Ball State kicked a field goal with 9:05 remaining. In game three, South Carolina was blanked in the second half. After scoring 14 points in the first half, USC’s second half possessions ended with three punts, once turned it over on downs and two on interceptions. Last year, Georgia shut out four teams in the second half.

The Bulldogs are +5 in turnover margin, which ranks tied for eighth nationally. All six turnovers forced this season have been interceptions.

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