By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green football team will attempt to capture its first 2-0 start in almost 20 years as they take on the Ohio Bobcats in Athens, Ohio this Saturday. North Texas is hoping that last week’s 40-6 trouncing of Idaho was not just a flash in the pan performance and will carry over to this week. Ohio is a better team than their 49-7 loss to #8 Louisville would suggest. Most mid-major teams would lose to national powerhouse like Louisville. I would not put too much stock into that loss.
This is the second time ever that these two teams are meeting with Ohio winning the first encounter in 2009 in double overtime, 31-30. If North Texas could come away with a victory here, it could mark a turning point from the futility wave that has relentlessly crashed into this team over the last eight or nine seasons.
This, however will not be easy.
The Ohio Bobcats have been the model of consistency over the past four seasons going 36-18 with four bowl appearances and two wins in those appearances. Coach Frank Solich has found a recipe that works in the MAC (Mid-American Conference), and his team will do anything but lay down. His team will be looking for redemption after that embarrassment they suffered at the hand of the #8 team in the nation.
That being said, the two coaches here have come to know each other pretty well over their coaching careers. Coach Dan McCarney of the Mean Green knows that his opponent will have his guys ready to go. There is a mutual respect here because of the days of Solich being a head coach at Nebraska and McCarney being the head coach of Iowa State. “I have a lot of respect for Dan,” Solich said. “He takes a great approach that is all about being physical.”
When asked about how Solich runs his organization Coach McCarney said, “He is such an easy guy to cheer for because of the way he coaches, his style of play and the character and integrity of his program.
Respect often yields the most competitive games. There is no reason to think that this game will be any different. I am expecting a chess match of a football game that seemingly comes down to the more capable players making the plays necessary to win the game. This game, more than anything will come down to execution.
North Texas vs Ohio
Saturday – September 7 – 6 PM