UAB accepts Bahamas Bowl invite in first year back from football hiatus

UAB quarterback A.J. Erdely (11) looks for a receiver as he is rushed by Florida defensive lineman Cece Jefferson (96) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

If there was ever a program that deserved to go to the Bahamas for its bowl game, it’s the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

The Blazers are heading to the Bahamas Bowl after an 8-4 season. 2017 is UAB’s first season back after the program was shut down for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Ohio will be UAB’s opponent.

“The amount of work our coaches and players have put in over the past two years has been incredible and we are thrilled to play in the Bahamas Bowl,” UAB coach Bill Clark said in a statement. “Ohio University is a very solid team led by an outstanding coach in Frank Solich and it is going to be a great game. Our players will be ready for the challenge and look to become the first team to win a bowl game at UAB.”

Given the circumstances surrounding the program, Clark should be the frontrunner for coach of the year. UAB’s program had to stop for two seasons after the University of Alabama system said it wasn’t financially feasible to field a football team along with two other sports.

After an expansive grassroots movement and millions of dollars in pledges from donors, UAB football returned in 2017. And the results have been pretty stellar.

The Blazers beat teams like Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio on the way to eight wins.

Quarterback A.J. Erdeley has thrown for 2,077 yards and 16 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions. He’s also rushed for 13 touchdowns while running back Spencer Brown has 1,292 rushing yards and 10 scores.

The Bahamas Bowl will kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 22.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!