By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green rushed for over 200-yards but lost to the Marshall Thundering Herd 30-13 in a game that was not as close as the score might suggest. The Mean Green had six points before putting up a meaningless touchdown with about a minute left to play in the game.
Mean Green quarterback DaMarcus Smith was wildly inaccurate and could not seem to consistently make the simple pass. He completed 15 of 37 pass attempts for 128-yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Smith’s most dangerous and favorite target, wide receiver Carlos Harris, caught only two passes for 10 yards and could not create any space to get open all afternoon. Darvin Kidsy was Smith’s main target which says a lot about Marshall’s ability to play defense and contain a team’s main weapon.
However, there was a bright spot offensively for the Mean Green. Running back Jeffrey Wilson managed to have a good day, rushing 17 times for 138 yards. That’s the most yards that a running back has had since Brandin Byrd rushed for 251 yards against Tulsa in 2013. The Mean Green have seemingly found an answer at running back after having a slow start to the running game.
However, the defense remains the Achilles heel of this team. Although this was probably the Mean Green’s best effort defensively, they still gave up over 400 yards of total offense and that includes over 210 yards rushing. But the defense did play hard and made significant improvements in the second half of the game.
Marshall only managed to score six points in the second half and the Mean Green actually had a better second half than the Thundering Herd outscoring them 10-6. If interim head coach Mike Canales can pull anything positive from this game for the Mean Green, it will be that they outplayed a C-USA champion contender for an entire half of a game.
At this point, the Mean Green need to find any positives possible because their season has been pretty much all bad. The Mean Green will have an opportunity to get a win on Halloween when they take on the 1-6 UTSA Roadrunners.
There is no doubt that Canales will try to get his team up for the home game against an opponent that the Mean Green can really be competitive against.