Read Part 1 Here:
AR: UNT's key losses from last year were Zach Orr (MLB), Marcus Trice (CB), Brelan Chancellor (WR/Special teams guru), Derek Thompson (QB), Brandin Byrd (RB), and most of the D-Line. In terms of replacing them, it's defintely not the same. I'll give Josh Greer a bit of credit, but honestly after seeing BYU beat the crap out of Texas, I wonder what would've happened had we had a Thompson-like QB in.... we could've opened the running game more, which has been spectacular in light of the poor pass game.
I think Derek Akune has been great in replacing Orr. I like his leadership. The stable of Reggie Pegram, James Wilson, and Antoine Jimmerson has been great in replacing Byrd, who was a 1,000 yard rusher last season. Kenny Buyers and Laramie Lee have been stalwarts on the Defense too- While Trice and Orr set the tone last season, both Buyers and Lee have been great at setting the tone at the corners.
I don't think Dan McCarney has ever been one to win games with his quarterbacks, but I really wish Dajon Williams would get some more looks- he's the only one with wheels who would possibly be a gamechanger under center. I think McCarney still plays it close to the vest with his quarterbacks against La Tech, and you'll see much of the same game plan against SMU- run, run, run, run, until it's absolutely necessary to pass.
How do you think this game plays out? Do the Bulldogs have any injuries that might alter their game plan on this short week?
JJ: The Bulldogs are surprisingly healthy after two hard hitting games. To me, the key will be just like last week: try to keep them from run, run, run and make them pass. ULL was very effective running in the first half, but Tech was able to get a lead and force them into passing too much.
It doesn't have to be at the very beginning of the game, but at some point Tech will have to make UNT one dimensional if they want to have success.
On offense, Tech is almost using the pass to set up the run. Once Sokol gets in a rhythm, he can get the defense on their heels and then start feeding Dixon.
This series is even at six games apiece and it really could go either way. The line has been around 6.5 to 7 which is spot on to me. UNT should be favored because they are at home and Tech is on the road for the third straight game.
Saying all that, I still think Tech can pull it off. A lot of Saturday's win was less about strategy and more about effort, intensity, and letting the athletes make plays. If Tech brings that same kind of attitude, they can pull it off. I will predict Tech 35, UNT 30.
AR: I'm going to go with a UNT win- 21-18. From what you're saying Tech should be significantly better this year, and as you said, they did sprint out to a 10-0 lead against a better UNT team. I think this game will come down to special teams, and Trevor Moore will perform well in the clutch.
JJ: I think it could come down to the wire, but I expect more points. UNT should be able to run the ball effectively and Sokol should keep the chains moving for Tech. Should be an exciting game