Friday Night Lights in North Texas
On Friday, October 15th the University of North Texas Mean Green (1-4) will host Marshall University’s Thundering Herd (3-3) in conference play. Marshall is ranked 3rd in the C-USA East ahead of 6th ranked UNT in C-USA West.
Marshall’s quarterback, Grant Wells has 2,000 passing yards and is most accurate when throwing to Running back, Rasheen Ali who has 11 touchdowns for the season. Second on Marshall’s list of rushing yards leaders is Sheldon Evans with 131 yards and 2 TDs.
The Eagles should hit the field seeking to contain the herd’s offense. If North Texas can find a way to control RB Rasheen Ali, the Thundering Herd’s next offensive weapon, their wide receiver cadre is considerably less productive. Receivers Cory Gammage and Ahmed Shadeed combine for 61 receptions. And QB Wells has only found WR Shadeed in the end zone twice. The same is true of WR Willie Johnson and WR Talik Keaton who total four touchdowns on the season. Offensive monotony is the herd’s vulnerability. The Eagles should pressure QB Wells and exploit matchups, limiting his passing options to less active members of the offense.
Admittedly, the Thundering Herd Defense is taking heads on the green. Junior Linebacker Abraham Beauplan of Boynton Beach, Florida is a strong deterrent leading a truly talented defensive squad. Beauplan has 52 tackles (21 solo, 31 assists), 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble. While Sophomore LB Eli Neal from Memphis has 4 sacks for 15 yards, 1 forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Safeties Nazeeh Johnson and Cory McCoy both have interceptions this season. Rounding out their defensive arsenal are Safety E.J Jackson with 38 tackles and Linebacker Charlie Gray with 32 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 2 sacks for a loss of 7 yards.
This is going to be an exciting game. A do-not-miss, Defensive Shootout under the Friday Night Lights in North Texas. See you there, Mean Green fans!