By Craig Fields
So the season is all but over for the guys in green. The Rice Owls pile up 421 yards of total offense and beat the Mean Green 41-21 in Houston on Saturday to win their fourth straight game. The North Texas Mean Green were stymied on offense, especially in their rushing attack. Actually attack may be too aggressive of a word to describe 33 rushing attempts for only 28 yards. I think the proper term might be their rushing fail.
The Mean Green’s rushing game was anemic to say the least. They had more attempts than actual yards. Mean Green quarterback Andrew McNulty did all of his damage in the first half, throwing for his one and only touchdown pass in the game that came on a 51-yard strike to Carlos Harris.
Harris also added a score in the second quarter when he rushed for 1-yard and got in the endzone. That gave the Mean Green the 21-14 lead going into half time. That however would be the last time the Mean Green would score as the Owls would go on a 27-0 run to start the third quarter. They would take the lead on a pick six thrown by McNulty and never relinquish it.
Owl quarterback Driphus Jackson tied his career long for a passing touchdown with a 88-yarder to wide receiver Jordan Taylor. Jackson had no problem throwing the football gaining 233 yards on 13 completions. He also ran the ball nine times for 26-yards. That may not be a lot, but his willingness to run kept the defense honest and allowed him to find some of those seams that he was taking advantage of.
With this loss the Mean Green fall to 2-6. All hopes of a bowl game are just about shot. This team would have to win the rest of their games in order to become bowl eligible. In order for that to happen, this team will need to get tougher on defense, be more consistent on offense, and show some of that special teams flair that we are so used to seeing from a Mean Green team.
Speaking of special teams flair, Darvin Kidsy ran a kickoff for a 100-yards all the way to the house for the Mean Green. Though it came in a losing effort, dynamic plays like those will be needed if this team plans on turning around this horrible season.
This has been one of the worst seasons under Head Coach Dan McCarney. If anyone is thinking that he has lost control of the locker room or that his players do not listen to him, let me put those worries to bed right now. The players, staff, everyone absolutely respects and loves McCarney.
It may sound harsh but these players are simply less talented and capable than the team of last year. These guys play their heart out for McCarney and I think that he has just about pulled everything that he can out of them as far as talent goes.
The Mean Green have a much needed bye this week. They will come off the bye week to face the Florida Atlantic Owls in an absolutely must win for the Mean Green if they hope to even sniff at the possibility of a bowl game.