North Texas Daily

Mean Green football searches for first road win against UTEP

Mean Green football searches for first road win against UTEP

November 13
19:34 2014

Akshay Mirchandani / Sports Editor

After getting its first win in over a month, the Mean Green football team will look to win its fourth game of the season Saturday on the road against the University of Texas – El Paso. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. and the game can be viewed on Fox Sports 1.

The team won its first conference game of the season against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday, and kept hopes of remaining bowl eligible alive. To be bowl eligible, the team has to win its final three games of the season, starting with UTEP.

“It’s kind of like the playoffs,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “With four games to go starting last Saturday, you either stay in or you’re out. We took our first big step to stay in the playoffs and stay in the hunt.”

UTEP comes into the game at 5-4 and needs just one more win to become bowl eligible. The Miners have only lost one home game this season. UTEP also has running back Aaron Jones, who is the third leading rushing in C-USA with 886 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“Their running back can move,” junior defensive back Kenny Buyers said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but we’ve played some other good offenses this season and we’re not going to back down from challenges.”

The team will also be looking for its first road win of the season. In four road games this season, the Mean Green have allowed 46.0 points per game, and have scored 18.2 points per game.

“I think we got to create our own energy on the road,” Buyers said. “When we’re at home it’s kind of easy to feed on the energy of crowd and making plays, and we’re jumping around and stuff. But when we’re on the road, you don’t really have that same energy.”

The last time the Mean Green and Miners played was last year, where North Texas won in a 41-7 blowout. Junior quarterback Andrew McNulty said that there are a few people left from that UTEP team, but this will be a more challenging game.

“Anytime you go on the road there’s going to be a little bit of a challenge,” McNulty said. “They have some familiar faces from last year, they got some experience on their defense and we’re going to take a look and see if we can do some things against them.”

McNulty said there is a bit more energy around the Mean Green because of the threat of elimination with one more loss.

“Every week, it can either eliminate you or keep you in contention from reaching our goal of hitting six and ultimately our goal of getting to a bowl game,” McNulty said. “That kind of puts a little drive and pep in your step every week.”

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