North Texas Mean Green at SMU Mustangs Preview

Mustangs RB Braeden West will look to rebound from the loss to TCU. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Mustangs RB Braeden West looks to take the reigns and become the featured back for the Ponies. Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi
Watch YOUR Texas Rangers at Big Shucks!
Watch the Mustangs at Big Shucks!

Brought to you by: Big Shucks

By Zach Walker

Game Info
North Texas Mean Green vs SMU Mustangs
Saturday – September 8 – 6:00 p.m.
Gerald J. Ford Stadium – Dallas – Texas

Records Prior to the Game
North Texas Mean Green (1-0, 0-0)
SMU Mustangs (1-0,0-0)

Who’s got the advantage?
When SMU has the ball: I’d love to tell everybody who’s got the advantage when SMU has the ball, but who the F*** knows? Okay, a little strong. However, Ben Hicks looked truly unsmooth against SFA, despite throwing a pair of scores. But, D.J. Gillins threw a single pass and ran the ball primarily, so not much quarterback-stuff going on there. Rafe Peavey threw a touchdown on a catch-and-run, more than a tasty pass. It’s going to be Ben Hicks going forward, and Mustangs’ fans must just assume that it was just rust that Hicks was throwing through. The stable of backs looked extremely primed and ready for their season debut. It was great to see Xavier Jones back, running the football essentially for the first time since his freshman season. Ke’Mon Freeman looked quicker than I remember from a season ago. Braeden West appears to be ready for the grind. He carried only six times and gained 86 yards. The receiving crew didn’t get the quarterback play to showcase much, but Courtland Sutton showed some excellent mitts and James Proche is as acrobatic a pass-catcher as I’ve ever covered. The Mean Green defense allowed the same 14 points that the Mustangs’ did, and looked strong on defense. They held Lamar, and former SMU quarterback Darrel Colbert Jr. to fifty percent completions. They stuffed the Lamar ground game to just a 2.6 yards per carry rate, off of thirty-three carries.

When North Texas has the ball: The Mean Green gave the one point more difference against Lamar, but did it in different ways. The SMU Mustangs’ got a pair of defensive scores, the Mean Green took advantage of their offensive opportunities. Quarterback Mason Fine, looked fine by throwing only six incompletions while tossing three touchdowns. He never keyed on a single receiver, with no receiver getting more than four catches, with two reaching that catch total. The Mean Green ground game was ON. They racked up sixty team carries for an epic 436 yards and five trips to the endzone. Jeffrey Wilson, Nic Smith, and Evan Johnson were used pretty evenly, no one reaching twenty carries, and Evan Johnson was a two yard clip from being able to join the other two backs with a one-hundred yard game of his own. The Mustangs need to let Jordan Wyatt rip. He scored two touchdowns, in two different ways of scoring defensive scores. Justin Lawler needs to get after Mason Fine and get him off the spot. The linebackers are going to have to shine against the Mean Green, if they’re going to throw close to sixty carries at the Mustangs’ defense.

What will it take for the Mustangs to win?
Tackling looks to be the paramount important skill to taking down the Mean Green. Ben Hicks needs to wake up too.

SMU 34 –  North Texas 30