North Texas Daily

Five observations from Marshall vs. North Texas

Five observations from Marshall vs. North Texas

October 08
23:06 2016

1) Fake punt: Facing fourth and medium in the third quarter, senior punter Eric Keena took off on a fake punt that gave North Texas a much-needed first down. After the play, Keena got into a shoving match on the Marshall sidelines and was flagged for taunting. The play invigorated the Apogee crowd and lit a spark on offense for the Mean Green. The play was the turning point in the game, and completely shifted momentum towards North Texas. In the post-game press conference, Keena revealed it was not a designed fake and he called his own number based on how the defense was lined up.

2) Improved defense: After surrendering 477 total yards to Middle Tennessee last Saturday, the Mean Green limited the Thundering Herd to 271 yards. The play that sealed the game was an interception that was returned for a touchdown by junior defensive back Eric Jenkins with under four minutes to play. North Texas sacked the Marshall quarterback five times and left him frequently under duress. The constant pressure led to an unbalanced offensive attack from the Thundering Herd.

3) Relentless rushing attack: Against Middle Tennessee, the Mean Green finished with five total rushing yards. Against Marshall, North Texas finished with 252 rushing yards, pounding the Thundering Herd on the ground. Junior running back Jeffrey Wilson had a career day and finished with 26 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He exited the game in the fourth quarter with an injury, but head coach Seth Littrell said in the post-game press conference he was okay and could have re-entered the game if the team needed him.

North Texas junior running back Jeffery Wilson (26) runs to the sideline against Marshall. Wilson gained 190 yards during the game. Colin Mitchell

North Texas junior running back Jeffery Wilson (26) runs to the sideline against Marshall. Wilson gained 190 yards during the game. Colin Mitchell

4) Questionable officiating: Throughout the game there were several instances where officiating came into question. In the first half, Keena was laid out by a Marshall defender, but roughing the punter was not called. A few minutes later, the referees whistled North Texas for an illegal blow to the head of the Thundering Herd’s quarterback, where upon instant replay it showed no contact was made. In the second half, the officials reviewed the spot of the ball on Keena’s punt, much to the chagrin of the crowd. There were also several calls as the game wound down, as the referees tried to maintain control of the game.

5) Bowl hopes: The win puts North Texas at 3-3 for the first time since 2013, and does wonders for its bowl hopes. The Mean Green are now halfway to a bowl berth, as six wins are necessary to be considered for selection. North Texas has a bye next week and will have extra time to prepare for its next game, a road contest at Army.

Featured Image: North Texas junior defensive end Joshua Wheeler (18) sacks sophomore quarterback Chase Litton (1). Colin Mitchell

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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1 Comment

  1. Kennel Up
    Kennel Up October 09, 17:26

    We beat three teams that have a combined record of one win and thirteen losses. Do not hold your breath waiting for that bowl bid.

    Reply to this comment

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