North Texas Daily

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of an undefeated season

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of an undefeated season

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of an undefeated season
September 23
13:22 2018

When the dust settled in Fayetteville on Sept. 15, the Mean Green walked out of Reynolds Razorback Stadium with a 3-0 record and the attention of the nation. Now, it’s back to work as North Texas pursues a 4-0 record with a win against Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, North Texas has a 75.1 percent of winning the matchup against Liberty University, the second highest this season behind a 99.5 percent against Incarnate Word. Liberty has a record of 1-1 on the season with a win against Old Dominion and a loss against Army. This is the first time in team history the Mean Green face off with the Flames on the gridiron.

“Our focus is more on our team week in and week out and I think it can pose as a distraction focusing on the other team like that,” North Texas head coach Seth Littrell said when asked what it was like playing two teams they’ve never played before within the first four weeks.

The Flames started off the season with a 52-10 win against Old Dominion. Liberty put up 353 passing yards and connected with their receivers four times for touchdowns, along with 238 rushing yards on a team total of 38 carries. The Flames allowed just 10 points as well as 301 total offensive yards. Moreover, their stellar offensive and defensive performances were quickly humbled upon visiting Army. The Flames only managed to score an abysmal 14 points and a grand total of 417 total offensive yards in their 38-14 point loss to Army. Furthermore, Army pounded the rock against the Flames and stacked 449 total rush yards.

All of that being said the real truth of the matter is this, North Texas is coming into this game scorching hot. “This group is very focused and very confident, and I think a lot of that comes to building that team chemistry they’ve built up over fall camp,” Littrell said. “There’s a lot of experience, they’ve really continued to buy into our culture which I think is extremely important to who we are — our character and our process.”

The Mean Green is coming into this game leading several national statistics. Kicker Cole Hedlund is No. 2 in the nation in points scored with 46. The North Texas defense is second in the nation in defensive efficiency behind No. 1 Alabama. The North Texas defense is tied for most interceptions in FBS with a total of nine within the first week. Quarterback Mason Fine had the fifth most passing yards of any passer in FBS with 1,143. This win for Fine was his first against a Power Five team, and his national attention is something he refuses to let get to him.

“A lot of people might tell me now that I’m doing a good job, but a couple of years ago, some of those people didn’t think I was very good,” Fine said. “I just have to stay focused and reset every week.”

Liberty’s offense brings up an issue for the Mean Green defense, and cornerback Kemon Hall is looking for his fourth straight game with an interception.

“[Liberty] passes the ball more and likes to spread the offense out but it all comes down to our basic fundamentals, great technique, and winning those one-on-one battles,” Hall said.

The game takes place on Saturday, Sept. 22 on ESPN 3 at 5 p.m. CST in Lynchburg, Virginia. The Mean Green will look to finish their pre-conference play at 4-0 and Liberty will try to stay above .500 at home.

Featured Image: North Texas junior Jameel Moore celebrates after making a tackle in a game against Arkansas on Sept. 15 at Arkansas. Sara Carpenter

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Matt Suarez

Matt Suarez

Sports Editor

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1 Comment

  1. Dixie Normous
    Dixie Normous September 24, 11:27

    Who’s Matthew?

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