North Texas Daily

Lack of execution dooms Mean Green in loss to Middle Tennessee

Lack of execution dooms Mean Green in loss to Middle Tennessee

October 01
23:06 2016

North Texas fielded its best drive of the season Saturday night against Middle Tennessee State University. It was 17 plays, spanned 87 yards and was capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from junior running back Jeffrey Wilson.

Freshman quarterback Mason Fine thought the drive showcased the potential the Mean Green offense has when it’s firing on all cylinders.

“We made plays when we needed to,” Fine said. “We need to do that for all drives. Everybody did their job. We’ve got to keep that energy and execution throughout the whole game.”

The rest of the game, however, was the polar opposite.

The Mean Green picked up just 11 more first downs, and had a stretch of six consecutive three-and-outs. The offense lacked balance, a result of just five rushing yards.

And North Texas lost. A result of the inability to put points on the board.

“We had a lot of issues [offensively],” head coach Seth Littrell said. “Too many third and long situations. You’re not going to be as high of percentage on those. We’ve got to catch the football.”

The Mean Green took to the air to try and make up the difference left by an almost non-existent run game. Despite the struggles on the ground, Fine had a decent night through the air, and finished 33-for-54 with 303 yards and one touchdown.

But a run game that never got going made it nearly impossible for the Mean Green to keep the Blue Raiders guessing on defense.

MTSU wide sophomore wide reciever Richie James (3) catches a pass while being covered by junior defensive back Kishawn McClain. Colin Mitchell

MTSU wide sophomore wide reciever Richie James (3) catches a pass while being covered by junior defensive back Kishawn McClain. Colin Mitchell

“We’ve got to be more balanced,” Fine said. “We’ve just got to execute better all around.”

Fine’s favorite target was sophomore receiver Terian Goree, who only got involved in the final stages when the game was out of reach.

Goree averaged 11.1 yards per catch, and finished with 100 yards on nine catches. Despite the difficulty on offense, Goree feels like they let one slip away.

“I feel like they were a good team,” Goree said. “But I feel like if we could have executed better, we could have played with them. We’ll go back to work and get it figured out.”

The defense did its part to keep North Texas in the game, holding the Blue Raiders to just 13 first-half points. Frequently Middle Tennessee got inside the red zone, but the Mean Green turned them away or held them to field goals.

The effort proved to be null and void in the end though, as the offense failed to solve Middle Tennessee’s defense.

Or as Fine believes, failed to solve themselves.

“They executed their defense better than we executed our offense,” Fine said. “We’ll go back and watch the film and be better next week.”

Featured Image: Senior wide reciever Thaddeous Thompson (11) shows his frustration after dropping a pass that would have been a first down before the end of the first half against MTSU. Colin Mitchell

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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1 Comment

  1. Kennel Up
    Kennel Up October 04, 15:49

    Fine is averaging under 50 passing yards per quarter with only 2 TDs in four games. Our two wins were against a Division 1AA team and Rice which has no wins in five games. Alec Morris averaged almost 80 passing yards per quarter in his first start in four years. Time to change QBs or coaches.

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