Five observations from Middle Tennessee vs. North Texas

Five observations from Middle Tennessee vs. North Texas

October 01
22:42 2016

Impressive first drive: North Texas scored a touchdown on its opening drive for the first time since Sept. 20, 2014 against Nicholls State University. Led by freshman quarterback Mason Fine, the Mean Green marched 87 yards over the span of 17 plays. They were a perfect five-for-five on third downs, and capped the drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Jeffrey Wilson. More importantly, the drive highlighted Fine’s ability to not only navigate the offense, but pick apart the defense when given time in the pocket.

But it didn’t last: Despite a promising start driving the length of the field for a touchdown, North Texas was unable to generate anything on offense after that. The offensive line either left Fine scrambling or on his back. At one point from the second to fourth quarter, the Mean Green had six consecutive three-and-outs. What began as an offensive exhibit quickly turned into a parade of punts for North Texas, although senior Eric Keena did an excellent job of flipping the field on Middle Tennessee. After the game, Littrell and Fine both attributed the struggles to not executing the offensive game plan.

Sophomore wide reciever Tee Goree (3) attempts to catch a pass while being covered by MTSU corner back Michael Minter (6). North Texas scored during their first drive of the game. Colin MitchellSophomore wide reciever Tee Goree (3) attempts to catch a pass while being covered by MTSU corner back Michael Minter (6). North Texas scored during their first drive of the game. Colin Mitchell

Run game ineffective: After pummeling Rice University on the ground last week, the Mean Green ran into a brick wall against the Blue Raiders. Middle Tennessee held North Texas to minus five yards rushing through three quarters and just five yards total for the game. The Mean Green’s offensive line looked over-matched and lost the battle in the trenches. The result was an offensive attack that was not balanced, which allowed Middle Tennessee to key on the pass.

Good crowd: On family night at Apogee Stadium, students and fans alike turned out to the tune of an official announced attendance of 19,823. There was a lot of hype surrounding this game, especially after North Texas defeated Rice in double-overtime last week. Had the Mean Green won, it would have been the first time since 1994 the team started the season with a 3-2 record.

The crowd during the MTSU game had 19,823 people. Colin MitchellThe crowd during the MTSU game had 19,823 people. Colin Mitchell

Bend and eventually break: The Mean Green defense kept North Texas in the game until the third quarter. Twice in the first half Middle Tennessee was forced to kick a field goal in the red zone after North Texas bowed its back and turned the Blue Raiders away. The dam eventually broke in the second half as Middle Tennessee converted 58 percent of its third down conversions. With the Mean Green defense unable to get off the field, the Blue Raiders took advantage and put the game away.

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore defensive back Ashton Preston tackles Middle Tennessee sophomore quarterback Brent Stockstill to bring up second down. The North Texas defense allowed Stockstill to run for 47 yards in their loss to Middle Tennessee. Nathan Roberts

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 02, 04:29

    Alec Morris

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