It’s that time of the week, where we take stock in whose stock is rising and whoes stock is falling among UNT’s peers in the Sun Belt Conference and DFW.
UNT – It might be a little overly dramatic to say that UNT’s 30-23 win over Louisiana-Lafayette saved the Mean Green’s season, but I’m going to say it anyway. UNT looked like it was going to tank at home when it fell behind 20-6 in the third quarter. The game had all the makings of a total disaster when UNT was stuffed on the 1-yard line, but UNT’s defense came up with a key stop and things turned around in a 30-23 win. UNT is now 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Sun Belt play. UNT has a tough road to travel to get to six wins, but the dream is alive and well in the second half of the season.
SMU – The Mustangs were in a similar position to UNT heading into their game against Houston. SMU needed a win after a horrible loss to Tulane and got it done in a 72-42 win. SMU is now 3-4 and has a workable path back to a bowl game.
TCU – Life without Casey Pachall is not going all that well for the Frogs, who played well, but lost a 56-53 triple overtime thriller to Texas Tech. TCU has now lost two of three. The schedule is loaded down the stretch for the Frogs, who will have to depend on backup quarterback Trevone Boykin, who certainly looked the part while throwing for 332 yards against Tech.
UNT – See above
Louisiana-Monroe — The Warhakws are a team of destiny, not that we didn’t already know that. Kolton Browning hit Rashon Ceaser for the game-deciding two-point conversion in a 43-42 win over Western Kentucky in the game of the week in the Sun Belt. Both teams were unbeaten in league play. ULM is 5-2. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that the Warhakws could win out and get to 10-2.
Troy – Don’t count the Trojans out when it comes to grabbing a bowl berth this season. Troy looked like it was going to suffer a terrible loss at home to Florida International, but came back from 16 down in the third quarter and won 38-37 on Will Scott’s flying duck of a 42-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. Troy drove 69 yards from its 6-yard line in the closing minutes to set up the field goal. Oh yeah, and Troy did it with backup quarterback Deon Anthony at the helm. Troy is at 4-3 with a winnable game at Florida Atlantic coming up this week.
South Alabama – The Jaguars picked up a key win 37-34 double overtime win over Florida Atlantic. It’s just the kind of win USA needs as it continues to build its program.
Western Kentucky – The Hilltoppers are going to get to a bowl game, but will look back on a 43-42 overtime loss to ULM with regret. The Hilltoppers led 28-7 in the second quarter. WKU is still 5-2 on the year.
Louisiana-Lafayette – The Ragin’ Cajuns were in position to keep pace with the top teams in the Sun Belt in the conference title chase, but blew a 14-point third-quarter lead in a 30-23 loss to UNT. ULL had plenty of chances to pull away and squandered them.
Florida International – Ever get the feeling it’s just not your day? Yeah, Mario Cristobal must feel that way. FIU had Troy on the ropes, but allowed the Trojans to drive for Will Scott’s game-winning field goal in the final seconds of a 38-37 win behind backup quarterback Deon Anthony.
Florida Atlantic – FAU is in the midst of a rebuilding process. Losing to FCS move-up South Alabama 37-34 was not part of the plan.
Middle Tennessee – MTSU showed some fight in its game against nationally ranked Mississippi State without star running back Benny Cunningham, who is out for the year with a knee injury. MTSU was only down 10-3 at halftime, but lost 45-3.