Quick Hits: Five Observations from North Texas vs. UTSA

Quick Hits: Five Observations from North Texas vs. UTSA

North Texas junior defensive end Jareid Combs (7) sacks UTSA sophomore quarterback Dalton Sturm (14) late in the game. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

Quick Hits: Five Observations from North Texas vs. UTSA
October 31
22:19 2015

 Scott Sidway | Sports Editor

@ScottyWK

On Saturday, Oct. 31, the University of North Texas football team hosted the University of Texas at San Antonio at Apogee Stadium. Here are five observations from the game.

1. Jeffrey Wilson continues to impress – It’s safe to say sophomore running back Jeffrey Wilson has taken the title as lead dog in the backfield. Wilson carried the ball 22 times, and the only other runner receive a handoff was fellow sophomore Willy Ivery, who had one. Including tonight’s 135 yards, Wilson has rushed for 364 yards on 52 carries over the last three games, averaging exactly seven yards per carry. He also scored his first touchdown of the season tonight, scampering and diving six yards along the right side early in the second quarter.
2. Controlled the turnover battle – UTSA entered the game with the best turnover margin in C-USA with a +6, while North Texas entered the game on the opposite end of the spectrum in last place with -6. The Mean Green weathered the impending storm against UTSA, keeping the turnover margin deadlocked at 0. North Texas also scored on its lone forced turnover of the game, a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter on a recovered fumble near midfield.
3. DaMarcus Smith overcame mistakes and hardship – Early into his third career start for North Texas, the junior signal caller made a handful of momentum-changing mental mistakes in the redzone, fumbling twice in three plays and losing the second one. But as the game progressed, his raw athletic ability took over and ignited a couple of Mean Green scoring drives. He rushed for 154 yards, including a 50+ yarder before his one yard plunge in the fourth quarter that gave North Texas a 30-23 lead. It was especially impressive considering he missed two practices this week attending the funeral of his brother, who passed away the night before last week’s game against Marshall University.
4. The Smith-to-Harris connection is improving – Since taking over as the starting quarterback two weeks ago, the Mean Green’s most dynamic playmaker outside has struggled to find a rhythm with his new signal-caller. Tonight, Harris was able to haul in six passes for 72 yards, including a couple of key first down grabs on North Texas touchdown drives. His fourth catch of the night was also enough to put him into third place on the school’s all-time receptions list, trailing only Casey Fitzgerald and David Brown with 184 receptions.
5. Attendance still low, but stuck around – The official attendance for the Mean Green’s fourth home game of 2015 was 10,292, barely higher than last Thursday’s mark of 10,155. This time, however, the North Texas fans stuck around much deeper into the game, with the stands nearly as full at the end of the game as it was in the beginning. When the scoreboard showed triple zeroes at the end, the crowd was as energized as it has been all season.

Click here for the photo gallery of the game.

Featured Image: North Texas junior defensive end Jareid Combs (7) sacks UTSA sophomore quarterback Dalton Sturm (14) late in the game. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

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