North Texas Daily

Football battles for Texas, redemption

Football battles for Texas, redemption

Football battles for Texas, redemption
October 04
08:44 2018

After losing to LA Tech at home this past Saturday, North Texas travels to El Paso for an in-state rivalry matchup with the UTEP Miners. The game will be played at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Sun Bowl Stadium.

The Mean Green will be looking to get back in the win column after LA Tech ended their undefeated streak.

Meanwhile, the UTEP Miners will be seeking their first win of the year against North Texas to end a five-game losing streak. The Mean Green have a 97 percent chance to win this game, according to the ESPN Power Index.

UTEP currently sits at the bottom of the Conference USA standings following a 0-5 start.

Mean Green’s biggest challenge in this game could be UTEP quarterback Kai Locksley, the team’s leading rusher. 

“He’s an elite athlete who’s long, tall and can run, so I think it’s going to a great competition trying to stop him,” North Texas linebacker Brandon Garner said.

UTEP’s second game of the year was a 52-24 point loss against the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The Miners put up 388 total offensive yards, three touchdowns and a field goal. On defense, UTEP gave up 414 rushing yards on 56 attempts and four touchdowns. For their next game, they would travel to play Tennessee and be held scoreless with 39 passing yards and 95 rushing yards. Tennessee finished with 345 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 50 rushing attempts. UTEP’s rush defense is ranked no.119 in the nation and has allowed 222.4 rush yards per game as well as 5.6 yards per carry on the season.

“I’m excited,” North Texas running back DeAndre Torrey said. “I know my offensive line is going to do a great job ,and with Mason Fine back there, you can’t stack the box so that could be a good day for all the running backs.”

The Mean Green’s game against LA Tech was the first time all season they had been held scoreless in two quarters of a game.

Mason Fine is said to be okay following an hamstring injury in the third quarter of the game, to head coach Seth Littrell said. Fine was not available for comment following the game.

 The Mean Green offense still managed to end the game with a good offensive performance after putting up a total of 427 yards and four touchdowns. However, North Texas gave up two costly turnovers and missed two field goals.

“We just weren’t disciplined enough ,and so moving forward we have to learn from those mistakes,” Littrell said. “We need to make sure to realize how important it is to reset and refocus so we don’t make those mistakes going forward in preparation against a great football team in UTEP.”

Key injuries were sustained on Saturday as North Texas running back Loren Easley exited the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury that had him returning to the field with crutches toward the end of the game. Littrell elaborated that Loren Easley is out indefinitely for the year with a left leg injury. Easley had already carried the ball 22 times for 110 yards and had one reception for 30 yards that night before getting injured.

“I’m not sure what my role is going to be yet, but I know I’m going to fulfill it to the best of my ability,” Torrey said. “If I had to guess, I would say that me and [Nic Smith] will probably take the bulk of the reps.”

Littrell is renowned for stressing the importance of resetting, and even in a loss, this philosophy couldn’t be more important to him and his team as they look to regain their confidence and poise.

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore Nic Smith runs the ball in a conference game against LA Tech on Sept. 29 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpenter

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Matt Suarez

Matt Suarez

Sports Editor

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