[title_box title=”Tennessee vs. North Texas Preview”]
The Tennessee Volunteers get a much-needed breather after a thrilling 27-24 win over South Carolina when they face the North Texas Mean Green at home this Saturday.
To put it simply, North Texas is over matched in every phase of the game: coaching, athleticism, talent, depth, etc. The Mean Green are 1-7 this season and are fresh off a 56-13 beatdown from Louisiana Tech.
Keys to the game
For Tennessee, the main key should be to score early and often in order to give its starters the proper rest. Similar to the contest against Western Carolina, the Vols will look to build a comfortable first half lead in order for the backups to gain playing experience.
This should be no problem for the Vols, as North Texas ranks No. 123 out of 128 teams in total defense. Its defense allows over 250 rushing yards per game and over 45 points per game, good for No. 126 in the country. Tennessee currently ranks No. 27 in the country in rushing yards per game. With the combination of Josh Dobbs, Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara, the Vols should eclipse their 207.3 yards per game average with ease.
Injuries have also been an issue for the Vols this season, so the earlier they can get key players out of the game, the less opportunity for injury there will be.
For North Texas, the Mean Green needs absolutely everything to go right in order to pull off a victory.
Players to watch
True freshman backup quarterback Quentin Dormady will more than likely get multiple snaps under his belt in this contest, which is not only good for him, but also for Dobbs, whose style results in severe punishment to his body. Dormady is perceived as the future of the program at the quarterback position, so his play in this game will be watched carefully. On the season, Dormady has completed 6-of-9 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
For North Texas, running back Jeffrey Wilson has had a nice season, rushing for 683 yards while averaging nearly six yards per carry. If North Texas has any chance to keep this game close, Wilson will need to have a performance for the ages and help the Mean Green control the clock.
The Vols have taken care of opponents this season that they have a distinct talent/depth advantage over. Considering North Texas is one of the nation’s worst offensive and defensive teams, Tennessee should have no problem scoring and preventing scores, even with its backups in the game.
Prediction: Tennessee 55, North Texas 7
Featured image by Ben Moser
Edited by Cody McClure