Incarnate Word Cardinals (0-1) at North Texas Mean Green (1-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 8, 2018, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: North Texas Mean Green -- Over/Under:
The Incarnate Word Cardinals will travel to Apogee Stadium to take on the North Texas Mean Green this upcoming Saturday in College Football action.
The FCS Incarnate Word Cardinals couldn’t open up their season on a winning note as they fell to the New Mexico Lobos, 62-30, this past Saturday. Incarnate was actually impressive on the offensive end, putting up an unexpected 30 points up on the board, however, they were never really in this game as New Mexico jumped all over them early and led by a 28-7 margin at the end of the 1st quarter. Incarnate Word was outgained by the Lobos by a 680-566 margin and allowed New Mexico to gain 32 first downs in the loss. Leading the way for the Cardinals was QB Jon Copeland who completed 17 of 36 passes for 328 yards, 1 TD, and an INT. The Cardinals got solid production in their running game by both Ra’Quanne Dickens (7 att, 110 yards, TD) and Ameer King (7 att, 81 yards). Leading the way for the Cardinals receivers was Phillip Baptiste (6 rec, 112 yards, TD), Lamont Johnson (4 rec, 103 yards), and Koby Edwards (4 rec, 61 yards). The offensive production was a welcome sight for the Cardinals after finishing last season with a 1-10 record while averaging just 21.1 ppg on 293.2 total yards per game (89.6 rushing yds/g; 203.6 passing yds/g). Incarnate Word struggled defensively last season, allowing their opponents to average 47.7 points per game last season on 495.7 total yards per game (328.6 passing yds/g; 167.1 rushing yds/g) and it looks like it’s going to be another long season for the Cardinals on that end of ball as they allowed New Mexico to throw & rush for 300+ yards.
The North Texas Mean Green got off to a great start to their 2018 season as they easily defeated the SMU Mustangs by a 46-23 margin this past Saturday. North Texas had little trouble putting away the Mustangs as they scored 36 unanswered points to start the game. The Mean Green were outstanding on both sides of the ball as they outgained SMU by a 529-256 margin and held the Mustangs to just 9 first downs in the entire game. Leading the way for the Mean Green was QB Mason Fine who completed 40 of 50 passes for 444 yards and 3 TD’s. North Texas has six different receivers who had at least three receptions and was led by Rico Bussey Jr. (9 rec, 109 yards), Jalen Guyton (7 rec, 95 yards, 2 TD), and Jaelon Darden (6 rec, 81 yards). For all the offensive success that the Mean Green had, their rushing game found little success as they rushed 43 times for just 68 yards (1.6 yds/att). North Texas had a successful season last year as they finished the year with a 9-5 record (7-1 C-USA) and have to be thrilled by their defensive performance against a high scoring SMU offense, especially after they allowed allowing their opponents to average 35.0 ppg on 431.4 total yards per game (228.9 passing yds/g; 202.5 rushing yds/g). North Texas is an experience club with 17 returning starters and could challenge FAU for the C-USA title this season if they can stay healthy and show improvement on the defense end.
Trends will be updated when they are released.
Incarnate Word can hang their hats on the fact they put up 30 points against an FBS team however, it’s still going be tough for the Cardinals to do much better than their 1-10 record last season if their defense can’t find ways to stop opposing offenses. North Texas is solid, experienced team with great offensive weapons and is the type of team I feel that no one is really going to want to play as they certainly have the potential to beat almost anyone if their defense is improved. North Texas was one of my favorite plays last week and as I imagine North Texas will be favored by about 30-35 points, my initial thoughts are to take Mean Green and also put a play on the over if that number isn’t too high.