By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green fell to the SMU Mustangs 31-13 in a game that was not as lopsided as the score might indicate. The Mean Green actually led the game until the fourth quarter began. However, that fourth quarter was a doozy as Matt Davis and the Mustangs scored three unanswered touchdowns. Let’s break the game down in this week’s observations.
1) First and foremost… The play of Andrew McNulty
The Mean Green signal caller was 16-34 for 128-yards with two interceptions. Honestly this is more of the same from the 5th year senior. He won the starting qb job outright, so it stands to reason that he is the best that the Mean Green has to offer.
If that is the case then this season may get ugly pretty quickly. McNulty was wildly inaccurate pretty much all game long. He missed open receivers and his interceptions were real head scratchers. McNulty was only sacked twice but appeared flustered and unsettled the entire game.
If the Mean Green hope to get six wins this season and make it to another bowl game, good quarterback play will be imperative. It was believed that McNulty had turned a corner and improved his ability to play quarterback. After this game, I am not so sure.
2) Secondly… The play of Mustangs quarterback, Matt Davis
He was simply phenomenal. There is no other word I would use to describe a quarterback that literally did everything for his team except tackle and make catches. He completed 17-24 passes for 178-yards and two touchdowns and had 17 carries for 125 yards and two more touchdowns.
Davis was electrifying but especially in the fourth quarter. One play that was indicative of his playmaking style was when he rolled out to the right, could not find an open receiver, and just decided to break four tackles en route to a 50-yard scamper for a touchdown.
His decision making was good, and even though he had a big fumble on the Mean Green 1-yard line, he managed to recover from that and lead his team to the victory. He picked the Mean Green defense apart and ultimately was the reason why the Mustangs came away with the W.
3) The Mean Green Defense
First off, it has to be said that the defense played very well through three quarters. Very, very well actually. The inefficiency of the offense led to the defense being worn out and tired in the fourth quarter.
They were without starting defensive back senior Kenny Buyers, who suffered a back injury during a spring practice game. He had 55 tackles in 2014 and is one of the sure tacklers in the secondary.
But, regardless of how tired a unit may be, allowing a quarterback to run through the arm tackles on his way to a 50-yard score is ridiculous. This defense will have to be better if this team wants to win games. They will have to be the strongest part of this team to compensate for their lack of offensive talent.