FIU Panthers vs UNT Mean Green Preview

Mean Green punt return specialist Sawyer Evans will play a critical role in the battle for field position against the Panthers. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
FIU Panthers vs UNT Mean Green
Saturday – November 5 – 3:00 p.m.
Apogee Stadium – Denton, TX

Records Before the Game
Florida International University Panthers (4-4, 2-2 C-USA)
University of North Texas Mean Green (5-4, 4-1 C-USA)

Last week the Mean Green took care of business on the road at Western Kentucky. The score was 40-13 and it’s the first time that North Texas played a solid 4 quarters this season and looked as if they finally crossed that bridge as a talented team that has the balls to win on the road. Let’s take a look at this week’s game at home versus FIU. One more win and the Mean Green will become bowl eligible.

Conference USA
North Texas is currently sitting in second place in the conference. The Mean Green are 3 spots above FIU in the standings. A win this week will close the gap between UNT and UTSA. Only one game stands between first and second place.

FIU Panthers
The Panthers are coming to Texas to steal a win at UNT. Keep an eye on the Panthers offense this week. Quarterback Grayson James is a sophomore from Duncanville, Texas and this will be a homecoming of sorts for him. He has 1720 passing yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. His numbers won’t blow you away, but his play speaks volumes. Running back Lexington Joseph will be the x-factor for the offense. He has 400 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns. He averages 5.1 yards per carry. The defense is giving up an average of 33.8 points per game.

UNT Mean Green
Last week I shared that North Texas would fall on the road to Western Kentucky by 8 points. As I sat and watched that game, I was thoroughly surprised to see North Texas play a physical game in all three phases of the game. Keep an eye on quarterback Austin Aune. He will be the driving force on the Mean Green offense. He will need to start off hot and stay consistent, making quick passes and extending play. FIU’s defense is struggling so putting up points shouldn’t be a problem during this one. The defense will need to play tough and smart this week. Eliminating boneheaded penalties will be key on defense.

ESPN has the Mean Green with a 94.1% chance of winning at home. I’m taking North Texas by 12! This game will be another breakout game for the Mean Green.

Final Score
Mean Green – 26
Panthers – 14