North Texas Daily

Quick Hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Portland State

Quick Hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Portland State

Quick Hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Portland State
October 10
21:08 2015

Scott Sidway | Sports Editor

@ScottyWK

On Saturday, Oct. 10, the University of North Texas football team hosted Portland State University at Apogee Stadium for the Mean Green’s homecoming game. Here are five observations from the game.

  1. Trickery from the onset – Although Portland State entered the game as a one point favorite, the offensive coaches dialed up some unconventional plays to take advantage of their multiple-quarterback formations and put North Texas on its heels. The first offensive play for the Vikings was a double pass, where junior quarterback Alex Kuresa threw a backwards pass to the right side of the field to senior quarterback Kieran McDonagh. The senior threw the ball back to the left side of the field to Kuresa, who scampered up the field for a big gain that eventually was called back to an illegal block down field. After punting, the Vikings went to the back of the playbook again on their next possession, perfectly executing a flea-flicker that resulted in the first touchdown of the game.
  2. Run defense exposed again – North Texas came into the game ranked 114th in rushing defense in NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision, and the Vikings exposed the weakness early and often. Portland State rushed for 107 yards in the fourth quarter alone, breaking off runs of 18 and 25 while averaging nearly 10 yards per carry. Portland State added a couple of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter also, including a 70-yarder by senior David Jones. The Vikings finished the game with 368 yards on the ground and six touchdowns while averaging eight yards per carry.
  3. Pass defense just as bad – Even against mostly subpar FCS schools, Portland State entered the game throwing for only 111 yards per game. Against a historically bad North Texas defense that ranks worst in FBS in opponents’ passing efficiency, the Mean Green allowed double the Vikings’ season average in the first half alone, giving up 227 yards through the air. Portland State finished with 302 yards through the air, and 670 yards of total offense on the game.
  4. Very few bright spots – Blowout losses often times have at least one bright spot for coaches to use as points of motivation going forward. But this game provided very little positivity going forward for the Mean Green. Jeremy Wilson had been a bright spot in the previous two losses, rushing for over 200 yards combined over the span after returning from a hand injury. He was limited to 52 yards against the Vikings. The passing game struggled, the running game struggled, the defense gave up wide open bombs and gaping holes, and even the special teams nearly coughed up a kick return.
  5. Homecoming “crowd” – The official attendance for what should be North Texas’ highest attended game of the season clocked in at 19,801. However, fans began to disperse very early in the game, with much of the student section disappearing after halftime and showering the Mean Green with a flurry of boos as they entered the locker room. North Texas traditionally plays well on homecoming, sporting a now 42-23-1 record on the occasion, but fans had little to cheer for on a day traditionally featuring celebration and fellowship.

Click here for the Homecoming 2015 photo gallery.

Featured Image: North Texas sophomore running back Jeffery Wilson (26) evades Portland State junior cornerback Xavier Coleman (38) during the homecoming game at Apogee Stadium. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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