A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 11
by Strike Point Sports - 11/16/2006
A glimmer of hope still remains for both North Texas and Central Florida. Both pulled off rare wins this past Saturday and will now look for something they haven't had all year: a winning streak.
At 2-3 in the Sun Belt, the Mean Green can get back to respectability and .500 in the conference this upcoming Saturday. Their 16-7 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette was a victory that was in every sense of the word a 'must win' for the program.
Managing just 247 total yards, North Texas won the game with defense and held the Cajuns to a touchdown for the entire game. Allowing just 40 yards on the ground, ULL quarterback Jerry Babb was held in check as the NTU defense did well to turn their opponents one-dimensional.
North Texas quarterbacks Matt Phillips and Daniel Meager split time this past Saturday and each threw for a touchdown in the win.
Predicted Score: Louisiana Lafayette 24, North Texas 17
Actual Score: North Texas 17, Louisiana Lafayette 7
Next Upcoming Game: Florida Atlantic at North Texas 11/18 7 pm
Looking for their second straight win, North Texas hosts FAU. Both teams come in at 3-7 and both will look to improve to even in conference play with a win.
The offenses of each team remain anemic and ranked near the bottom of college football. Both play duel quarterbacks and not one of them has a touchdown/interception ratio that is better than 1/1.
North Texas has been respectable at home playing in Fouts Field, posting a 2-2 mark this year. Florida Atlantic is 1-5 on the road this season and has only scored more than ten points once this year away from home. The Owls have lost three of their last four and will look to crack the 20-point mark for only fourth time in 2006.
Prediction: North Texas 17, Florida Atlantic 9
After each win this season UCF has followed it up by a string of bad losses. The Knights did so after their opener against Villanova and again after their win at Marshall. Having just broken a four-game losing streak with a road win over Memphis, the Knights will look to reverse this trend and finish strong in the final two games of the season.
Only its third win of 2006, UCF posted its second road win in five tries. Going back to senior quarterback Steven Moffett, the Knights responded as he threw for 319 yards and two scores without any turnovers. As well, the rushing game was sound and added balance to the offense with 148 yards on the ground and a leading cause with 93 from starter Kevin Smith.
Memphis kept it close thanks to three passing scores by Martin Hankins but fell short of the victory as the Tigers run attack was held to 78 total yards. UCF's 14-0 lead in the first quarter was too much to overcome and they finished off Memphis with three field goals in the second half.
Predicted Score: Central Florida 35, Memphis 30
Actual Score: Central Florida 26, Memphis 24
Next Upcoming Game: Central Florida at Tulane 11/18 - 2 p.m.
The Golden Knights visit the Superdome in the Big Easy to take on Tulane. The numbers between these two teams are eerily similar. Both come in with identical 3-7 records, scoring 21 points a game and totaling 380 yards, among other things.
Tulane comes in with the 13th best passing attack and is led by the strong-armed Lester Ricard. The senior signal caller is regarded as a solid NFL prospect and has thrown for 18 touchdown passes this year.
Central Florida's sophomore tailback Kevin Smith can eclipse the 1,000-yard mark with a solid performance this weekend. He comes into the game with 934 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns. As a true freshman last year he totaled 1,178 yards and nine scores. With two games remaining he should be able to surpass those numbers.
Prediction: Tulane, 28 Central Florida 24