A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 4
by Strike Point Sports - 09/20/2006
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.
A week after evening its 2006 record, the North Texas Mean Green got a dose of reality when they faced a superior Tulsa squad. The Golden Hurricane clearly outmatched North Texas in every facet on the game, winning 28-3 last Saturday.
Once again, star rusher Jamario Thomas failed to get anything going on the ground. Thomas totaled just 33 yards on 13 carries, but his efforts were just half of North Texas' anemic offense. The Mean Green managed 89 yards in the game, while Tulsa totaled more than 400.
Senior quarterback Paul Smith needed just one score to best North Texas on the scoreboard. Tulsa scored four times, twice through the air and two on the ground via running back Brandon Diles.
Both teams turned the ball over twice as well as sharing basically identical possession times. However, the first downs told the story of the game. Tulsa moved the chains 20 times while North Texas earned just six first downs. They were a pitiful 3-11 on third down conversions.
Predicted Score: Tulsa 31, North Texas 17
Actual Score: Tulsa 28, North Texas 3
Week 4 Upcoming Game: North Texas at Akron, 9/23 - 6:00 p.m.
The Mean Green's final non-conference game takes them to MAC country where they face Akron before opening up Sun Belt play. The Zips also hold a 1-2 record but have faced stern tests each week of the season. Akron's first three games were on the road, playing Penn State, North Carolina and Central Michigan. The Zips also boast one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country in senior Luke Getsy. Thus far he has totaled 778 yards and four touchdowns. Additionally, the ground game needs to be accounted for in lining up against Akron's leading rusher, Dennis Kennedy. He too has found the end zone four times and rushed for 209 yards over the first three games.
North Texas will again be challenged to stay in the ballgame, facing another offense that should put more points on the board than the Mean Green can match. Playing in the Sun Belt, UNT has not been accustomed to facing high-powered offenses, however if they can still be in the game come the third quarter, it will be closely contested until the final minutes.
Prediction: Akron 27, North Texas 13
Suffering another setback after its season-opening win, Central Florida has fallen to 1-2 to start the 2006 season. Up 10-7 at halftime to the Bulls of South Florida, UCF saw its lead disappear via two scores in the fourth quarter by the opposition.
Senior quarterback Steven Moffett had an off game, completing just 19-of-43 passes and throwing two interceptions to just one touchdown. South Florida's Matt Grothe fared much better for USF, hooking up three times with receivers for scores. His 341 yards through the air overmatched the Knights' secondary, basically deciding the game by that stat alone.
Central Florida's three turnovers didn't help either, not to mention one of South Florida's scores came via a blocked punt for a touchdown. Special teams and a much more efficient offense helped lead the Bulls to its 3-0 start.
Predicted Score: Central Florida 24, South Florida 19
Actual Score: South Florida 24, Central Florida 17
Week 4 Upcoming Game: Southern Miss at Central Florida 9/26 (Tuesday) - 7:30 p.m.
Central Florida's C-USA schedule gets underway early next week. The Knights' only chance to make a bowl game is either to win the conference title outright, or at least clinch the East division and have an impressive record.
Southern Miss will come in 2-1 and has done well on offense. Averaging a shade less than 30 points a game, the Golden Eagles will look to outscore Steven Moffitt and the Knights' attack.
The rushing game has been the strong suit for Southern Miss, racking up more than 600 yards in their first three games. Led by Damion Fletcher's 382 on the ground, Central Florida's defense will be key to keeping the Eagles from the majority of the possession with their ground game.
Prediction: Southern Miss 28, Central Florida 24