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VOL. 5 - ISSUE 4 october 3 - 9, 2012

North Texas

SMU SEC BIG 12 Game of the Week Game of the Week By Jason Fleck – jason.fleck@mavs.uta.edu

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Hostile Territory

ive undefeated teams sit atop the Big 12 standings and two of them will meet up in a top 15 clash this Saturday in Austin. This match-up  will feature the No. 11 Texas Longhorns against the No. 8 West Virginia Mountaineers. This is an early season matchup  between two of the favorites to win the Big

Photo Courtesy: Randall Chancellor

12 with Oklahoma going down to Kansas State in their Week 4 battle. Both teams are coming off of tough games against their Week 5 opponents. Though both games were quite a bit different, they will definitely be looking for the same outcomes. With so much on the line so early in the season, both teams are looking to get the win and a 2-0 start in the tough Big 12 conference. Texas came off of a tough back and forth fourth quarter, which Texas ended up winning on their final drive. They did so by coming up huge on fourth-and-six when David Ash connected with tight end D.J. Grant for a 29-yard game. Then Ash connected with Mike Davis for a 32-yard gain, which set up Joe Bergeron’s game winning two-yard touchdown run. This was a huge leap for a Texas team that looked so bad last season and definitely needed a win like that to boost their confidence and get them ready for this match up against the Mountaineers and of course their huge rivalry game in the Red River shootout the following weekend in Dallas. West Virginia has yet to have their defense show up in a game, coming off a 70-63 shootout victory over Baylor. Their defense is now allowing 32 points a game and is lucky they have the top-rated passing offense in the nation throwing for 442 yards per game.   Geno Smith played like there  wasn’t  a defense on the field against him, throwing for remarkable 656 yards and 8 TD passes.   This weekend Smith will be hoping his defense can keep Texas out of the end zone, because the Texas defense is a whole lot better than the defenses they have faced so far. Smith will find a way to put points on the board, but can the D do their part and keep Texas out of the end zone? That will be the biggest stat of the game. Game Info #8 WEST VIRGINIA vs #11 TEXAS SAT. OCT. 6 – 6:00PM / FOX ROYAL-TEXAS MEMORIAL STADIUM

By Stephen Evans – comments@blitzweekly.com

Nation Eyes Top 10 Match Up

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he Swamp in Gainesville, Florida, has a way of separating the contenders from the pretenders. Therefore, consider this weekend Separation Saturday. The fourth-ranked LSU Tigers, a perfect 5-0 on the season but a team that has dropped a spot in each of the past two AP polls, visits The Swamp for a top 10 clash against the surging tenth-ranked Florida Gators. The matchup features the two winningest teams in the SEC over the past 10 seasons. LSU has the best record in the league during that span (10222, .823), while the Gators are 91-31 (.746) since 2003. Saturday afternoon’s contest also marks the beginning of the teeth of the SEC schedule for both programs. LSU must find a way to get its offense back on track against a salty Florida defensive unit. The Gators rank tenth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 12.75 points per game. That isn’t an encouraging statistic for an LSU offense that has struggled to put opponents away in back-to-back weeks at Auburn and against Towson State. LSU has also faced a steady does of attrition

Mustangs Mean Green

Frank LaCosta – flacosta@blitzweekly.com

Frank LaCosta – flacosta@blitzweekly.com

Conference Play Begins

Sights Set On Cougars

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he old Southwest Conference tour is over and the Mustangs went 0-3. The inclement weather conditions this past Saturday made the Iron Skillet game somewhat close. TCU came out on top 24-16. That being said the Mustangs simply do not have the mojo that they possessed the past few seasons or maybe it’s a lack of talent compared to the other schools they’ve faced. Their lone win this season came against Stephen F. Austin. Perhaps entering conference play will allow them to regain their focus and become a born again football team. June Jones is a great coach and he’ll need to dig deep to help this team out. QB Garrett Gilbert who transferred in from Texas hasn’t lived up to expectations. His receivers didn’t do him any favors against TCU as they dropped at least six passes. That doesn’t erase

