A Day-After Look At North Texas-Iowa
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-Iowa:
In a nationally televised matchup that featured the Iowa City return of head coach Dan McCarney and senior quarterback Andrew McNulty, North Texas fell to 0-3 on the season with a 62-16 loss to Iowa on Saturday afternoon. The Mean Green scored 10 points off two Iowa first-half turnovers, making it a two-score game at 28-13 with 7:33 left in the first half, but they were unable to weather a Hawkeyes’ balanced offensive attack that rolled up 488 yards of total offense, scored touchdowns on all five trips to the red zone and scored 20 points off three North Texas turnovers.
We noted in this space last week how winning the turnover battle remains a key ingredient to success for North Texas, and how it will likely continue to be a factor moving forward this season. Look no further than the turnover margin in the two halves against Iowa. North Texas was plus-two in the first half and drew within 28-13, before a late Iowa touchdown made it 35-13. North Texas was minus-three in the second half, and Iowa put the game out of reach.
From a competitive and personal standpoint, it was great to see Jeffrey Wilson make his return after missing the first three games due to a hand injury. He rushed for 74 yards on 14 carries as part of 183-yard rushing game for the Mean Green, the most rushing yards that Iowa has allowed this season. Due in part to that success on the ground, North Texas ran a season-high 88 plays and possessed the ball for a season-long 28:15 against Iowa.
Looking ahead to next week, North Texas returns to Conference USA play with a road game at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are 2-2 on the season, which includes a 56-50 road win at Texas State and a pair of closes losses to Mississippi State (34-16) and Nebraska (36-28). Under the direction of third-year head coach Todd Monken, Southern Miss has come long way from where the program was in 2013, when North Texas last traveled to Hattiesburg and came away with a 55-14 win.