A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 12
by Strike Point Sports - 11/21/2006
The season comes to an end for both after Saturday but a win to finish off bad years can go a long way to building up some momentum for next year.
Another loss in conference now secures a second straight losing season in the Sun Belt. North Texas' 17-16 loss to Florida Atlantic also dismissed the chance of the team's first winning streak of the season. One more game remains on the schedule and fortunately for the Mean Green someone already occupies the cellar of the conference no matter this Saturday's result.
North Texas was able to get out to another first quarter lead at home against FAU, however they were held to just two field goals in the second half and could not play catch-up.
Ultimately, four turnovers was the deciding factor, three interceptions being the worst of them. North Texas racked up more than 250 yards on the ground but ineffective quarterbacking, the Achilles' Heel of this team all season, was the downfall.
Florida Atlantic was out gained by nearly 100 yards but the Owls secured the ball and won the turnover battle, not committing a single mistake.
The Mean Green's dual quarterback attack combined for only 84 yards and just 4-10 on third down conversions.
Predicted Score: North Texas 17, Florida Atlantic 9
Actual Score: Florida Atlantic 17, North Texas 16
Next Upcoming Game: North Texas at Louisiana Monroe 11/25 7 pm
The Mean Green will finish their 2006 campaign on the road against the 2-8 Warhawks. In the eleven games this season North Texas has accumulated 151 total points, good for fourth worst in the nation. UNT is also bottom five in the country in total yards and passing yards.
Just the same, ULM is another Sun Belt team that has struggled to score consistently. Louisiana Monroe quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster has thrown 14 interceptions this season, the same number that both North Texas' quarterbacks have combined for. Lancaster is also the team's second leading rusher and has the team ranked in the top 50 in rushing yards per game.
Louisiana Monroe is coming off their best outing of the season. Despite a loss, they went into Kentucky and battled them tough, falling 42-40.
Prediction: Louisiana Monroe 23, North Texas 13
The Knights continue their plummet, but thanks to 1-10 Memphis they have someone to look down on in the conference. At 2-5 in C-USA play, UCF is tied for second to last in the East division.
Their last game was unconventionally low scoring as they fell 10-9 in the Superdome to Tulane. The Green Wave jumped ahead 10-0 and kept that score at halftime. The UCF kicker added three field goals in the second half but failing to get in the end zone was enough to cost them the game.
Again, head coach George O' Leary split time between quarterbacks Kyle Israel and Steven Moffett. The two combined for 230 yards on 22 completions and no interceptions. The Knights also couldn't get it going on the ground, as the team was held to 74 total yards.
Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard's lone strike in the second quarter proved to be the difference. Tulane's signal caller threw for 267 yards on 26 completions but turned it over twice.
Predicted Score: Tulane, 28 Central Florida 24
Actual Score: Tulane 10, Central Florida 9
Next Upcoming Game: UAB at Central Florida 11/25 - 12 p.m.
The Knights will host their final game of the season in the Citrus Bowl against UAB. Both UCF and the Blazers both have 3-8 records and the winner will improve ahead one spot in the East division while the loser will finish second to last behind Memphis.
UAB has yet to win away from home, posting a 0-5 mark. They, however, get Central Florida, a team that is just 1-5 at home.
Again we can expect to see both Kyle Israel and Steven Moffett for UCF at quarterback. Chris Williams is the man under center for UAB and has thrown for nine touchdowns and seven interceptions this season.
The Knights continue to struggle when they do not score points. Since 2001 when scoring less than 30 points, UCF is 8-39. On the other hand, when they hit 30 or more they are 19-4.
Prediction: UAB 27, Central Florida 24