Week 3 Predictions: North Texas

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Arkansas Razorbacks vs. North Texas Mean Green
September 15, 2018 at 3 PM on SEC Network Alternate
Arkansas suffered their first loss of the season last week similar to the way they have lost many the past six seasons, a blown double digit lead in the second half. This week, the Razorbacks look to put the collapses past them once and for all, by stuffing the run down the throats of the Mean Green defense. Will Arkansas be able to run the ball again in Week 3? Will another quarterback find his way onto the field for meaningful snaps? Can Arkansas find a way to play consistently all three quarters? Here is The Hog Pen team giving you that, keys to the game and more.
North Texas Key Strengths

  1. Mason Fine ranks third in the country for passing yards. With 862 yards and 7 touchdowns to start the season, this may be the best quarterback the Razorback defense will face to this point in the season. Fine is an exceptional quarterback and if given time will exploit the Hog defense for over 300 yards this Saturday. The Mean Green are averaging 52 points, 475 yards through the air, 110 yards on the ground for a per game average of 568 yards of total offense per game. This could be a deadly combination that will test the Razorback defense unlike the other two teams they have faced to this point.                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZK_v1e-03w
  2. The Mean Green defense is pretty salty. This defense is allowing a passing percentage of only 52%, 202 yards per game through the air, 74 yards per game on the ground and yielding 20 points and 276 total yards per game. Arkansas is a step up in competition for North Texas who have played Chad Morris’ former school SMU and Incarnate Word respectively.
  3. Rico Bussey, Jr. and Jalen Guyton are a dynamic duo waiting to establish themselves against a SEC defense. Bussey (6’2 and 208 pounds) has 17 receptions for 237 yards and three touchdowns. Guyton (6’1 and 208 pounds) has caught 12 passes for 206 yards and 3 touchdowns. This combination will take a heroic effort from a Razorback secondary looking to improve from a bad fourth quarter last Saturday in Fort Collins, Colorado.

What does Arkansas need to do to beat North Texas?

  1. Continue to run the ball.

Devwah Whaley img_4168ran for a career high 165 yards and a touchdown last Saturday. That was the first 100 yard performance in a game since Rawleigh Williams 140 yard performance against Missouri in the 2016 regular season finale. If Arkansas is looking to win the game, controlling the clock with the run game will be key to success.
2. Defense needs to find two lockdown corners.
Ryan Pulley can not do it all by himself at cornerback. One of the three corners, Chevin Calloway, Jacques McClellion or Nate Dalton need to step up and challenge the two great wide receivers for North Texas. If they do not, Arkansas may not have a chance to win another game until the Tulsa game on October 20th.
3. Quarterback play has to improve.
Who will move ahead of the other at quarterback. Cole Kelley got the start against Eastern Illinois but Ty Storey out performed him and vice versa against Colorado Sate. Offensive coordinator, Joe Craddock, stated this week that Connor Noland has exceeded the other two freshman as the third string quarterback. Who knows if the coaches will consider playing Noland or continue redshirting him. The new redshirt rule, playing a guy in four games before deciding to redshirt or use a year of eligibility makes the quarterback race an intriguing one.
Predictions
Jacob: 47-33 Hogs. Devwah Whaley runs wild again this time for 195 yards and a touchdown. Noland comes in during the second quarter and leads two scoring drives.
Klayton: 35-27 Razorbacks. I still have faith in the Hogs. Chad Morris will display his resilience and open up both the run and passing game in a balanced scale. John Chavis will still struggle to line out his defense with our top two players out of the lineup but will hold up enough to pull a victory out at home.
Carson: I believe it will be a close game. Arkansas 31-21. The passing and running games come together somehow and the defense shows much improvement in the secondary against a very good passing attack.
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