By Zach Walker
North Texas Mean Green vs SMU Mustangs
Saturday – September 12 – 6:00 pm CT
Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas
Records Before the Game
SMU Mustangs: 0-1 (0-0 in AAC)
North Texas Mean Green: 0-0 (0-0 in C-USA)
Who’s got the advantage?
To say that change is coming would be a week behind the times. The way that SMU took it to the fourth ranked Baylor Bears in the first half showed everyone in the land that change has arrived. Quarterback Matt Davis showed moxie, poise, and confidence in his offense during the game. Davis’ elusiveness is a powerful trait to keep the offense moving towards the end zone. A new emphasis on the Mustangs’ running game with Davis, Prescott Line, and the freshman duo of Xavier Jones and Braeden West is going to make sure everyone is fresh when they enter the ball game. Freshman wide receiver Courtland Sutton is going to be a force to be reckoned with, because on one hand he’s six foot four and 215 pounds, and on the other hand, he’s got the trust of his quarterback. Replacing linebacker Derek Akunne isn’t an easy task, he had 49 tackles more than the next defender last season. But the Mean Green also have to replace their second leading tackler and best defensive back from a season ago, defensive back James Jones. Defensive end Chad Polk brings some carry over from his five and a half sack season from last year. ADVANTAGE: SMU
Andrew McNulty has been named the starting quarterback for North Texas, and that’s good for the Mean Green, because McNulty was the best thing the Mean Green had from last season due to their shaky quarterback situation. McNulty’s eyes are likely going to be pinned on number nine, wide receiver Carlos Harris, a Biletnikoff watch list senior from Frisco, and he is electric, he averaged 120.9 all-purpose yards per game last season. Antoinne Jimmerson, the Green’s leading rusher from last season is going to have to adjust to life without Reggie Pegram, his running mate for the past few seasons. The Mustangs must tackle better than they did against the Bears, slipped tackles and out-right whiffed opportunities allowed the Bears to stay on the field and even score. ADVANTAGE: SMU because they’ve played a game.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
An emphasis on tackling, wrapping up, and taking the opponent to the ground. All in all, the Mustangs weren’t terrible with penalties, only five calls for 40 yards, but they must avoid badly timed flags, like the false start on third and two, which made it a third and seven. That must come out of the Mustangs DNA for success to follow.
Prediction: SMU 31 – UNT 24 A hard fought, 60 minute game for the Mustangs’ first home win since November 16, 2013.