6:38 — Official attendance 21,171. I’m headed down to the field. I’ll be back later.
7:55 — MTSU had the ball deep in its own end of the field. UNT is trying to run out the clock when it has the ball.
11:27 — UNT has tacked on another field goal, this one from 22 yards out from Zach Paul and is up 27-7. This one is over.
:18 — UNT was driving again and had the ball in MTSU territory, but Antoinne Jimmerson fumbled. I don’t think it’s going to matter much. We are almost to the fourth quarter now.
4:11 — UNT drove into MTSU territory only to come up empty when Zach Paul missed a field goal from 48 yards out. MTSU got the ball back, but didn’t do anything with it. UNT has the ball at its 5.
11:29 — UNT holds again. MTSU goes three-and-out. UNT will have the ball at its own 15-yard line.
12:29 — UNT picked up a couple of first downs on its opening possession of the second half, but had to punt the ball away. MTSU will have the ball in a pretty good spot after UNT was called for kick catch interference. MTSU at the 35.
Halftime — We have hit halftime with UNT up 24-7 after one of its best halves of football in quite a while. UNT ran the ball, which you kind of figured was coming after the last two weeks and came up with a series of big plays, including Lairamie Lee’s interception return for a touchdown. UNT has 115 rushing yards in the first half. UNT has 197 yards overall. MTSU has 132 yards so far.
:30 — UNT tacks on a Zach Paul 21-yard field goal and is up 24-7. This one looks like it’s over before halftime.
2:15 — UNT and MTSU traded three-and-outs. Brelan Chancellor has just returned a punt all they way to the MTSU 13-yard line.
5:06 — UNT forced a three-and-out on MTSU’s last possession. The Mean Green will have the ball at its own 37.
6:42 — UNT talked about how big turnovers would be in this game this week. There’s a huge one for UNT. Lairamie Lee just intercepted a pass tipped by Will Wright and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. UNT is up 21-7.
6:57 — UNT goes back up 14-7 on a 1-yard run from Brandin Byrd. He also picked up a key third down deep in MTSU’s end of the field.
7:42 — UNT is facing a third-and-3 situation at the MTSU 5-yard line. Mike Canales likes the tight end in these situations. UNT is also running the ball pretty well. There are a lot of options right here.
11:48 — Here’s another big review for UNT. This one I don’t think is going to go the Mean Green’s way. It looked like Austin Grammer carried the ball to the goal line and got it over before it squirted loose. Yep. Touchdown.
13:36 — Derek Thompson was intercepted on another tipped ball. MTSU is driving
15:00 — UNT linebacker Zach Orr made a huge play at the end of the first quarter, blocking a field goal attempt. James Jones picked the ball up and returned it deep in MTSU territory, but Will Wright was called for a personal foul during the return. UNT is up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and is driving.
1:15 — Here’s a big review for UNT that is going to go its way. MTSU is going to have a touchdown pass called back because the receiver came down out of bounds. A UNT player knocked Kyle Griswould out of the end zone.
3:38 — UNT scores first. Go figure. Reggie Pegram carries it in from 5 yards out. UNT is up 7-0.
8:07 — UNT holds and forces a punt. MTSU ran into Brelan Chancellor on the punt. UNT will have the ball in a good spot here.
9:40 — UNT forced a key turnover when James Jones forced a fumble that Zach Orr recovered, but UNT gave it right back on a tipped ball that was intercepted by MTSU. The Blue Raiders will have the ball at their on 41-yard line. MTSU was moving the ball through the air before its turnover.
Update 12:24 — MTSU is driving and is facing a third-and-2. The Blue Raiders picked it up.
Update 15:00 –UNT won the toss and deferred.
Update 5:59 — It looks like the rain has pretty much killed UNT’s crowd. Well, that and the Texas-OU game. There are more people in the wing than normal, but it’s pretty light on both the student side and alumni side.
Update 5:45 — I checked to see if any UNT players will miss today’s game. There are no scratches. LaChris Anyiam and Antonio Johnson practiced all week, which is good news for UNT. Those two tackles are pretty key to UNT’s line. Everyone will be back where they usually play.
Update 5:17 — A key part of the point Dan McCarney made about UNT’s home attendance is that recruits want to see fans in the stands. It’s pretty obvious why McCarney picked this week to make that point. UNT has a ton of recruits on hand today. A crowd of about 75 high school/junior college players and parents (just a guess) walked out a minute a ago and is standing on the sideline.
UNT will take on Middle Tennessee tonight at Apogee Stadium and, as always, I will be around to do a little blogging along the way.
The big question is what the weather will be like. It just rained like cats and dogs for about 15 minutes, but has quickly cleared up.
One never knows. That might be it in terms of rain for the day. At least UNT can hope that is the case.
The big question as far as the game goes is if UNT can get its running game going again. We have talked about it quite a bit the last week, which I’m sure UNT’s running backs, linemen and coaches were not overly thrilled about.
For the record, UNT has rushed for 41 yards combined in its last two games. Seeing UNT stuffed by Georgia was not a huge surprise, but seeing the Mean Green struggle last week in a loss to Tulane was.
The good news for UNT is that Derek Thompson has thrown the ball well most of the season and has 1,346 yards, the top total for a UNT quarterback through five games in school history.
Yeah, I know he’s thrown a couple of costly interceptions, but he’s also thrown it 47, 36 and 42 times in UNT’s last three games. You throw it that much and a guy is going to make a mistake or two.
What will be a key point to watch is how UNT does in terms of protecting Thompson. MTSU is really good at coming after quarterbacks and has 16 sacks on the year. UNT’s line is pretty beaten up. Antonio Johnson and LaChris Anyiam have both had knee surgery in the last couple of weeks. UNT has given up five sacks on the year.
MTSU isn’t particularly big, but the Blue Raiders are quick up front.
I am not very good at projecting attendance. UNT’s basketball event filled in really nicely, but the hill looks a little empty to me so far. One has to wonder if the Texas-OU game (yes, I know it was at 11 a.m., but it’s still a factor) and the weather will keep people away.
Check back throughout the night.