North Texas (4-7) at Texas-San Antonio (3-8) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alamodome (65,000) -- San Antonio, Texas. Television: FSN-SW, MW, W, MSG+. Home Record: UNT 4-2, UTSA 2-3. Away Record: UNT 0-5, UTSA 1-5. Neutral Record: UNT 0-0, UTSA 0-0. Conference Record: UNT 2-5, UTSA 2-5. Series Record: Texas-San Antonio leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The 2014 season draws to a close for a couple of teams from the Lone Star State, as the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners host the North Texas Mean Green in a Conference USA event at the Alamodome on Saturday.
The Mean Green, who are winless on the road in five chances this season, enter the week tied with UTSA for fourth place in the West Division of the C-USA standings with a mark of only 2-5. The team has managed to win two of the last three outings however, taking down FIU last weekend by a score of 17-14 at home.
As for the Roadrunners, they've stumbled along the last month or so with just a single win in five opportunities. The team followed up a 12-10 victory over Southern Miss on Nov. 13 with a 45-7 blowout loss versus Western Kentucky on the road last weekend.
The Roadrunners won the first and only other meeting between these squads last season in Denton by a score of 21-13.
The Mean Green scored a pair of touchdowns in the first half against FIU at Apogee Stadium the last time out, but then tallied only a field goal the rest of the way as they held on for the victory. Quarterback Andrew McNulty finished the meeting 9-of-20 for 105 yards and a score, but was also intercepted twice by the Panthers.
Marcus Smith caught two passes that he turned into a game-high 29 yards and a score for North Texas, while Reggie Pegram ran for 114 yards and another TD.
Defensively, the Mean Green held down FIU by making interceptions on the final two possessions by the visitors and securing three picks overall. Also playing well on that side of the ball for UNT was Derek Akunne who finished with nine tackles, three behind the line of scrimmage and two on the quarterback.
Through 11 games, Akunne paces the program with his 101 tackles, nearly double his closest teammate, accounting for 7.5 TFL and three sacks, as well as three forced fumbles.
On the offensive side of the ball McNulty, one of three players to have attempted at least 50 passes this season for the Mean Green, is averaging 112.0 ypg on 54.1 percent accuracy, although he still has more INTs (seven) than TDs (five) in nine appearances. On the other side of those pass attempts is Smith who has but 12 catches, yet a team-best five scores. Carlos Harris has 60 receptions for 732 yards but just three TDs.
Because the passing attack has been lacking for the Mean Green this season, ranking just 114th in the country with 162.4 ypg, it should come as little surprise that the team is 115th nationally in total offense with just 315.8 ypg.
Rivaling UNT's ineptitude on offense is UTSA which is 122nd with 283.5 ypg overall per contest. The Roadrunners are only slightly better throwing the ball with 166.1 ypg (112th) and are generating a mediocre 117.4 ypg on the ground as well.
Defensively, the Roadrunners have put forth some strong efforts this season, but last week was not one of them as they surrendered a season-high 45 points to one of the top passing attacks in the country. The unit permitted 346 yards and five touchdowns through the air and failed to register a single sack.
UTSA quarterbacks Austin Robinson and Dalton Sturm combined to hit on 11-of-23 passes for 119 yards and a score, the former being intercepted once and sacked two times by the Western Kentucky defense.
With as many as five different players being credited with at least one pass attempt this season for the Roadrunners, it is clear that the position has been in flux for all of 2014. The position has been responsible for a mere five touchdowns through the air and has tossed 12 interceptions to this point. UTSA has a much better chance of making something happen by handing the ball to David Glasco II who leads with 471 yards and four TDs on 135 rushing attempts.
With both of these teams playing for little more than pride, it might be the perfect opportunity for each side to insert some players into the action that may not have had a chance otherwise, and in turn lead to some interesting developments.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Texas 28, Texas-San Antonio 20Game Date and Time
Saturday, November 29, 12 p.m. (ET).