North Texas at Western Kentucky
Start Time: 2:30 PM CST. Saturday, November 12th.
Location: L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY
Records: Western Kentucky: 7-3. UNT: 4-5.
Line: Western Kentucky -28.5. O/U: 65
For the second week straight, the Mean Green will enter their game attempting to rebound from a loss while facing a team with exceptional passing ability.
With only North Texas and Marshall standing in their way, Western Kentucky looks to be well on their way to another conference championship game. The Hilltoppers are also enjoying a four-game winning streak that includes victories against Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee, the 2nd and 3rd teams in their division respectively. It should already be pretty obvious who the favorite in this match up will be.
Western Kentucky lost Brandon Doughty last year to the NFL but seems to have little to no drop off in their passing game. Quarterback, Mike White, already has over 3,000 yards and 24 passing touchdowns on the season. His performance throughout the season has led the team to a 9th place ranking in the NCAA for passing yards.
Although the Hilltoppers do have a respectable running game, North Texas will need to stop the air attack as quickly as possible to have any chance in this. A task that the Mean Green may possibly be able to accomplish. The North Texas defense has been able to mitigate the passing attack of the majority of their opponents thus far. Last week the team did allow 4 touchdowns to Ryan Higgins of Louisiana Tech, However, two of the touchdowns were after defensive leader, Kishawn McClain, was ejected for a questionable (to say the least) targeting call.
North Texas could have a chance at slowing White and the Hilltoppers down, but none of it will matter if the Mean Green offense cannot put points on the board. The last two games have highlighted some weaknesses for the North Texas offense. Opposing coaches seem to now understand that stopping Jeffrey Wilson slows down the production of the entire offense. Due to that, both UTSA and La Tech seemed to be ready for Wilson all game.
This all ties back into the story line of the year for North Texas. True freshman quarterback, Mason Fine, will need to get into a rhythm and make some big plays through the air to put points on the board and make the Hilltoppers respect the passing attack. It won’t be an easy task, as Fine is currently the second most sacked quarterback in the NCAA and still has a lot of growing to do. However, if he can it may free up Jeffrey Wilson and allow him more room in the running game to make big plays as well.
North Texas has lost two straight but still looks like a competitive team that can make a run at a bowl berth. That run will just be made a bit tougher after they lose a third straight to Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers are just simply too hot and too talented to lose this game at home. The Mean Green will make it a bit of a shootout but ultimately run out of ammunition.
Western Kentucky 41, North Texas 31