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UAB upsets Marshall on the road for second Conference USA title in three years

The Blazers pull the upset in Huntington to win the second title since returning college football to Birmingham.

Myron Mitchell of the UAB Blazers runs with the ball against the Marshall Thundering Herd in the first half of the Conference USA Championship at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on December 18, 2020 in Huntington, West Virginia. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In the first upset of Championship Weekend, the UAB Blazers went on the road to beat the Marshall Thundering Herd 22-13 on Friday night to win the 2020 Conference USA championship in Huntington, WV.

A 71-yard pass from senior quarterback Tyler Johnson III to Trea Shropshire sealed the win with 4:02 remaining. Shropshire was held on the play, but the pass was in the air long enough to spring himself free and sprint uncontested to the end zone.

Marshall quarterback Grant Wells mostly struggled, going 8-23 for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He was 0-10 passing at halftime, and the Herd as a unit ran just 51 plays with a 5.3 yards per play average.

UAB’s ability to run the ball against a team that was allowing just 13 points per game was the difference, and Johnston III was 12-22 for 252 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and the Blazers ran the ball 52 times for 216 yards.

The Blazers closed as a 4.5-point underdog at DraftKings Sportsbook.