North Texas Prepares to Storm Troy

Just when North Texas thought they would be able to catch their breath after capturing their first victory of the season, they found out they had to face Troy.

Yes, the same Troy that spanked Oklahoma State and has been rolling through conference opponents, winning by an average of a little more than 17 points a game. Yes, the same Troy that holds the current Sun Belt Conference crown. Oh, and did I mention that it is also homecoming weekend for the Trojans?

So, to say that this weekend's game is a big deal for this North Texas football team is kind of an understatement. North Texas will need another complete team output if they want to be able to compete with this Troy team.

Offense: Last Saturday's game against ULM was a surprise as Todd Dodge showed that his team could run the ball and didn't utilize the pass game as much, throwing the ball a season low 30 times. Not that anyone is complaining, especially after seeing the most important stat on the night, points scored. What will be interesting; will be to see if he will continue to run the ball as much against Troy, who has the best pass-defense in the SBC, but the 2nd worst run-defense. Giovanni Vizza showed his grit last weekend, even though his stats aren't very impressive, he reduced turnovers and took some big hits while running for first downs. In the running game, North Texas has continued to employ their two-back system with great results, as Jamario Thomas and Micah Mosley combined for 105 yards and a touchdown off of 18 carries. Mosley and Thomas should have good results against a Troy defense that has given up an average of 245 rushing yards a game, but Vizza will need to turn in another strong performance to keep the running game open.

Defense: Last Saturday, the Mean Green played their best team defense all year shutting out the Warhawks in the first half, and scoring two touchdowns off of interception returns to help North Texas jump out to a 21-0 halftime lead. Montey Stevenson was named the Sun Belt Conference's player of the week after recording 10 tackles and an interception return for a touchdown. North Texas defense will have to play another outstanding game if they want to contain Troy's offense, which is second best in the SBC, and averages over 454 yards per game. The problem with trying to defend Troy is that they can both pass the ball (277.5/ypg) and run it(176.7/ypg). Signal-caller Omar Haugabook leads the conference in passing and promises to be a big problem for the Mean Green, who has no problem with tucking the ball and running if he can find no receivers open downfield. North Texas will have to be extremely quick on defense this week if they want to slow down Troy's offense.

Side Notes: North Texas comes into Saturday's game against Troy, trailing in the all-time series 1-3, but only having lost by an average of 4.3 points per game.

Jamario Thomas is 30 yards away from passing Ja'Quay Wilburn for second place all-time on North Texas' career rushing yards list.

Casey Fitzgerald and Brandon Jackson are the top two receivers in the Sun Belt conference, gaining 140.8 and 88.2 yards, respectively.

North Texas recorded four sacks last week, matching the total from their previous 5 games.


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