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at Tulsa 41 … North Texas 24

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 1, 2011


Week 5 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - North Texas at Tulsa


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 5 - North Texas at Tulsa

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Oct. 1 at Tulsa 41 … North Texas 24
CFN Analysis: Tulsa came up with an easy blowout that was far better than the final score looked. G.J. Kinne looked healthy and fine throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns, while the defense made it a blowout with Dwight Dobbins and Dexter McColl coming up with pick sixes. The defense had a hard time getting off the field, though, and the offense didn’t do on many long sustained drives, but this was a nice and easy win after rough outings against Oklahoma State and Boise State. UAB won’t be much tougher. If the team can keep winning the turnover battle, Kinne will take care of the rest.

The momentum of the Indiana win is long gone. Andrew McNulty and Brent Osborn did what they could in place of the injured Derek Thompson, and Lance Dunbar was a workhorse with 127 yards and a score on 40 carries, but the big mistakes – the two interceptions for scores – were too much to overcome. The offense held on to the ball for close to 41 minutes, and the defense came up with some nice plays behind the line, but the UNT offense had to press too much. The Florida Atlantic game will be a real test. At home, the Mean Green has to overcome the injury issues in the backfield and the defense needs to be stronger from the start. The more pressure and the better the pass rush, the more the Owls will buckle.

(AP) TULSA, Okla. -- G.J. Kinne tossed three touchdown passes and Tulsa returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a 41-24 victory Saturday over North Texas.

Kinne threw scoring passes of 49 yards to Bryan Burnham, 25 yards to Willie Carter and 12 yards to Ricky Johnson, all in the first half. He was 20 for 31 for 314 yards.

On defense, Dwight Dobbins and Dexter McCoil intercepted North Texas' Andrew McNulty, playing in place of injured starter Derek Thompson, and returned both for scores.

McNulty was 11 for 18 for 158 yards and directed a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter, capped by Lance Dunbar's 7-yard run. Dunbar ran for 127 yards on 40 carries. Sophomore quarterback Brent Osborn threw two late touchdowns to Dunbar and Ivan Delgado for the Mean Green (1-4).

Tulsa finished with 412 yards of total offense despite having the ball for just over 19 minutes of the game.

North Texas (1-3) at Tulsa (1-3) Saturday, Oct. 1, 7:00

Here’s The Deal … Although the 2011 season is still young, the outlook is fairly bleak for North Texas and Tulsa. Both teams are entering this matchup 1-3, albeit with the meat of their schedules behind them. In the first four games, Tulsa had arguably the toughest schedule in college football, going up against three top 10 teams in No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Boise State and No. 8 Oklahoma State, with its lone win coming at Tulane. While the schedule will undoubtedly leave first-year head coach Bill Blankenship’s squad battle-tested, it also leaves them little room for error due to the hole that has already been dug.

Similarly, North Texas will be heading into conference play, following this week’s matchup, battle-ready, but behind the 8-ball. The Mean Green, led by former Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney, enter this game below .500 thanks to a difficult slate of games to open the season. However, the turnaround in Denton can already be seen following an upset win at home last week against Indiana, the school’s first win over a BCS conference member since defeating Baylor in 2003.

Why Tulsa Might Win: While the Golden Hurricane is trying to replicate the offensive success it had under former coach Todd Graham, unlike in previous years, it’s rushing attack is holding together the Tulsa offense so far. Led by the tandem of sophomore backs Trey Watts and Ja’Terian Douglas, who’ve accounted for over 600 rushing yards over the first four games, the Tulsa offense will be counting on its young backfield to pull out the victory Saturday. Defensively, however, the Hurricane is near the bottom of every major FBS ranking, highlighted by a 109th ranking in total defense and 116th in pass D. However, with the difficult competition and explosive offenses they’ve faced, the numbers are inflated. Against similar competition in the win over Tulane, Tulsa held the Green Wave to 235 total yards and only three points.

Why North Texas Might Win: The once proud Mean Green program has fallen on hard times over the past six years, with no more than three wins on a season during that span. That losing streak is expected to change, with the hype surrounding the hire of Coach McCarney. While the statistics don’t shine at this point, with the Mean Green being below average in all major categories, the momentum from last week’s big win over the Hoosiers could carry over to this week. While North Texas QB Derek Thompson had a rough welcoming party in the first three weeks, his 201-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Hoosiers proved he has potential with the program. Going up against Tulsa’s lackluster pass defense could be just what Thompson needs to prove his ability at the position, and notch a second straight signature win.

What To Watch Out For: North Texas’ offense has no bigger weapon than RB Lance Dunbar. The 5-9 senior has provided the Mean Green with a bulk of its output thus far, with a season-high 127 yards rushing a week ago. However, Dunbar is not a one-trick-pony; he also leads the team with 258 receiving yards, making him a dangerous dual-threat out of the backfield. In order for Dunbar to have a similar performance this week, however, he’ll have to go through Tulsa LB Curnelius Arnick. Through four games, he’s No. 2 nationally with 13.7 tackles per game, and has been a bright spot on an otherwise weak defense.

What Will Happen: While North Texas’ revival would make for a great college football story, it’ll have to wait for another year. Tulsa’s offensive weapons should have a field day running around an overmatched North Texas defense. While the Mean Green will put some points on the board, it won’t be enough to match the Golden Hurricane’s attack, leading to a comfortable Tulsa victory.

CFN Prediction: Tulsa 30 … North Texas 17
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Tulsa -23   O/U: 59

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