Three Keys to Victory | North Texas
Tomorrow night, the Bulldogs return to the Joe hoping to get the bad taste of a Hail Mary loss out of their mouths as they take on the Mean Green from North Texas. Here's what Tech needs to do to make it four in a row against Seth Littrell's squad:
Dominate the Red Zones
Before last week's fourth down goal line stand in the second quarter, opponents were a staggering 10 for 10 in scoring touchdowns when they entered the red zone against Tech. Notice I didn't say "points"... I said touchdowns. But against SMU, Tech's red zone defense showed up in a huge way. Of the 6 Mustang trips to the Red Zone, they only left with 3 touchdowns and 2 field goals. And while 27 points is a lot... at least it wasn't 42? This week, Tech has a chance to build on that momentum as UNT comes in scoring points in only 63% of their Red Zone possessions. On the other side of the ball, Tech has put points on the board in 90% of Red Zone possessions and scored 38.7 points per game. If Tech can dominate the Red Zones on both sides of the ball, it won't even be close tomorrow night.
Torrey or Not To Be
For the first time all season, Tech will face off against a team that's better at running the ball than passing it. And yes, it's North Texas... the same team that had Mason Fine lighting it up through the air for what felt like 9 seasons. But this year's Mean Green team looks to establish a solid ground game behind feature back DeAndre Torrey, who's put up nearly 400 yards on 6.1 yards per carry through three games. As a team, UNT averages 196 yards per game on the ground, tied for 33rd best in the nation. Meanwhile, Tech's run defense hasn't really been tested all that much, and we're giving up 117 yards per game (52nd in NCAA). The question is will Tech's run defense stay stout now that we're out of the "holy crap they can sling it" part of the schedule? Or were those numbers inflated by the 130th (yes, that's the worst) ranked pass defense in the nation?
Go Tech Pls Dont Die
There's a reason that our blog has a stupid name that kind of doesn't make any sense to outsiders. But if you know, you know. And the team has certainly made it clear in the past couple weeks that no matter how well we play, no matter how high the "win expectancy" chart gets in our favor... There's always a chance we'll snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. But that's not the identity of this team. There are still 9 games left (8 Conference games) to prove that this group has what it takes to go out there and win not only games, but Tech's ultimate goal: a Conference Championship. After SMU's heart-wrenching win last week, Smoke Harris said, "I feel sorry for whoever we play next, that's all I'm going to say". On Tuesday, Samuel Emilus reiterated that sentiment. This team needs to come out swinging - and don't let up until the final bell. Make UNT sorry they came to Ruston. If their drive to Denton is anything like my drive to Arlington was last week, it will have been a good day for the Dogs.
Evan is also a contributor to gtpdd.dog, a lighthearted Louisiana Tech blog. Be sure to check out @gotechplsdntdie on Twitter, play the gtpdd Contest and CUSA Pick'Em, and listen to the gtpdd Podcast!