Middle Tennessee and Self-Assessment

Lets take a quick look at what I thought this season would be and what it has become.

Schedule & Predictions

  • AUG 31 IDAHO WIN | Actual WIN 40 -6
  • SEPT. 7 at Ohio LOSS | Actual LOSS 21-27
  • SEPT. 14 BALL St WIN | Actual WIN 34-27
  • SEPT. 21 at Georgia LOSS | Actual LOSS 21-45
  • OCT. 5 at Tulane WIN | Actual LOSS 21-24
  • OCT. 12 MTSU WIN
  • OCT. 19 at La. Tech LOSS

So far, not bad. I feel like I can get back on track with my predictions thanks to LaTech being so terrible and my predicted Loss turning into a Win.

Do I still think this team is good enough to go 9-3? Yes. Although we can’t run at all, we are coming up against a little bit softer schedule than the early season stuff. I’m not sure what I think of Tulane after that game. Our defense really shut them down, and they scored largely because of our turnovers, poor special teams.

The worst part of this thing is that it put us at 0-1 in the division, and against a division rival. Tulane is 2-0, and has the tie breaker. That means we need them to get two conference losses to win the division. it certainly is possible, but it is outside of our control — never a good thing. Taking a quick peek at Tulane’s schedule, I see a loss this week (at home) to ECU, Tulsa, and perhaps a losses to UTSA and Rice away.

I am not too worried, but I don’t like it.

Anyway, Middle Tennessee at home. If there was any team that could and should be our rival it is these guys. Too bad they are 5000 miles away, and are more concerned with their own Orange-clad UT than we are with our own.

What We Need to Win

  1. A solid running back game — We don’t need to go all Oregon over here. We just need to get decent runs that put the squad in good 3rd down positions. Also, less Derek Thompson keepers on 3rd-and-1. I say ‘running back’ and not necessarily ‘run’ game because we just been plain poor at getting production out of those guys in the screen game as well. Remember Antoinne Jimmerson’s scamper against the Ragin’ Cajuns last year? That came on a screen pass. This year’s memorable screen came when Tulane picked it off and ran it back. With some lineman still dinged up, the run game’s poor performance has some . . . reasons to lean on. Think about that before you continue to be bewildered.

  2. More Solid Defense — the defense played tremendously last game. It is unfortunate that they didn’t have enough left in the tank to stop Tulane from a field goal. Lost in the terrible heartbreak that was that game is that UNT didn’t allow a 50+ yard offensive score, breaking the four game streak we were on. This unit, surprisingly, is turning into our best. Forget yardage and those numbers. The tackle well, they hit hard, they cause turnovers, and they get to the quarterback. As they continue to get better and progress, they are doing the above better and reducing the mistakes. MOAR!

  3. No turnovers/ Blocked kicks — This is an so obvious that it shouldn’t have to be mentioned. Still, these two things pretty much were 75% of the reason we got a loss in New Orleans. We shouldn’t have to go for broke here at Apogee, so there shouldn’t be as many mistakes. I am hopeful. Just wanted to mention

What We Can Expect Atmospherically

  1. A gomeangreener opened up a twitter account called @hit30K. I respect the idea. I don’t think engaging excuse-makers to come to the game will ever work. People who make excuses to not come are very good at making excuses. They will find any and every reason to not come. Any focus should be on the students. Find the students that really want to come and give them a great experience.

    All that said, I expect to see a good crowd. Texas-OU weekend and the State Fair is a massive draw, and I don’t know many people that have the time or the energy to fight through two games in one day. I have no illusions about North Texas’ place in the larger college football culture, but much like Alabama-TAMU day, I will be concerned North Texas and North Texas-related things.

    That’s just how I feel.

  2. The game will be at 6pm, on MeanGreenSports.com’s All Access. Break out your credit cards, folks.

  3. I will be in San Antonio live-tweeting from as-yet-determined location. Follow along, and tell your friends.

Middle Tennessee

We are continuing a some-kind-of-rivalry here. I’m sure the programs have some animosity, but there is none among the green proletariat. MTSU doesn’t get anyone excited. That’s not a knock on them, it just is the kind of situation you find yourself in when you both come up from Sun Belt country — Land of the Non-Televised Game. That little tidbit has continued. No one thinks this is a rivalry and so maybe that makes it one. Who knows. I still remember they dropped 24 on us in Murfreesboro and I want revenge so hard. I want to put another hurting’ on them the way Lance and Co did when he ran for about 1000 yards and scored 18 TDs in that one game in the rain (that no one attended). They aren’t feeling good. They are hurt like we are hurt. Logan Kilgore isn’t putting up super-awesome numbers like last year, and they are not moving the ball as well as we are (who would have thunk). The line opened at -4.5 in our favor and has moved to -7. So even the bookies think we are going to take this one.

I do too. North Texas 35 MTSU 21