Last year when North Texas visited Floyd Stadium the Blue Raiders won in a 41–7 blowout victory. However, that was last year.
“We had some success last year, though that doesn’t mean much at all,” Blue Raider quarterback Brent Stockstill stated.
A lot will be different in the match-up this season. Instead of playing in the friendly confines of Floyd Stadium, the Blue Raiders will head to Denton, Texas.
Last year, Dan McCarney was fired as head coach of the Mean Green five games into the season. Mike Canales took the interim job and coached the game against MTSU, but he does not return either. Instead NTU will be lead by first-time head coach Seth Littrell.
After a come-from-behind victory against Rice last Saturday, Littrell has already doubled the win total for North Texas from a year ago. At 2–2 they currently sit atop the C-USA West Division.
Littrell got his first coaching job at Texas Tech under Mike Leach, so it is no surprise that Littrell’s offenses have averaged 30 points per game or more at each stop he has served as the lone offensive coordinator.
Littrell has employed Graham Harrell as his offensive coordinator. Harrell was the quarterback for the Red Raiders while Littrell was there, and he ranks in the top five of nearly every major passing statistic in NCAA history. Considering the coaching pedigree of these two, one must expect a high-powered offense.
The MTSU defense has allowed an average of 466 yards per game over their last three contests. The defense has been inconsistent from one half to the next, but, on many occasions, has come up big in the red zone and on the goal line. Linebacker DJ Sanders realizes this is something that must change this week.
“We always say ‘Bend, don’t break,’ but we’ve given up a couple explosive plays that shouldn’t have happened. We’ll get it fixed,” the linebacker said.
While the North Texas defense is much improved (currently 31 ranking spots better in points per game allowed from 2015) they still have plenty of room for improvement. The Mean Green have allowed nearly 235 rushing yards per game, which should have a hot I’Tavius Mathers licking his chops.
Mathers is averaging just shy of 177 all-purpose yards on the season, and almost 250 over the last two games. Mathers has also scored eight of his nine touchdowns over those last two contests.
This one won’t be aired on television, though it will be live-streamed on both Twitter and CampusInsiders.com. You can also listen to it on 100.5 WGNS FM. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.