North Texas vs. UTSA prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Mean Green and Roadrunners on Saturday in San Antonio, TX.
North Texas vs. UTSA Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Alamodome, San Antonio, TX
TV Broadcast: N/A
The Mean Green (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) are coming off of the biggest win of the young Seth Littrell era. UNT defeated Army for the first time in five tries, aided by seven Black Knight turnovers. Against the No. 2 defense in the nation, Jeffrey Wilson rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-18 win at Michie Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Roadrunners (3-4, 2-2) are coming off of a brutal 52-49 five-overtime loss at home to UTEP last week. Ryan Metz’s six-yard touchdown pass to Warren Redix in the fifth frame helped the Miners break their five-game losing streak. It was the first five-overtime game in Conference USA’s history.
Last year in Denton, DaMarcus Smith ran for 137 yards and a late touchdown run to help North Texas win its only game of the year, 30-24. Smith was 11-of-22 passing for 104 yards, while Wilson added 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Dalton Sturm finished 27 of 41 through the air for 245 yards and a touchdown pass, and he carried 21 times for 73 yards.
What To Know About North Texas
Coming off of a bye week, North Texas was able to rally over the Black Knights in the second half behind Wilson, who was coming off of a career-high 188-yard performance two weeks ago against Marshall. The Mean Green offensive line played very well against an Army defense that had been very stout against the run, allowing just 99 yards per game. Wilson had 153 yards on 13 carries in the second half to help Littrell win his fourth game in his first season one year after North Texas had just a single victory.
What to Know About UTSA
The Roadrunners were sloppy in last week’s loss. In the fourth OT, UTEP fumbled the snap at the Roadrunners’ 3-yard line before Victor Falcon missed a 42-yarder to force the fifth OT. UTSA also blew two 14-point leads in a loss that could be a crushing blow when it comes to bowl eligibility for Frank Wilson in his first season as head coach. Dual-threat quarterback Dalton Sturm was 18-of-34 passing for 214 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. The Roadrunners had won two straight since snapping a three-game skid, and the early part of the season featured some tough losses, including a home setback to Arizona State. A win over Southern Miss was very unexpected for the heavy-underdog Roadrunners, and it started to get fans excited about a possible postseason berth. But last week’s loss doesn’t give UTSA much room for error now.
Offense: UTSA. Both offenses are fairly balanced, but the Roadrunners have a little more firepower.
Defense: Even. Both units leave a lot to be desired.
Special Teams: Even. UTSA’s Falcon had been perfect on field goals and extra points this year until last week, but he hit just two of his five field goal attempts in the loss to UTEP. Meanwhile, Mean Green kicker Trevor Moore is just 3-of-6 on field goals this year.
Coaching: Even. Littrell and Wilson were two good C-USA hires this past offseason.
Intangibles: North Texas. Last week was a huge road win for the Mean Green, so they have the momentum. Meanwhile, UTSA is coming off of a crushing setback.
Matchup To Watch
Mason Fine vs. UTSA secondary
The Mean Green signal-caller was offered a spot at Oklahoma as a preferred walk-on but decided to honor his commitment to North Texas. While he has had an up-and-down debut campaign, Fine has a bright future. He’ll be going up against a pass defense that is allowing 231.6 passing yards per game, which ranks No. 73 in the country. Fine has not overwhelmed, but he has taken care of the football for the most part, tossing only two interceptions. Wilson is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and will be a focal point for this UTSA defensive front, so Fine will need to make some plays through the air—especially on third down—to keep the Roadrunners defense honest.
Spread: UTSA -4
North Texas vs. UTSA Prediction
This should be a very close game because it’s tough to project which version of each team we are going to see. Both have had their share of inconsistent play in 2016, which is often expected in the first year under a new head coach. UTSA is coming off of a five-overtime setback, so I think there will be a little hangover with the Roadrunners. The Mean Green get a late field goal and deliver Littrell his fifth win of his debut campaign.
North Texas vs. UTSA Score Prediction: North Texas 30, UTSA 27