UNA-West Alabama game even bigger than usual - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UNA-West Alabama game even bigger than usual

Posted: Updated:

(AP) -- The traditional game of the year for both North Alabama and West Alabama has become even bigger.

When UNA (5-2, 3-1 Gulf South Conference) takes on UWA (6-2, 4-0) at 3 p.m. Saturday in Florence, there will be more than just bragging rights at stake for these long-time rivals. They are also competing for the GSC championship and a berth in the Division II playoffs.

"This is probably the first time in the history of this series that a regular-season game has had so much on the line," UNA coach Bobby Wallace said. "That is a compliment to what has been done at West Alabama over the last several years, and to what we've been able to do to start getting our program back to where we want to be."

UNA holds a commanding 48-17-1 lead in the series, but the Tigers have won two of the past three. In addition, UWA is in sole possession of first place in the GSC and is ranked No. 20 in Division II, while the Lions are unranked.

Still, UWA coach Will Hall said there remains an underdog perception about his team when it comes to playing North Alabama.

"They think they are better than us. Their people think they are better than us," Hall said of UNA. "They have thought that way for a long time and they act that way. We have to win this game for our people. We play this game for our people and our university."

The Lions have won four consecutive games since a 1-2 start, outscoring their opponents 185-45 in those victories.

"There is no question that our turnaround is a sign of great leadership on this team," Wallace said. "We have continued to improve each of the last five weeks and have really grown as a team."

The Tigers have won five of their past six games and are coming off a convincing 45-14 victory over West Georgia. But Hall said nothing his team has experienced so far this season can compare to playing UNA.

"This week is like an addiction. When it is over, you wish you could go back and do it again," Hall said. "You just can't get enough of it. It's intoxicating, it really is.

"It's going to be a phenomenal atmosphere and we can't wait to get up there and play. We talk about this week all year long. It's a huge game in a great venue and we are excited about it. It will be arguably the biggest game in the long history of this rivalry."

 

  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    UAB names Cody Clements starting quarterback vs Troy

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 3:13 PM EDT2014-08-26 19:13:29 GMT
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
    UAB will open the season with Cody Clements at quarterback. Clements, a junior college transfer from Cerritos College in California, beat out redshirt freshman Jeremiah Briscoe for the starting job.More >>
  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:58:33 GMT
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Samford coach Pat Sullivan will not travel with team to TCU

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 2:59 PM EDT2014-08-27 18:59:15 GMT
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
    Samford football coach Pat Sullivan will miss Saturday's season opener against TCU. The school announced that Sullivan has been advised against traveling by doctors while he recovers from offseason surgery."Unfortunately I will not be able to make the trip with my Samford team this weekend for our game against TCU," Sullivan said in a statement released through the school. "My doctors have advised me not to travel at this time due to a complication from a surgery earlier this year. We have an...More >>
  • No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    No. 8 Michigan State readies defense for opener against JSU

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:54:33 GMT
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.More >>
    Mark Dantonio cares more about how Michigan State plays than how many plays Jacksonville State can run with its fast-tempo offense in Friday's season opener for both teams.
    More >>
  • TCU to play both QBs in opener against Samford

    TCU to play both QBs in opener against Samford

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:45 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:45:15 GMT
    Trevone Boykin is in the same position he was last year with TCU, again part of the unanswered question of who will be the starting quarterback only days before the season opener against Samford.More >>
    Trevone Boykin is in the same position he was last year with TCU, again part of the unanswered question of who will be the starting quarterback only days before the season opener against Samford.
    More >>