Oct. 16, 2013
Venue: Joe Aillet Stadium
Playing Surface: Field Turf
Series Record: Louisiana Tech leads 6-5
Last Meeting:La Tech 34 NT 31
In Ruston:NT leads 4-3
Radio: KHYI 95.3 FM
KNTU 88.1 FM
KGAF 1580 AM
TV: CBS College Sports
Live Stats: www.latechsports.com
DENTON, Texas - Following a 34-7 walloping of Middle Tennessee, North Texas is back on the road for the first of two straight games starting with Louisiana Tech on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff from Joe Aillet Stadium is set for 2:30 p.m. and the game can be seen on CBS College Sports.
The Mean Green is 3-3 on the year and 1-1 in C-USA play. The Bulldogs have not played since October 5 and are 1-1 in C-USA play. The two teams are meeting for the first time since 2006 and as members of the conference since 1987. Louisiana Tech holds a slim lead of 6-5, but the Bulldogs have won six of the past seven meetings.
The North Texas defense allowed only 432 combined in total yards in the last two games. It marks the fewest yards allowed in two straight games since 2002. MTSU had only 205 yards, the fewest given up to an FBS opponent since 2003. It is the first time since 2009 the Mean Green has held consecutive opponents to less than 300 yards.
Brandin Byrd rushed for a career-high 139 yards against MTSU and topped 100-yards rushing for the fourth time in his career. He has now moved into the top-20 all-time at NT with 1,452 career yards, which ranks 19th all-time.
The Mean Green is looking to end a drought of losing 26 straight games following a win and notch its first winning streak since 2004. A win over the Bulldogs would give North Texas a 4-3 record, its best after seven games since 2003 and the first time NT would be over .500 this late in the season since 2003.
North Texas leads Conference USA and ranks sixth in the nation in Red Zone defense, allowing opponents to score just 65 percent of the time inside Mean Green 20-yard line (13-of-20). Louisiana Tech ranks ninth in the league in Red Zone offense, scoring 78 percent of the time it has been inside its opponent 20.
When North Texas jumped out to a 7-0 lead against Middle Tennessee it was the first time this season that the Mean Green had not trailed 7-0 in a game. North Texas allowed its first three opponents of the season to score on their opening possession. The last three games, the Mean Green has forced its opponent into a punt on their initial drive. North Texas is 7-5 under Dan McCarney when scoring first.
Linebacker Zach Orr is seventh in the nation with 298 career tackles among active players. Brelan Chancellor has already piled up 232 punt return yards halfway through the season. That total ranks 10th all-time in single season and its the most for a North Texas player since 1988. The school record is 380 yards. He faces a tough test against the Bulldogs as they are allowing just 3.8 yards a punt return this season.