By Zach Walker
SMU Mustangs vs. UNT Mean Green
Saturday – September 6 – 11am
Apogee Stadium – Denton
Records before the Game:
SMU: 0-1 (0-0 in AAC)
North Texas: 0-1 (0-0 in C-USA)
Two Players for Both Teams, to watch:
RB Prescott Line: He isn’t the starting back, that’s converted linebacker Kevin Pope, but he is the most effective, and he really needs to take advantage of each carry and try and stretch out drives, because the offense needs to stay on the field, and get into a rhythm. SMU needs to be effective in the run part, of the Run and Shoot offensive, to get the wins rolling in.
LB Jonathan Yenga: If not for Yenga’s hit on Bryce Petty’s back in the open field, the Baylor game would have been a lot worse. This week, the emphasis will be on wrapping up the Mean Green running backs, and forcing their very inexperienced quarterback to try and beat the Mustangs’ defense. Beau Barnes, Yenga, and Stephon Sanders need to really mop up tackles and take their chances through the air.
North Texas Mean Green
RB Reggie Pegram: If there was a single player to pick out of North Texas’ performance, it’d be Pegram. Pegram averaged 3.3 yards per carry against Texas, with a long of six yards, but was chipping good yards away every time he touched the ball, and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter that he was stopped for a loss of yards. He, and his fellow running backs are going to need a strong game to keep the weight off of their quarterback, and keep the heat on SMU’s defense.
QB Josh Greer: Greer has got the size to grow into a real strong looking quarterback (6’5” 220 pounds) but he puts the “Green” in Mean Green. His start against Texas last week, was his collegiate debut, and one he’d likely soon forget, because he got nothing done against Texas, 2 of 11 passing for 8 yards. Just going off of stats, there’s no way he did that on his own, it takes a team to under-perform like that, look at SMU last week too. If Greer can establish a run first tempo, like the Mustangs should hope to do, he could be impressive this Saturday.
What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
Rhythm. The Mustangs need to establish a rhythm on offense, start completing those quick outs and screens, and pick up chunks of yards on the ground to keep the chains moving. Coach Jones is likely going to rotate Neal Burcham and Matt Davis in and re-evaluate because no one learned anything in the loss to Baylor.
Prediction: SMU 24 – North Texas 20. I think that the Mustangs’ defense will keep the Mean Green off the field and allow their offense to get things going, but I still think that the Mustangs’ quarterbacks will struggle. And the Mustangs better pull this game through, because they’re unlikely to see a beatable opponent until they’re into October.
Cool Side Note: These teams are two of only four FBS college football teams in Texas, to serve beer inside the stadium at concessions. So spectate responsibly.