A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 3
by Strike Point Sports - 09/13/2006
Strike Point Sports will look at two teams, North Texas and Central Florida, each week with extensive analysis and a game prediction. There are great opportunities to make money by following some of the major college programs. That is the point of this weekly column.
The Mean Green impressively earned their first win of the season at home against SMU, 24-6. It was the special team's play that jump-started the game with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. After the score was tied at seven, North Texas went on to add two more touchdowns and a field goal to put the game away in the fourth.
Junior Woody Wilson was the team's top performer, getting the nod as starting quarterback and playing quite well. Wilson completed 8/10 passes for 103 yards while carrying the ball for 74 yards on the ground with a touchdown. Top running back Jamario Thomas gained 90 yards himself on 25 carries and scored one time as well.
The North Texas defense did well to pressure SMU quarterback Justin Willis. Not only did they hold him to just 112 yards through the air, but intercepted him as well as recovering two fumbles. Southern Methodist didn't have a rusher gain more than 55 yards, running to a low average of 3.5 per attempt.
Predicted Score: North Texas 24, SMU 17
Actual Score: North Texas 24, SMU 6
Week 3 Upcoming Game: North Texas at Tulsa, 9/16 - 7:00 p.m.
Another tough non-conference test comes in the form of defending C-USA champ Tulsa. While North Texas will try and grind out possession with Jamario Thomas and its running game, the Golden Hurricane look to attack with everything they have. Quarterback Paul Smith has thrown for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns thus far while Brandon Diles, Tarrion Adams and Courtney Tennial split running back duties. The three have combined for more than 200 yards on the ground and four scores. Additionally, Adams is the team's top receiver, accounting for eight balls for 125 and a touchdown.
North Texas, knowing they are heading into a tough place to pull off a win, must keep Tulsa from dominating the ball. If the North Texas defense is on the field more than its offense, it will be a long day for the road team. Tulsa has averaged more than 34 ppg in the young season and if they hit over 24, a win is forthcoming.
Prediction: Tulsa 31, North Texas 17
It's safe to say Florida was not looking ahead to Tennessee last week. The Gators smoked UCF up and down the field, winning easily, 42-0. Not only were Chris Leak and the offense on point, but also Central Florida was forced to go up against an extremely talented defense that wouldn't budge. Leak threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns while freshman Tim Tebow and top back DeShawn Wynn led the Gator running attack to more than 200 yards on the ground.
Knights' quarterback Steven Moffett could not find any success, completing just 14-of-32 attempts for 100 yards. The good news is he is not forcing plays in the pocket as he committed zero turnovers in the game. Sophomore rusher Kevin Smith carried the ball only nine times for 22 yards, as Central Florida had to abandon the running game once they fell behind.
Despite giving up more than 600 yards to Florida, UCF showed signs of a good defense by forcing four turnovers. The score was just 7-0 in favor of Florida after one quarter, however the second period is when the onslaught began. Four more scores over the course of that 15-minute span put the game out of reach by halftime.
Predicted Score: Florida 34, Central Florida 13
Actual Score: Florida 42, Central Florida 0
Week 3 Upcoming Game: South Florida at Central Florida 9/16 - 2:30 p.m.
Another intra-state rivalry is slated for this Saturday when these two Florida schools meet this weekend. The Bulls come in at 2-0 while UCF is split at 1-1. South Florida has yet to play a road game and will be in for a test with Steven Moffett bouncing back with a big game at home in Orlando. Since 2001, when USF scores more than 20, they are 35-4. When they score less than 20, they are 1-18.
The game's deciding factor will be the Knights' defense and creating favorable field position and forcing turnovers in key positions. South Florida has played two powder-puff teams in McNeese State and Florida International. Central Florida is tested and ready for a big game to bounce back over .500 and get ready for conference play.
Prediction: Central Florida 24, South Florida 19