since the start of fall camp, losing its Heisman Trophy candidate defensive back, its starting outside linebacker, its starting left tackle, its starting tailback, and now its starting fullback in JC Copeland. Without Copeland, LSU will have to convert its power rushing attack into more of a pass-first approach. Can QB Zach Mettenberger, making just his second career road start, handle that pressure? While the Tigers have been treading water, Florida has been on the rise, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Three of Florida’s next four games are against teams currently ranked in the top 10, starting with the Tigers this weekend. QB Jeff Driskel has stepped up as the Gators’ unquestioned leader following a less-than-stellar fall camp. Driskel has the Gators’ offense moving the ball with confidence, which is quite a bonus for defensive-minded head coach Will Muschamp. For the Gators to take the next step toward national prominence, picking off LSU will go a long way in establishing a foothold. For the Tigers, it’s all about erasing any thoughts of their pending demise. Let the separation begin. Game Info: #4 LSU vs. #10 FLORIDA SAT. OCT. 6 – 2:30PM / CBS BEN HILL GRIFFIN STADIUM

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orth Texas won its first conference game of the season in a match up with the Florida Atlantic Owls this past Saturday while on the road. An improved special teams effort and defensive play was the difference in the 20-14

Photo Courtesy: Sandy McAnally

Photo Courtesy: Joseph Dowling

Photo Courtesy: photo-gator

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his six turnovers that he had for the game. By the end of the game Gilbert had gone 15 for 40 for 190 yards, a TD and five interceptions. RB Zach Line had 15 carries for 44 yards and a TD (a 21-yard run). WR Jeremy Johnson led the team with four catches for 62 yards. In other words the offense was pretty pathetic and if they perform the same this week against UTEP expect another loss. The defense fared a tad better by recovering two fumbles and didn’t allow TCU to convert on its four fourth down attempts. This week UTEP hosts the Mustangs. They were competitive against OU, Ole Miss and and Wisconsin as well as in their game against conference foe East Carolina. They are led by QB Nick Lamaison who is a senior. His experience at QB could be the difference maker in this one. He is by no means a running quarterback preferring to stand in the pocket. His favorite target is Michael Edwards who has 3 TDs and 455 yards for the season. The ground game is typically handled by Nathan Jeffery but he’s questionable for Saturday. If he doesn’t go then Jordan Leslie will take the carries. The defense has given up at least 24 points in every game this season. Expect SMU to pound Line to open up the passing lanes for Gilbert. SMU should win this one but it will be ugly. Game Info: SMU vs UTEP SAT. OCT. 6 – 7PM SUN BOWL

victory. Kicker Zach Olen successfully made two field goals attempts and PATs while the defense forced three turnovers. Things got a little scary once the Owls scored their second TD at the start of the fourth quarter to make the score 17-14. However Olen calmly hit his second FG attempt midway through the fourth to extend the Mean Green lead to six. It was a game in which North Texas never trailed. QB Derek Thompson went 18 of 30 for 251 yards with a pair of TDs and an interception. The workhorses (Jimmerson and Byrd) combined for 23 carries for a paltry 46 yards against the stingy Owl run defense. Brelan Chancellor was the “go-to” receiver once again nabbing six receptions for 135 yards and a TD. That TD was a big one as he reeled in a 68-yard pass to put the first points of the game on the board. This was his third game this season with over 100 yards receiving and his second straight. The defense did its job forcing a fumble and two interceptions while holding the Owl aerial attack to 142 yards and RB Damian Fortner to 63 yards rushing and a TD. The UNT defense did not allow a single fourth down conversion in three attempts. The Houston Cougars are nothing like the team they were last season. Gone are head coach Kevin Sumlin, QB Case Keenum and the high scoring offense. They’ve had trouble scoring and their defense is one of the worst in the country. Sophomore QB David Piland (Southlake) has as many touchdowns as he does interceptions. He’s also been sacked six times due to a weak offensive line. WRs Daniel Spencer and Dewayne Peace are his favorite targets. They’ve been recipients of about half of Piland’s attempts. The ground game will be handled by Charles Sims who is a big back with some speed. The Cougars won’t generate enough offense and their defense will give up some big plays. Look for UNT to even its season record with a victory this week. Game Info: UNT vs. HOUSTON SAT. OCT. 6 – 6PM ROBERTSON STADIUM

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