Written By Sammy Jacobs (@sammyj108)
Indiana enters October by closing their non-conference schedule with the return game of a home-and-home series with the North Texas Mean Green. Indiana played in Denton during coach Kevin Wilson’s inaugural season with the Cream and Crimson in 2011.
Week 6: North Texas Mean Green
Time & Date: TBA, Saturday, Oct. 4th
Venue: Memorial Stadium (Bloomington, IN)
Mean Green at a Glance:
Head Coach: Dan McCarney (3rd year 18-19, Overall 15th year 74-104)
Last Season: 9-4 (6-2)
Mean Green Returning Leaders:
Passing: Dajon Williams (83.3%, 55 Yds, 0 TD, 0 INT)
Rushing: Antionne Jimmerson (489 Yds, 4.2 Avg, 7 TD)
Receiving: Carlos Harris (553 Yds, 11.8 Avg, 2 TD)
Preseason Magazine Predictions:
Phil Steele: 2nd in the Conference-USA West
Lindy’s: 2nd in the Conference-USA West
Athlon’s: 1st in the Conference-USA West
Sporting News: 4th in the Conference-USA West
Why the Mean Green could win:
These are two very different teams from the last meeting, a 24-21 UNT win, in 2011. Both the Hoosiers and the Mean Green have improved. UNT is coming off a nine-win season, including a win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. They return four of their five starting lineman on a unit that should be one of Conference-USA’s best. If the Mean Green can establish a ground game and grab an early lead over Indiana it could lead to a long day for the Hoosiers. UNT can also spring the upset with strong special teams play. The Mean Green defense was also ranked 17th nationally in total defense while racking up a +11 in the turnover margin. Turnovers and an offense that chews up clock could be a bad recipe for a Hoosier win. The Mean Green will also have a bye week to prepare for the Hoosiers’ high octane offense.
Why They Won’t Pull it Off:
There is lots of turnover in Denton as the Mean Green only return nine of the starting 22. They have a major question mark at the quarter back position as their returning leader only threw for 55 yards last season. It is a three-man race between Josh Greer, a junior college transfer, red shirt freshman Dajon Williams, and sophomore Andrew McNulty. The defense loses three of her top four tacklers from last season, however the Mean Green does return three players with at least three interceptions in 2013.
This may not be marked as a “revenge” game, but don’t think for a second that coach Kevin Wilson has forgotten the loss the Hoosiers suffered in 2011. This game is a very winnable game for Indiana and will be a key win for the Hoosiers to get over the hump and become bowl eligible. Indiana’s offense will be too much for the Mean Green to overcome, especially if UNT cannot find their answer at quarterback early in the season. However, the Hoosiers cannot sleep on this North Texas team, they will be battle tested early with a road game at Texas.