Start Time: 5:00 P.M. ET, Saturday, Oct. 10
Location: Apogee Stadium, Denton TX
TV: On the radio
Records: This is the first meeting between the two programs.
Live Stats: Here.
Betting Line: EVEN (opened at Portland State -1). O/U 110
NORTH TEXAS OUTLOOK:
Yonder outlook should be pretty clear from recent UNT coverage here, but in case you're only here today for the scorching previews, we're going to put this as delicately as possible. This is the worst season of North Texas football since they joined the FBS level for the 2001 season. When the current players were all between 4 and 8 years old. You'd have to go back to 20th century FCS years to find a worse season, and that's where it gets much, much worse.
To find the last time North Texas had a winless season you'd have to go all the way back to 1913. Yes, stats go back that far, and yes, that happened. Less than a year after the Titanic sank, the North Texas State Normal College Eagles fielded a football team for the first time and went 0-1 that season under coach J.W. Pender. They went 3-3 the next year and would not be that bad again until 1972, when the immortal Rod Rust led the team to a 1-10 record.
Last week we said if North Texas not only lost to Southern Miss, but got blown out, they would go 0-12 on the year. Southern Miss is in a rebuilding year so it stood to reason the teams would play on equal footing.
Nope; the final margin of victory was 35
North Texas threw everything they had at Southern Miss, pounding the ball on the ground with Jeffrey Wilson and flinging the ball down the field to Carlos Harris. For the third time in four games, Andrew McNulty was under 50% passing, and even giving a shot to new backup Damarcus Smith fizzled. North Texas attempted one field goal all day, and missed.
The Mean Green faithful are over it.
However, to the casual fan, somehow none of this matters because we're playing an FCS team, and those are looked at the way the SEC looks at underdogs; irrevelant and terrible, a speed bump on your way to the following week. Meanwhile, we knowledgeable fans know this to be entirely, irrefutably incorrect.
Portland State Outlook:
"Ha ha, it's an FCS team, who cares?"
CHECK YOUR PRIVILEGE. If you're looking outside the FBS and are only seeing a vaguely beige shape, you're out of line. This team is anything but a speed bump, they are the Vikings, and currently sit at 3-1 on the high end of the Big Sky conference. They beat Pac-12 Washington State in week one, and barely lost to league-leading North Dakota 19-17 last week.
Despite this, through four games the Viking defense has allowed fifty total points (the best in the conference by four touchdowns) and that includes a Pac-12 opponent. Yes, Washington State is bad, but they're not North Texas bad. This is a stingy defense against a team who couldn't find the end zone with Google maps, and the only thing the team has googled so far is how to post mean tweets. Is someone out there really gonna make the argument that a team who could only manage 13 points against SMU can produce against a defense like this? If that person exists, they should have their internet privileges revoked.
This isn't journalistic analysis, this is dictation. The Mean Green suck. This is backed up by numbers, stats, and the quality of the opponents we've lost to-- but it will take a loss to an FCS team (at homecoming, in front of all those donors) to wake anyone up.
Beyond that winless campaign in the early days of the Woodrow Wilson administration, the bad boys of Denton have managed one-win campaigns twice: In 1972 under Rust, and in 2008 under Todd Dodge. TODD. FLIPPING. DODGE.
Even if UNT wins this week, they're still as bad as those terrible, terrible teams, and even a final score of 222-0 won't be enough to save McCarney from the firing squad. This team is so bad Rick Villarreal should be updating his Linked In profile.
And then there was this exchange on Twitter this week:
@JPuga1966 yeah those wins vs NMSU and UIW are surely turning heads— SportsTalk Carlos (@STCarlosEP) October 6, 2015
@Sports4Heretics they will beat PSU this weekend— SportsTalk Carlos (@STCarlosEP) October 7, 2015
Look, I try to stay positive, and hope for the best-- we all do-- and I can appreciate the assumption that an FBS team will automatically beat an FCS team (false, false, and false).
No we won't. This team sucks.
They are not just bad, they are historically bad, perhaps to the point of pride. McCarney took this team to a bowl game two years ago, and has still managed to be the worst North Texas head coach of all time, worse than Dodge, worse than Rod Rust. Walk off into the sunset, compadre. Via con dios.
FINAL SCORE: Portland State 24, North Texas 0