We have a non-conference matchup on the gridiron when a member of Conference USA takes to the road to head to Bluff City to face a program from the AAC. The North Texas Mean Green are on the road as they travel to face the Memphis Tigers Saturday afternoon. North Texas comes in off a 58-27 road demolition by UNLV in their most recent contest last Saturday. Memphis rolls in off a 44-32 victory at home over Arkansas State last Saturday in their previous game. In the all-time series between the teams, the Tigers own a commanding 16-3 advantage, including a 27-17 win in the most recent meeting, which came in the New Orleans Bowl back on December 16, 2003.
North Texas Mean Green Looking to Climb Back Above .500North Texas was on the road in their previous game and was clobbered by UNLV, snapping their win streak at one. The Mean Green now try to climb over the .500 mark for the third time this season while hoping to avoid falling below the break-even point for the first time here. Against UNLV, North Texas led 10-9 after one quarter and was within 23-20 at the half. The deficit was still three at 30-27 early in the third quarter before the Mean Green gave up the game’s final 28 points to lose going away. North Texas lost the total offense battle 576-474, gave up 28 first downs while picking up 20 and was crushed 38:57 to 21:03 in time of possession. The Mean Green committed a pair of turnovers, including a pick-six, while failing to record a takeaway. They scored on a kick return but also gave up a safety in the loss.
This season, the Mean Green stand tied for 57th in the nation in passing offense with 255 yards per contest and 24th in rushing offense with 220.5 yards per game. North Texas is 73rd in the FBS in scoring offense with an average of 31.8 points a game while they are 114th in scoring defense by giving up 36.5 points a contest. Austin Aune is 58 of 107 passing for 945 yards with nine touchdowns against four interceptions while adding 25 yards on the ground. Grant Gunnell is four of nine for 75 yards and an interception this season. Ayo Adeyi leads the ground attack with 48 carries for 330 yards plus a score on the year. Oscar Adaway III (57 carries, 298 yards, four TD) and Isaiah Johnson (21 carries, 82 yards) are capable of doing damage when they get touches as well. Roderic Burns leads the team in receiving with 13 catches for 275 yards plus a score. Ja’Mori Maclin (six catches, 158 yards, TD), Jyaire Shorter (eight grabs, 151 yards, TD), Var’Keyes Gumms (seven receptions, 137 yards, two TD), Jake Roberts (eight catches, 103 yards, TD) and Damon Ward Jr. (eight receptions, 100 yards) have all cracked the century mark in receiving yards. Ethan Mooney has drilled all 16 extra point attempts and five of six field goal tries with a long of 43 this year.
Memphis Tigers Seek Third Straight WinMemphis has bounced back from their season-opening beatdown by Mississippi State on the road as they’ve strung together back-to-back wins. The Tigers improved to 2-1 on the year by downing Arkansas State and seek a third straight win here. Against Arkansas State, Memphis led 21-17 at the half and after three quarters only to find themselves down 32-31 with under five minutes to play. The Tigers bounced back to score two touchdowns in the final 2:08 to earn the victory. Memphis held a 547-370 advantage in total offense, picked up 25 first downs while allowing 22 and forced the game’s lone turnover. In addition, the Tigers held a narrow 30:09 to 29:51 advantage in time of possession.
For the year, Memphis is 18th in the country in passing offense (318.3 yards per game) and 90th in rushing offense with an average of 135.7 yards per contest. The Tigers are 56th in the FBS in scoring offense as they put up 34.7 points a contest while they are 100th in scoring defense as they allow 31.3 points a game. Seth Hennigan is 62 of 92 passing for 940 yards with six touchdowns against no interceptions on the year. He adds 35 yards plus two scores on the ground. Gabriel Rogers misfired on his lone pass attempt. Jevyon Ducker is the leading ground gainer with 20 carries for 147 yards plus a pair of scores. Brandon Thomas (30 carries, 107 yards, two TD) and Asa Martin (17 carries, 102 yards, TD) each are over the 100-yard mark on the ground as well. Rogers leads the team with 12 catches for 214 yards on the season. Joseph Scales (three catches, 151 yards, two TD), Eddie Lewis (10 grabs, 150 yards, TD), Javon Ivory (12 receptions, 134 yards) and Caden Prieskorn (11 catches, 116 yards, three TD) all have gone over the century mark in receiving yards. Chris Howard has connected on all 11 extra point attempts and five of five field goal tries with a long of 47 this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
North Texas has alternated wins and losses coming into this contest so one might think they were primed for a victory here. It’s hard to have faith in the Mean Green after giving up 58 points on the road to UNLV last week. After all, no one is going to be impressed by their earlier road win over a sputtering UTEP program. Memphis struggled against Mississippi State in their opener but they’ve hung 81 points in their last two games against Navy and Arkansas State. Hennigan has been solid moving the ball through the air. The Mean Green are capable of putting up points but their leaky defense and propensity to turn the ball over makes it too much to overcome. Give the points and take the Tigers here.
Full-Game Total Pick
North Texas enters this game having posted a 2-2 record in relation to the total this season. The Mean Green have seen totals of 44, 58, 86 and 85 points in their four games this season. Those numbers came against numbers of 53, 67, 64.5 and 62-point totals set by the sportsbooks. Meanwhile, Memphis has recorded three consecutive overs to start the season with combined point totals of 72, 50 and 76 points against projected totals of 58.5, 47.5 and 64 points in those games. Neither defense has been all that inspiring in the opening month of the season and with the way each team moves the ball through the air, you have to think that points will be plentiful in this contest. Look for this game to wind up over the total.