BIRMINGHAM , Ala. (WIAT) — Music for UAB’s Marching Blazers could be heard miles away as they performed a musical selection ahead of Thursday night’s first football game of the season.

“Been looking forward to it all summer long. Been ready for kickoff. I’m ready for that first tackle and I’m ready to get going,” said Will Harris, a die-hard UAB football fan.

Just before that first tackle, some fans brought in the new season with a little pregame fun at Blazer Village.

“Having a great time. We’re ready to support the blazers, support the team out here on game day,” said Zayne Ethrydge, a UAB fan.

From inflatable games for kids, to a live DJ and photo opportunities, there was also a number of vendors with information for community resources.

“If our fans are hype, our students’ athletes are going to be hype. So, it comes down to if you bring the energy our athletes will bring the energy and that’s what it’s going to come down to today,” said Ashleigh Mast, a Blazer Village organizer.

With a lot of celebrating taking place, there’s one reason fans are so excited about UAB’s 2023 football season, and it has to do with their new coach, Trent Dilfer.

“Trent is a coach that really truly is like no other.” said Mast.

“Looking forward to coach Dilfer. I’m interested to see how his, what his game plan is and how his experience and everything will play into this.” said Harris.