North Texas Daily

UNT football ready for first home game in a month

UNT football ready for first home game in a month

UNT football ready for first home game in a month
October 11
23:49 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

For the first time since Sept. 12, the UNT football team returns home to take on a familiar opponent in its second conference game of the season.

Middle Tennessee State University (3-3) and the Mean Green (2-3) are two of the four teams that made the move from the Sun Belt Conference to Conference USA this offseason.

Heading into the two programs’ 13th meeting all-time, both teams are looking to end a two-game losing streak. UNT holds the edge in series, 7-5.

“The regular season will be half-way over at the end of Saturday, so lets take a positive step and finish the first half of the season on a positive note,” head coach Dan McCarney said.

In the last 12 meetings between the two squads, the winning team has always scored more than 30 points. During the McCarney era, the Mean Green is 8-0 when the team scores 30 or more points.

MTSU’s defense leads C-USA with 16 sacks on the season, running into a UNT offensive line that is ranked 18th in the nation by allowing just five sacks.

“This team is well coached and it will probably be the best special team unit we have faced this whole year,” senior linebacker Zach Orr said. “They’re going to come in here hungry and they will fight until the end.”

In the last two games, the Mean Green rushing attack was ineffective. On a combined 45 rushing attempts in UNT’s past two games, the team has gathered 41 yards on the ground – an average of .9 yards per rushing attempt. Last year, the Mean Green averaged 4.4 yards per attempt.

“The game is played with 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense. You really can’t blame just one person,” senior running back Brandin Byrd said. “We just have to be able to execute and find the ways to run the ball.”

A victory over the Blue Raiders this season will give the Mean Green its best start through six games since 2003, when it went 3-3.

The two teams will clash at 6 p.m. in Apogee Stadium. The Mean Green is 9-4 since Apogee opened and will look to continue its home winning streak to four consecutive games, dating back to last season’s home finale.

Senior quarterback Derek Thompson runs the ball and is tackled by linebacker Zach Davis (57) and defensive end Tyler Gilbert (43). Thompson ran the ball six times for 19 yards against Tulane on Oct. 05. Feature photo courtesy of Michael J Hammer 

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