UAB coach Garrick McGee figures familiarity with both his team and Conference USA will make for a smoother ride in his second season.
The Blazers won just three games in McGee's debut season and went 2-6 in the league.
''I think if you are a very fast learner, and I pride myself in being a very fast learner, that if you run around the track once, you are supposed to know where all the curves are and where the straightaway is,'' McGee said. ''I understand our conference, what schemes other coaches are running, our program and its positives and deficiencies, and I know our staff and players better.
''So I am in a better position personally going into the second year, which is going to force our team to be in a better position.''
UAB returns seven starters on offense, including quarterback Austin Brown and 1,000-yard rusher Darrin Reaves. However, McGee dismissed leading receiver Jackie Williams during preseason camp, a move he later said was part of his efforts to change the progr...