Blaze travel to Lone Star State for opener

Mar 9 2012 - 9:34pm

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SAN ANTONIO -- The Utah Blaze will open their sixth season in the Arena Football League this afternoon in San Antonio against the Talons at the Alamodome.

The Talons are in their first year in the Arena Football League and managed to draw a crowd of thousands to their inaugural preseason scrimmage. The Alamodome will create a hostile environment for the Blaze, but should provide an excellent learning experience for the younger members of the roster.

"We have a good core of veteran players who are used to playing in that kind of environment," said coach Ron James.

Reigning ArenaBowl Champion quarterback Aaron Garcia will be at the helm for the Talons offense. The team also acquired wide receiver Robert Quiroga in the offseason, who racked up 126 receptions for 1,553 yards and 26 touchdowns last year with the Orlando Predators.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Blaze will be looking to continue the potency of its aerial attack with quarterback Tommy Grady under center. Utah led the AFL in passing offense in 2011 (301.2 ypg) and returns three of its top four receivers from last season. Grady missed the final three games of 2011 due to injury, but looked like a wily veteran throughout training camp and is sure to get off to a fast start.

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