DeWayne McBride and Jermaine Brown Jr. formed one of the nation's best rushing duos this season.

McBride is the country's leader in rushing yards and rushing yards per game. Brown is 65th in the country with 832 rushing yards. When it comes to eating up chunks of yardage, they've fed off each other.

In next Friday's Bahamas Bowl, which will end an eventful 2022 season, Brown could very well be eating alone when facing the Miami of Ohio defense. McBride, who is known to teammates as Debo, has not said whether he will play in the bowl game. He is expected to travel with the team but has not practiced most of this week.

"I don't really know what's on the table, but Debo's got a bright future, man," said Brown. "I don't really know if he's playing or not. I wish the best to him, wish him a great future. If it's just me, I got to come to work harder, put the team on my back."

UAB interim head coach Bryant Vincent said earlier this week that it will be McBride's decision whether he will play. If McBride does play, then he will share the carries with Brown. If not, Brown will get the bulk of the carries, with AJ Gates and Lee Witherspoon probably sharing time behind him. Freshman Taven Curry has played in just two games, so he could get some time without losing a redshirt season.

But the spotlight will shine on the 5-foot-8, 185-pound Brown, who has worked his way into being a running back with NFL potential because of his versatility. That certainly wasn't what most expected from him when he walked on at UAB after an outstanding high school career at St. Luke's Episcopal in Mobile.

"I just keep it straight," said Brown, who began as a receiver at UAB. "People are always going to doubt you. There are going to be believers, and there are going to be some that don't believe. I just pray to God and pray I'll keep my head on straight."

If Brown gets the bulk of the carries on Friday, he has an opportunity to put a special ending to his best individual season. Brown enters the final game with 832 yards rushing, which puts him in position to reach 1,000 yards for the first time in a UAB uniform. He set a career-high with 150 yards rushing in a win over North Texas, so it would take a new career high to get him there. He'll also have to do it against a good Miami of Ohio defense, which allows 135.8 yards rushing per game. Four running backs rushed for over 100 yards against Miami of Ohio this season, with Ball State's Carson Steele gaining 180 yards against the RedHawks.

"It's something that our offensive line and, really, just our offense takes a lot of pride in," Vincent said. "This is a really good run defense. But, this opportunity for [Brown], there is not a more deserving person on this team than Jermaine Brown. He embraces being No. 2 behind [McBride]. He is one of the most selfless players on the team and one of the best competitors on this team. It would be icing on the cake for Jermaine Brown to break 1,000."

Vincent was asked if the game plan changes any if Brown needs to get the most carries.  

"I think you just tweak a couple of things, add a couple of things," Vincent said. "We're going to run our offense. We're 30th in the country in total offense. We're top five in the country in rushing. We're not going to change what we're doing because it's not broke. We're going to do what we do. We'll probably add a few wrinkles to fit what he does. But it will be business as usual."

When the business day ends, it will be time to move forward under new head coach Trent Dilfer. During the final days of the coaching search, Brown said on social media that if Vincent wasn't made the program's full-time head coach, he would move on himself. He was asked if he had the decision to make following the bowl game.

"Most likely, I'm coming back," Brown said with a smile.

He then elaborated on how he came to that decision.

"It's been very emotional, but one thing I was taught was you don't make choices off emotion," Brown said. "You just be adaptable and be flexible. Coach Dilfer, I hear he's a good man."

However, Brown leaves no doubt about what he thinks about the opportunity to play for Vincent one more time.

"Big shout out to Coach V," Brown said. "He was the one who believed in me when no one else in college football believed in me. I got so much respect for him and his family."

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