A Deeper Look: North Texas and Central Florida, Week 9
by Strike Point Sports - 10/25/2006
The Mean Green cannot keep winning form against first place Sun Belter Arkansas State, while Central Florida drops another conference game, this time to Rice.
After starting the game up 3-0, North Texas went on to get dismantled, 29-10, by the Indians this past Saturday. The Mean Green desperately needed this game to stay in the conference race, but now they sit two games back at 1-2.
North Texas was out gained 466-263 and once again lost the turnover battle, 2-0. Running back Jamario Thomas rushed for 119 on the ground but was not able to find the end zone. Conversely, the Arkansas State rushing game turned out 279 yards and three scores.
The Mean Green only converted three of ten third downs while the Indians were 11-15 in that department.
Predicted Score: Arkansas State 23, North Texas 10
Actual Score: Arkansas State 29, North Texas 10
Next Upcoming Game: North Texas at Troy 10/28 3:30 pm
It will be another road test for North Texas as they visit the Trojans and look to earn another conference victory. At 2-4 Troy is trying to get on track as well, however their losses have come from the likes of Florida State, Georgia Tech and Nebraska. Troy is 1-0 in the Sun Belt and has yet to lose at home this season.
North Texas is 0-4 away from home and rank dead last in total yards in the nation. They are 115th in passing yards and 98th in rushing yards. Only scoring 13 points per game, the Mean Green will face a team that has been well tested against some of the country's best programs.
Troy is one of four Sun Belt teams yet to lose in conference. While they have only played one game, its match-ups against co-first place teams Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State are still to come and they control their own destiny for a bowl berth.
Prediction: Troy 24, North Texas 17
The Knights had a great chance to make a climb towards the top of the East division in C-USA last weekend, however they suffered a setback at the hands of Rice. Losing by eleven, Central Florida now sits in second to last place in the division at 1-2. Still, as bad as it has become, UCF is just one game back of 2-1 Southern Miss.
Steven Moffett has found the bench while backup quarterback Kyle Israel was given the nod against the Owls. He played well, throwing for three touchdowns and 327 yards. Sophomore tailback Kevin Smith rushed for 155 on the ground, however second-year star Chase Clement was too much. The dual attack with his arm and legs in the pocket outscored the Knights. He threw for two touchdowns and helped the rushing game with 67 of its 250 yards, and that was too much for the Knights to overcome.
Rice is 3-5 this year but at 2-2 in the West division has a decent shot to improve further in '06. Getting enough from the offense, the Owls should be able to stay in more games than in years past.
Predicted Score: Rice 31, Central Florida 21
Actual Score: Rice 40, Central Florida 29
Next Upcoming Game: Central Florida at Houston 10/28 - 3:30 p.m.
It doesn't get any easier for the UCF defense, this time getting Houston and conference player of the year candidate Kevin Kolb. At 5-3 the Cougars have looked good this year, giving Miami (FL) and Oklahoma State a run for their money. Houston is 11th in total yards and 19th in scoring at just under 32 points per ball game.
Kolb, now a senior, is having a spectacular season with 18 touchdowns passes to just two interceptions. The Cougars sit just a half game back in the West division at 3-1 behind 3-0 Tulsa. A win this week by Houston and they would become bowl eligible.
Prediction: Houston 34, Central Florida 23