A Day-After Look At North Texas-SMU
Weekly Feature Looking Back And Looking Ahead At North Texas Football
DENTON -- Each week at MeanGreenSports.com, after the dust has settled, we take a look back at the football team's previous matchup and look ahead to what it means for the team and program moving forward. Here are some of our thoughts on North Texas-SMU:
- After waiting an extra week to open the 2015 season, North Texas came up short, falling to SMU, 31-13, in Dallas on Saturday. The Mean Green led 13-10 heading into the fourth quarter, before the Mustangs rallied with 21 unanswered points to end the game. On North Texas' three fourth-quarter possessions, the Mean Green turned it over twice and went three-and-out on the other.
- The final score and final numbers may not bear it out, but the defense held its own and did its part against an SMU offense that rolled up 21 first-half points against one of the nation's best teams in Baylor. The Mean Green allowed just 10 points and just over five yards per play through the three quarters, before the Mustangs' tempo (77 plays) and time possession (33:25) proved too much to overcome for a defense that appeared worn out by the end.
- Special teams has been a strength for North Texas under head coach Dan McCarney and special teams coordinator Tommy Perry. This phase also gave the Mean Green a fighting chance despite almost being outgained 2-to-1 in the game. The special teams effort was highlighted by John Schilleci who tackles SMU punter Josh Williams for a 19-yard loss, and later recovering a muffed punt. However, North Texas turned those special teams plays into just a combined six points.
- Several new faces made immediate impacts for North Texas. Buffalo transfer Blake Bean led all players with 10.0 total tackles, including nine solo tackles. SMU transfer Sam Rice was one of the bright spots along the offensive line. Junior college transfers Jareid Combs, Cortney Finney and James Gray contributed on defense, as did redshirt freshmen Cedric Fernandes and Brandon Garner. And perhaps the true freshman with the most expectations, Roderick Young, played a lot of snaps in the defensive line rotation and recorded his first career sack.