By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green defense actually showed up against the Tennessee Volunteers, but the team still fell to the Vols 24-0. The offense was unable to hold up their end of the bargain as the Mean Green were shut out for the first time this season.
Quarterback DaMarcus Smith completed 12 of 25 passes for a grand total of 103 yards and obviously no touchdowns, and surprisingly no interceptions. He was unable to help out running back Jeffrey Wilson who ran for 52 yards on 14 carries for a 3.7 yards per carry average.
The Volunteers defense was stifling to say the least and allowed the fewest yards in a game since 2010. North Texas never advanced past the Vols 45 yard line and was held scoreless for the first time since 2011.
The Mean Green defense played pretty good as well. If the offense had been able to sustain any drives, the game would have been more competitive. North Texas did allow a total of 409 yards, but managed to keep dynamic quarterback Joshua Dobbs in check allowing him to only pass for 136 yards and an interception.
What mainly hurt the Mean Green was their inability to slow down running backs Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd. They combined for 199 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 30 carries. The run defense of the Mean Green has been one of the worst in FBS this season, and it reared its ugly head in this one again.
However, on a brighter note, the Mean Green won the turnover battle, 1-0. Even though they only managed one take away, this stat shows how much the Mean Green really took care of the ball.
And the interception came at a potentially crucial point in the game when the Vols were driving down the field and would at least get a field goal to increase their lead.
Junior defensive back Chad Davis intercepted the ball at the five yard line to keep the score 17-0 going into halftime. But what looked like a morale booster at the time for the Mean Green, turned out to be nothing more than a pause in Tennessee’s domination of the Mean Green.
With this win, the Vols, 6-4, have become bowl eligible for the second straight year. The Mean Green fall to 1-9 and will be looking to pick themselves up by their bootstraps when they take on Middle Tennessee on November 21.