UAB officially announced its 2023 football schedule and its first football season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. The Blazers open the season on Thursday August 31st at home against FCS opponent North Carolina A&T Aggies and end the season at North Texas. After NC A&T, UAB will finish out their non-conference by playing two teams from the Sun Belt and one from the SEC.
The Blazers will play 6 games at home in Protective Stadium and 6 on the road. UAB will host: North Carolina A&T, Louisiana, South Florida, Memphis, FAU, and Temple. The Blazers will travel to: Georgia Southern, Georgia, Tulane, UTSA, Navy, and North Texas. The Blazers will have their bye date on 10/28. Now let’s take a quick look at each matchup in order of how they appear on the schedule:
- Thursday 8/31 – North Carolina A&T
This is the first ever meeting between the two programs. The Aggies finished 7-4 last year and 4-1 in the Big South. NC A&T were runner-ups in the Big South after losing in the conference championship game to Gardner-Webb. The Aggies, like the Blazers, will be transitioning to a new conference this year and will play in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA).
- 9/9 – at Georgia Southern
This will only be the second meeting in program history between these two schools on the football field. UAB won the first matchup last September 35-21 in Protective Stadium. The Eagles finished last year with a record of 6-7 overall and a 3-5 record in the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern ended the season with a loss to Buffalo in the Camellia Bowl.
- 9/16 – Louisiana
This will be the second opponent that UAB will play from the Sun Belt conference this year. Overall the series is tied 2-2 between these two programs but the Ragin’ Cajuns won the last matchup 24-20 at Legion Field back in 2020. Before 2020, the two programs hadn’t played since 2002. Louisiana will be the second team UAB has hosted from the Sun Belt at Protective Stadium (beat Georgia Southern last season). The Ragin’ Cajuns finished last season with an overall record of 6-7 and a loss to Houston in the Independence Bowl.
- 9/23 – at Georgia
The Georgia Bulldogs will be the last non-conference opponent for UAB in the 2023 season before beginning their AAC schedule. UAB is 0-3 against Georgia with last time out in 2021 losing 56-7. The Bulldogs have won back-to-back national championships in the 2021 and 2022 season under coach Kirby Smart.
- 9/30 – at Tulane
UAB will travel down to New Orleans to take on the Green Wave for its first conference game as members of the AAC. The Blazers own the overall series record 6-5 over the Green Wave and have won the last two meetings. Most recently, UAB defeated the Green Wave 28-21 in 2021. Tulane had a historic 2022 season ending with being AAC champions and winning the Cotton Bowl over USC. Willie Fritz and the Green Wave expect to have another good season this year.
- 10/7 – South Florida
Next up UAB will welcome the South Florida Bulls to Protective Stadium.This will be only the third meeting between these two programs with both teams each winning a game. Last season was a disappointing year for the Bulls as they went 1-11. South Florida will have a new head coach this season as Alex Golesh becomes the sixth coach in USF history.
- 10/14 – at UTSA
The Blazers will then travel to the Alamodome to take on the UTSA Roadrunners. UAB owns the overall series record 4-3 but have lost the last two games against UTSA. The Roadrunners won a double overtime thriller in Protective Stadium 44-38 last year over the Blazers and later went on to win Conference USA for the second consecutive year. UTSA is also making the move from CUSA to the American Athletic Conference. The Roadrunners bring back Jeff Traylor as their head coach and Frank Harris at quarterback so they expect to have another great year while transitioning conferences.
- 10/21 – Memphis
One of the greatest rivalry games is back as the “Battle for the Bones” will return for the first time since 2012. UAB owns the overall series record 10-5 over Memphis. This is one rivalry that both programs are glad to see back and also has the best rivalry trophy. Memphis finished last year with a record of 7-6 and won the First Responder Bowl over Utah City. The real question is which city has the best barbeque and football…Birmingham or Memphis?
- 10/28 – BYE
- 11/4 – FAU
Following the bye, UAB will host the Owls of FAU which is another one of the 6 teams making the move from CUSA to the AAC. FAU owns the overall series record 6-3 over the Blazers and won last season’s matchup 24-17 in Boca Raton, FL. UAB is 1-0 against FAU in Protective Stadium and will try to make it 2-0 this season. FAU will have a new head coach this season as former Texas coach Tom Herman takes over for the Owls.
- 11/11 – at Navy
UAB will next travel up to Annapolis on Veteran’s Day to take on Navy for the first time ever. The Midshipmen finished last year’s season 4-8 overall and 3-4 in the AAC. Navy now has a new head coach for the first time in a while with Brian Newberry being announced as its new coach after being the defensive coordinator for the last four seasons.
- 11/18 – Temple
UAB will play its final home game of the regular season welcoming the Temple Owls to town. The Blazers will have three schools in its new league that have an owl as a mascot. FAU and Rice are the other two schools in the AAC that also have an owl as their mascot, but UAB is not playing Rice in the regular season this year. This will be UAB’s first time ever playing Temple in football. Last year, the Owls finished the season 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the AAC.
- 11/24 or 11/25 – at North Texas
The Blazers will conclude the 2023 regular season by travelling to Denton, TX to take on the Mean Green who is also making the transition from Conference USA to the AAC. The AAC will make a decision on October 9th whether to schedule this game on Friday 11/24 or Saturday 11/25. UAB owns the overall series record 6-1 over North Texas and won last year’s matchup 41-21. The Mean Green finished last year as the runner-up in CUSA after losing to UTSA in the championship game. North Texas will have a new coach as well with Eric Morris replacing Seth Littrell.
(Schedule visual created by Brad Cummings)