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North Texas Mean Green Vs. Idaho Vandals Free Pick 8/31/13

Idaho Vandals (0-0) at North Texas Mean Green (0-0)

College Football: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Apogee Stadium)

The Line: North Texas Mean Green -14 --- Over/Under: 56 See the Latest Odds

TV: not listed

The Idaho Vandals and North Texas Mean Green open the season at Apogee Stadium.

The Vandals return seven players on offense and three on defense so logic dictates the team will probably rely on the more experienced group to carry the load. That could be true but Idaho averaged only 315 yards and less than 16 points which were near the bottom of the college ranks. The offense wasn't completely helpless in the air at around 225 yards but experience under center is the question with freshman Chad Chalich the likely starter who obviously is an unknown. Chalich does have an experienced receiving corps to throw to with three of the top four pass catchers back, while second leading rusher James Baker (95-395) also returns. The Vandals need points because the defense allowed over 42 on 473 yards and is inexperienced so improvement of any kind is the key on this unit.

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North Texas Mean Green Vs. Idaho Vandals Free Pick 8/31/13

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

I expected North Texas to be much better than they were in 2012 but the team lacked scoring punch and the defense wasn't able to carry the load. The Mean Green have the luxury of two quarterbacks with Derek Thompson throwing for 2,650 yards a year ago but likely backing up Brock Berglund who was with Kansas briefly. Whoever is under center has experience in the receiving corps which is a Catch 22 because UNT didn't exactly fill the air with footballs. The ground is where this team does most of their damage and with leading rushers Brandin Byrd and Antoinne Jimmerson combining for over 1,000 yards the ground should be the strength once again. The defense looks to benefit from eight returnees who gave up 415 yards and nearly 28 points which will be tough to duplicate in the CUSA.

The Mean Green have a huge statistical and experience advantage here but in the scope of things they weren't world beaters and laying a couple of scores against any body seems ridiculous. I am for now but feel kind of dumb doing it but this is subject to change...

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