BIRMINGHAM – Sophomore quarterback Tyler Johnston III threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns in leading Green to a 34-0 victory over Gold on Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Spring Game.
“I was proud of everyone who came out to support our players,” said head coach Bill Clark. “The band sounded good, we had our cheerleaders out and it was a game day experience for our guys. We replaced so many seniors and I know that’s one of the questions we’re going to talk about today. It was good to get them out in this game atmosphere and watch these guys perform. I thought we had a really solid spring; we have to have a great summer. Really pleased up to this point.”
Johnston III completed 7-of-13 passes, all of which came in the first half. His top target throughout the entire spring was Austin Watkins, and Watkins had three catches for 109 yards and a touchdown on Saturday at Legion Field.
On the ground, Larry Wooden rushed 14 times for 95 yards to pace the Green running backs, while Lucious Stanley capped his very productive spring season with seven carries for 34 yards and a touchdown.
The Green defense was led by redshirt senior and two-year starter Fitzgerald Mofor who had five tackles on the day. Deshaun Oliver Jr. had a game-high eight tackles to lead the Gold defense.
Johnston III opened the scoring on Green’s second possession when he found Watkins for a 35-yard touchdown strike. Nick Vogel’s 36-yard field goal gave Green a 10-0 lead after one.
Green found the end zone three times in the second quarter to take a 31-0 lead into halftime. Johnston found tight end Gerrit Prince for a 26-yard TD reception with 14:01 left in the first half, and Stanley followed that up with a 2-yard run to make the score 24-0 with 8:27 remaining. A Dylan Hopkins 26-yard touchdown pass to TD Marshall with 16 seconds left capped the first half scoring.
The only scoring in the second half was a 25-yard Vogel field goal. Vogel enters his senior year after finishing second nationally in touchback percentage as 71 of his 80 went for touchbacks last season. He also made 15-of-24 field goal attempts, including all 12 from inside 40 yards and all six of his final kicks to end the season, along with the game-winner in the C-USA title game.
The Blazers open their 2019 title defense on Thursday night, August 29, against Alabama State. UAB is 12-0 at home since returning to action in 2017 and enters the season with the nation’s fifth longest active home winning streak.