UTSA Roadrunners vs UNT Mean Green Preview

Derek Thompson and UNT look to remain unbeaten at home on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally
Derek Thompson and UNT look to remain unbeaten at home on Saturday. Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally

By Craig Fields

Game Info
Saturday – November 23 – 2:30 PM
Apogee Stadium – Denton

After winning their game two weeks ago, the Mean Green are now looking to stay in the driver’s seat of their division with a win against the Roadrunners. They now control their fate and have not seen such success in almost 10 years. They hold their destiny in their own hands. They will be fighting for the Conference USA crown if they can beat UTSA and Tulsa which are their next two games.

Now that UNT has “Hit 6” that is no longer the focus. This team is hungry for a conference championship. This team is hungry to prove the critics wrong. They have been playing with an edge since the opening kickoff against the Idaho Vandals to start their season. I think that same edge will care them over this persistent and resilient UTSA team.

UTSA does not have an overwhelmingly talented team. But what they do have is a concept. That concept is “Team”. Let me explain what I mean. Through their first seven games they had a 2-5 record, looked to be going nowhere, and were simply unable to really get anything going. That record however is misleading because they were going up against talented times like Oklahoma State University, Arizona, Houston, Marshall, etc.

They could have given up on the season right then and there. Some way through the guidance of their head coach, Larry Coker this team has managed to win three straight games and are on the verge of being bowl eligible for the second time in their school’s history. UTSA’s football program is relatively new and needed someone like Coker to come in and start a winning tradition. UTSA was 4-6 their first season in 2011. They were 8-4 last season and are now 5-5.

Coker gained notoriety by winning a national championship in 2001 with the Miami Hurricanes, and by being an overall successful coach during his tenure there. With an overall coaching record of 77-30 he definitely knows what it takes to win. He would not allow his guys to lie down. To some people five wins against FBS competition might seem like a good accomplishment, but Coach Coker doesn’t want to hear any of that.

“We don’t want to hear about that,” Coker said. “We don’t want to talk about it. We want to go out and prepare to compete (and) win every game.”

And compete they have. With quarterback Eric Soza passing for more yards than he passed for all last season, he has shown that he can air the ball out and make the Roadrunners a pretty balanced team offensively. The running game of the Roadrunners is more so by committee than really focusing on a featured back. However, with that being said David Glasco II does have the most yards of the running backs at 494 yards for the season with five touchdowns.

Their defense is pretty run of the mill and should not really pose a problem to the multifaceted offense of the Mean Green. An offense that features senior Derek Thompson at quarterback and a plethora of backs that can run the ball, scoring should not really be an issue for the Mean Green in this game. The Mean Green, however, do not only score on offense. They score on defense and special teams. What makes this Mean Green team so difficult to beat is that if you manage to shut the offense down for a portion of the game, the aggressiveness of the defense and special teams will most likely score or get the offense in a position to score.

That is what makes this team so dangerous. Although this will be a more balanced and two dimensional offense that the Mean Green has faced in a while, I still think that they will beat the Roadrunners. The Mean Green are undefeated at home for a reason, and with something like first place in the west division on the line, plan for the Mean Green to bring their “A” game on Saturday.