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UAB beats No. 12 BYU 31-28 in Independence Bowl

Independence Bowl Football
Posted at 5:35 PM, Dec 18, 2021

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Dylan Hopkins broke the Independence Bowl record for completion percentage, connecting on 19 of 23 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's 31-28 victory over No. 12 Brigham Young University on Saturday.

DeWayne McBride ran for 183 yards and a score on 28 carries for UAB (9-4).

BYU (10-3) and running back Tyler Allgeier fought back from a 14-point deficit, tying it twice and eventually taking the lead in the fourth quarter. Allgeier ran for 192 yards and had three touchdowns.

Hopkins' touchdown pass to Gerrit Prince and McBride's 64-yard scoring run gave UAB an early two-score lead.

Independence Bowl Football
UAB running back DeWayne McBride (22) breaks free for a touchdown run during the first half of the Independence Bowl NCAA college football game against BYU in Shreveport, La., Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Quarterback Baylor Romney — starting in place of injured Jaren Hall — put the Cougars back in the game with a strong start to the second quarter. Allgeier had a 1-yard scoring run, and Nacua had a 2-yarder to tie it.

UAB regained the lead with Hopkins' 23-yard pass to Prince before halftime.

Allgeier ripped off a 62-yard touchdown run to it again 1:17 into the third quarter. His 1-yard run put the Cougars up 28-24 on the second play of the fourth quarter.

With UAB facing fourth-and-7 with six minutes remaining, coach Bill Clark passed on a field-goal attempt, and Hopkins threw a 14-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass to Trea Shropshire, the only player from Louisiana on either roster.

BYU appeared to be in a good position to at least tie the game, but Samson Nacua fumbled after making a catch inside UAB’s 25 with 3:36 remaining.

THE TAKEAWAY

  • BYU: The Cougars missed an opportunity for their highest postseason ranking in 26 years. The Cougars finished last season at No. 11 and No. 5 in 1996.
  • UAB: With two scores Saturday, Prince moved to fifth on UAB’s career touchdown receptions list (15) and fourth on the single-season list (10). The Blazers held a 14-0 led when linebacker Tyler Taylor was ejected for targeting late in the first quarter.