Green Wave Floods Mean Green

Brandin Byrd and the Mean Green offense need to find their running game. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally
Brandin Byrd and the Mean Green offense need to find their running game. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally

By Craig Fields

The Tulane Green Wave amassed 227 total yards of offense and did just enough to squeak out a 24-21 win over the North Texas Mean Green.

The Mean Green on the other hand had 360 yards of total offense and 326 of that was through the air. They had another rough game on the ground. So far this season when North Texas has been ineffective running the football, they struggle offensively. Rushing the ball is pivotal for the success of this offense.

Senior Derek Thompson had an average game going 29-42 getting 326 yards and two touchdowns. However, he also had two interceptions in the process. One of those interceptions was a pick-six that actually gave the Green Wave a 21-7 advantage.

Although North Texas showed that same resolve that they have shown this year when trailing, to make it 21-21, ultimately it was not enough. The Mean Green’s defense, led by senior linebacker Zach Orr, played well enough to get the win. They held explosive senior running back Orleans Darkwa to just 44 yards on 16 carries for a 2.8 average. He came into this game averaging over four yards a carry with six touchdowns to boot. To say he is an explosive runner is an understatement.

The stout North Texas defense also held nationally acclaimed wide receiver Ryan Grant to just 60 yards and no scores. He came into this game torching secondaries for almost 100 yards and a touchdown a game. So like previously stated, the defense did enough to win this game.

The loss came about because the offense could not sustain drives, especially in the first half. The score at halftime was 7-0 Green Wave. Both teams punted seven times each. In a phrase, the game was not pretty.

When the top rusher on the Mean Green is the quarterback, and that top yardage is 19 yards, therein lies the problem. The lack of a successful ground attack over the last two games, both losses, has to be rectified if the Mean Green wish to go bowling this year.

North Texas’ next contest will be at home against a Middle Tennessee team that is giving up 177.5 rushing yards a game. This could be a great game to get out of this rushing rut that the Mean Green find themselves in. That senior leadership that has been apparent this year needs to show up strong in a game that they must have.