By Craig Fields
UTEP Miners vs. North Texas Mean Green
Saturday – November 28 – 2:30 pm CT
Apogee Stadium – Denton, Texas
The North Texas Mean Green (1-10) will be taking on the UTEP Miners (4-7) in their final game of the season on Saturday. The Mean Green will be looking to end a season that has been filled with so many negatives, on a positive note.
The Miners are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs that saw their bid for a bowl game end by the score of 17-15. Now that the Miners, essentially do not have a reason to win this game, the Mean Green might be able to come away with a victory.
The Miners do not really do anything exceptionally well. Actually every offensive player on the team has pretty poor stats for the season. Starting quarterback Mack Leftwich only has about 1,200-yards passing and nine touchdowns, but he has had a problem staying healthy this year. The sophomore has only played in seven games and remains questionable as to whether or not he will be able to take the field Saturday against the Mean Green.
No running back on their roster has more than 319 yards rushing for the entire season. No receiver has more than 471 yards receiving this season. Their offense is just not that talented or prolific.
The same can be said about their defense.They currently rank 104th in total defense and give up almost 450 yards per game to their opposition. This might, for all intensive purposes, arguably be UNT’s best shot at winning a football game all year… Maybe.
The only reason I say maybe is because this current 1-10 Mean Green team has made winning a game look very difficult this year. Unfortunately the Mean Green score an average of 15 points a game and give up an average of 43 points per game. Based on those numbers, it is hard to decide which side of the ball has failed the Mean Green the most.
However, the Mean Green will have the fact that they are at their home stadium for their last game of the season on their side as they try to improve on one of the most disappointing seasons in school history. And yes, this is the same school history that includes head coach Todd Dodge and his 6-37 horrific record over three-and-a half years.
In order to win this game and avoid the dubious, but distinct honor of tying the school’s worst football record in history, there are a couple of things that the Mean Green must do.
- SCORE SOME FREAKING POINTS!!!
The Mean Green have only scored 20 points combined over their last three games. That is just awful. One thing that is certain is that if they cannot manage at least 24 to 30 points, chances are they will be losing again.
UTEP’s defense isn’t that good and DaMarcus Smith or whoever will be starting at quarterback for the Mean Green will have plenty of opportunities to make plays and move the ball downfield. The running game, led by back Jeffrey Wilson will also need to get going in this game if they want to win in order to remove some of the pressure from the quarterbacks. If this season has taught us anything it is that UNT cannot rely on any of their quarterbacks to win them a game.
- STOP SOMEBODY!!!
Over those same three contests that they have averaged six to seven points a game, the Mean Green have averaged over 40 points a game given up to to their opponents. That just won’t get it done. Luckily for the guys in green and white, they will be playing a team that is not great at sustaining drives or running the football.
This game might just turn into a game of field position and special teams units. Which team will be able to pin their opponent on their side of the field long enough to ensure that their team has the short field and therefore the advantage to score at some point?
If UNT wins the battle of field position, and are able to hold up defensively long enough for their anemic offense to put up some points, then I think UNT has a good shot of winning. However I do not think that any of this will happen so…
Prediction: UTEP 38 – UNT 13