North Texas Daily

UNT football prepares for challenge of a top ten team

UNT football prepares for challenge of a top ten team

September 20
12:30 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

For the 13th time in 14 years, the Mean Green will face an opponent nationally ranked in the top 10.

UNT (2-1) will take on No. 9 University of Georgia (1-1) on Saturday in Athens, Ga,. The game can be seen live on the SEC Network at 11:21 a.m.

Georgia is coming off its first bye week of the season after defeating the University of South Carolina 41-30. This matchup is the last non-conference match-up for both teams before they hit the bulk of their conference schedules.

“Georgia is a top-10 team for many reasons. They have talent, depth, great coaching and experience,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “I’m really impressed with their football team, watching them on tape.”

This year, the UNT defense is one of the best in the country, ranking first in the nation in turnovers and second in the nation in red zone defense. In eight trips within the 20-yard line, opposing teams have scored only four times – one field goal and three touchdowns.

They face a Georgia offense that has turned the ball over just twice so far this season. The Bulldogs’ quarterback, Aaron Murray, ranks third in the nation in total passing yards among active college football quarterbacks with 10,723 yards.

“It’s going to come down to execution for us,” senior linebacker Zach Orr said. “We run a base defense and if we execute our scheme we have in place, then we should be fine.”

Senior quarterback Derek Thompson earned the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week award for his part in last Saturday’s 34-27 comeback win against Ball State University. He threw a career-high 31 completions on 47 pass attempts. Thompson’s 26-yard go-ahead touchdown run was also a career-long.

“We are going up against a tough team to play and a tough atmosphere to play in,” Thompson said. “But our mindset is not going to change because of that. We are not going to be intimidated. We’re going into the game as if we would any other and try and get the win.”

The Mean Green football program is receiving $975,000 to play against the Bulldogs.

Defeating Georgia would give the Mean Green a 3-1 record for the first time since 1989. The program’s lone win against a ranked team in 45 tries came in 1974, when the team beat No. 20 San Diego State University.

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