Week 6 – North Texas at Houston

Posted Oct 4, 2012

Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction – North Texas at Houston

North Texas (2-3) at Houston (1-3) Oct. 6, 7:00, CSS

Here's The Deal: North Texas and Houston meet at Robertson Stadium, with the former heading to Conference USA in 2013 and the latter leaving it for the Big East. The Cougars won a game it had to have last weekend, beating rival Rice to snap a demoralizing three-game losing streak. Houston has yet to lose a league game, which is where it's now focused. At 2-3, the Mean Green has compiled its best September record in nine years. A second straight road win could position the squad to become competitive in a Sun Belt Conference that's deep at the top.

Why North Texas Might Win: Head coach Dan McCarney is building a team that's physical at the lines, and is improved defensively. Despite having already faced LSU and Kansas State, the Mean Green has yielded just three sacks, while the D ranks second in the Sun Belt. LB Derek Akunne and ends K.C. Obi and Aaron Bellazin are capable of pressuring Houston QB David Piland out of his comfort zone this Saturday evening.

Why Houston Might Win: There's a sense of relief—and confidence—now that head coach Tony Levine has won his first game with the Cougars. Houston figures to have too many weapons for a necrotic North Texas offense that's yet to produce more than 21 points versus an FBS team. If Piland does feel heat, he can employ quick strikes to his receivers, or fool the D with draws to versatile RB Charles Sims.

What To Watch Out For: Not unlike the past few seasons, Houston is once again setting the tone defensively from the second level. The Cougars like their linebackers to be fast, athletic and eager to wreak havoc in opposing backfields. Derrick Mathews and Phillip Steward are fitting the job description to a tee, already combining for 19.5 stops for loss and seven sacks.

What Will Happen: Back home—and back on track—Houston figures to make it two straight wins to inch closer to the .500 mark. Still, North Texas is a scrappy bunch under McCarney, and won't go away without a fight. The Mean Green will make the Cougars earn this victory, eventually fading in the second half as the inconsistent offense runs out of gas.

CFN Prediction: Houston 30 … North Texas 19
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Houston -11.5 O/U: 58
Must Watch Rating (5 – Master, 1 – Trouble with the Curve): 1.5