Start Time: Saturday 9/19 5:00PM CST
Location: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
Weather: Kickoff Temperature - 80 degrees, Wind: 10 mph
Line | O/U: SMU -14.0 | O/U 68.5
Both teams sit at 1-0 with SMU beating Texas State on the road two weeks ago, and UNT hanging 57 on Houston Baptist two weekends ago as well. SMU’s game last weekend with TCU was postponed so they had the weekend off. A convincing win this weekend from SMU could possibly see them crack the Top 25 if they get some help from teams dropping out (SMU is currently receiving votes to be ranked). For North Texas, a win at home against a good SMU team would be a statement win for the Mean Green and propel their momentum into a road game at Houston in two weeks.
SMU started off slow against a much improved Texas State team and ended up just outpacing them in the end. The SMU offense must come to play early against North Texas to jump ahead and not have to play from behind. That should be easy for the Mustangs considering North Texas gave up 569 total yards to Houston Baptist two weeks ago, 480 of those yards through the air. Then again, Houston Baptist almost knocked off Texas Tech so maybe they’re actually not bad?
Shane Buechele should have a field day against UNT and this game will definitely be a shoot out. Rashee Rice seemed to do well stepping into the gaping hole James Proche left after last season. Rice had 5 receptions for 101 yards in week one so we’ll see if he sustains that type of production this week. Also, TJ McDaniel will enjoy a much more prominent role in the offense this year and look to have a big day again against UNT.
SMU will hang points on UNT on Saturday, it’s just a matter of will their defense be able to slow down North Texas enough stay ahead. The SMU defense must stop the run for them to comfortably win this game.
With that being said, North Texas needs to pick up consistent yardage on the ground to ensure new starting quarterback Jason Bean isn’t having to bail out the offense. The Mean Green had four running backs average over 5 yards per carry in week 1 (only one of those backs had more than 10 touches). That says they relied heavily on huge plays to score points last week. They’re going to need the same type of production from that core of playmakers this week as well.
RB Oscar Adaway III, QB Jason Bean, and RB Isaiah Johnson combined for 207 yards and 4 TDs on only 16 total rushing attempts between the three athletes. Sounds like explosive play city for the Mean Green. UNT QB Jason Bean also threw 3 TDs on only 11 completions as well, so we’ll see how well-rounded this North Texas team is on Saturday.
I’ll be surprised if either team scores less than 40 in this game. Both teams have seemingly pretty explosive offenses and both have questions on the defensive side of the ball. North Texas has to slow down Shane Buechele and SMU’s passing game to have a chance to win. SMU has to limit the big chunk plays and stop the run. Assuming the SMU offense doesn’t hiccup, the game will be won by the performance of the SMU front 7. I think SMU wins a high octane shootout. UNT covers and the over hits.