FIU (4-7, 2-5 CUSA) versus North Texas (3-7, 1-6 CUSA)
Date: November 22, 2014
Time 2:30 PM CST
Most Famous Non-Athletic Alum from North Texas: Dr. Phil, made famous by Oprah (who isn't?)
Most Famous Non-Athletic Alum from Florida International: Andy Garcia, actor, the Ocean's Eleven trilogy
Last Meeting: FIU won 41-16, in Dan McCarney's first game as coach of the Mean Green. FIU wide receiver and current player that has saved my fantasy team from going winless T.Y. Hilton finished the game with seven receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown, as well as a 62-yard kick return.
Most ridiculous game played between the two teams: October 7, 2006. North Texas wins in 7 overtimes, continuing FIU's then-19 game losing streak, which would end the next year on the final game of the year against... North Texas.
The game featured five missed field goals from short distance, and North Texas coach Darrell Dickey actually deciding to kick a field goal on 2nd down in one of the overtimes. After a North Texas field goal to win the game in the seventh overtime, UNT students stormed Fouts Field in jubilation, the second time they stormed the field that year. (The first being against... SMU)
So these two teams aren't really playing for anything, are they? Ummm.... uh.... umm.... Pride? It happens to be Senior Day at North Texas, and while the class wasn't full of stars like the 2013 senior class, with a win Saturday, they can tie the most home wins for a North Texas class since the 2004 senior class, with 16.
It also came out this week that North Texas Defensive Coordinator John Skladany is also retiring after this year. Skladany gets a lot of credit for turning around the defense and making it the force it was last year. Youth and five hundred other problems (especially the offense) have cause the unit to have a drop in production this year, but at times this year, but Skladany will always be immortalized for the job he did at UNT- Derek Akune leads Conference USA in tackles this year after all. So you could say the Mean Green are playing to send Skladany out on a high note.
Keep an eye out for UNT defensive line coach Kevin Patrick, who might be auditioning for the DC job.
So far, FIU has improved by 3 wins in Coach Ron Turner's second season, with a solid win against Middle Tennessee last week, denying the Blue Raiders a bowl bid. While FCS "power" Bethune-Cookman continues to trouble FIU, the Golden Panthers did record some solid wins against UAB, and rival FAU. The MTSU win allowed sophomore tight end Jonnu Smith to win the CFPA Tight End Performer of the Week, with 140 yards and three touchdowns. Calls to fire Turner are still there, but another win might put them on hold at least until 2015.
Both FIU and UNT get to the quarterback, which will pose problems for North Texas. While the Mean Green would love to send Skladany out on a high note in his final home game, FIU copies UTEP's game plan and wins, though not by much, 28-24.
In his Monday press conference, Dan McCarney will talk about how he is still set on his three quarterbacks going into 2015, much to the chagrin of every North Texas fan.