By Craig Fields
Saturday – October 19 – 2:30 PM
TV: CBS Sports Network
Joe Aillet Stadium – Ruston
This is a very winnable game is almost a must have if the Mean Green wish to win the six games necessary to make them bowl eligible, something that they haven’t done since winning the New Orleans Bowl game in 2004.
With their next six opponents combining for a paltry 11-26 win-loss record, that goal is extremely recognizable right now. The Mean Green players, coaches, and fans believe.
That belief was on display last week as the Mean Green trounced, dominated, and completely embarrassed a Middle Tennessee State University team that looked out of its league. The Mean Green rushing attack returned to form as they shrugged off the struggles of the previous two weeks to rush for a season high 303 yards.
With a Bulldogs team that is giving up over 420 yards a game on defense, the opportunities for this Mean Green offense to move the ball and score should be plentiful. Even though the road has been a harsh mistress for North Texas this year, they have nevertheless played hard falling by 3 to the Ohio bobcats, and pushing then #9 (now #15) Georgia hard into the fourth quarter until ultimately losing by 24.
Effort is evident on this team. Talent is superseded by sheer determination to make the nation see that this team is different from the one that has met futility year after year since 2005.
Even though the Bulldogs are 2-4 they do have some weapons that are dangerous. Their duel running back tandem of Kenneth Dixon and Tevin King are responsible for 900 of the 1104 total rush yards of the Bulldogs. They also average 6.2 and 7.2 yards per carry respectively.
The Mean Green defense will need to shut down this team’s rushing attack much like they shut down the rushing attack of MTSU when their talented duo Jordan Parker and Reggie Whatley got the ball.
Senior linebacker Zachary Orr and senior quarterback Derek Thompson continue to lead this team on a mission to return this team to relevance; to prominence, and perhaps to that 2004 form that saw a Mean Green team raising a trophy as victors of a bowl game.
Whether that is or isn’t going to be the case, remains to be seen as the answer to that speculation starts this Saturday with North Texas battling a struggling Louisiana Tech team at their home field. If they grab this victory, this will be the first time that the Mean Green would have gotten consecutive victories since 2004.