DENTON, Texas (9/24/07) The North Texas football team will battle the defending Southeastern Conference western division champion Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday night in Fayetteville, Ark., at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on the Mean Green Radio Network with George Dunham and Hank Dickenson.
North Texas is still looking for its first win under first-year head coach Todd Dodge. The Mean Green dropped to 0-3 with 30-20 loss at home against Florida Atlantic Saturday. North Texas has held 14-point leads in each of the last two games, but has been unable to hold on for a victory. The Mean Green ranks fifth in the nation in passing offense with an average of 378.0 yards per game. Arkansas was ranked in the top 20 the first two weeks of the season but has lost two straight games to Alabama and Kentucky. The Razorbacks feature Heisman-Trophy candidate Darren McFadden, who leads the nation in rushing with an average of 173.0 yards per game.
North Texas is 0-8 all-time in the series with Arkansas, losing the last meeting 31-7 in 2003. The series began in 1947 with a 12-0 Razorback win in Fayetteville. The Mean Green has never scored more than 21 points against the Razorbacks and lost that game 60-21 in 1971. The closest game in the series was a 17-15 Arkansas win in 1968 when Joe Greene was leading the North Texas defense.
When North Texas and Arkansas get together Saturday night there should be plenty of offense, although it will be featured in very different ways. Arkansas ranks third in the nation in rushing offense and is led by the nation’s leading rusher Darren McFadden. North Texas ranks fifth in the NCAA in passing offense and has two of the nation’s top 10 receivers statistically. Neither of the two defenses trying to stop each high-powered offense has found its rhythm yet this year. Arkansas ranks 104th in scoring defense while North Texas ranks 119th.
This is the fourth time in the last 10 years that North Texas has started the season 0-3. In three of those four years, one of the first three losses came to an opponent ranked in the top 10 nationally. The last two times that North Texas started the season 0-3 was 2001 and 2004, which were both Sun Belt Conference championship years. North Texas’ combined record of the first three games over the 12 years since returning to Div. I-A is 8-28 (.222 winning percentage) and it has never had a better record than 1-2 to start the season during that time.