Let's talk about North Texas. Taking a look at the S&P+Rankings you'll see...oh:
Correct. North Texas isn't very good. By that metric they're actually the worst team in the nation. Well then.
On Offense: Wide Receiver vs. Secondary
Here's the thing: the secondary of North Texas isn't even very good. This game is just about getting a lead, keeping it and getting the second team some quality reps. Considering that Beathard took his fair amount of shots against Pittsburgh and LeShun Daniels was by all accounts playing injured last Saturday, it will be up to the wide receivers to step up and produce for the Hawkeyes on Saturday. The Mean Green's two starting corners are listed as Zac Whitfield and Chad Davis. Whitfield is the type of guy that doesn't even have a photograph on the North Texas website. Davis, on the other hand, played in nearly every game last season but didn't start until this year.
At strong safety is JUCO transfer James Gray, who set a record for interceptions at Fort Scott CC. The Mean Green's best player in the secondary is free safety Kishawn McClain, who was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Football Team and currently leads the team in tackles. It's never good when a player in your defensive backfield is leading the team in tackles. Actually, looking at the numbers, three of the top five players in tackles for the Mean Green are in the defensive backfield so...not good. Here's hoping for a big day through the air from the likes of Smith, VandeBerg and maybe...Jerminic Smith? We can only hope!
On Defense: Defensive Line vs. Quarterback
If you keep up with the fluff pieces, you've probably already seen a couple on North Texas QB Andrew McNulty. From Doc and The CR Gazette:
In high school, McNulty backed up A.J. Derby on the Little Hawks' 2009 Class 4A title team and then led City High to the 4A title game the following year. As a senior, McNulty was a first-team all-state utility player, passing for 1,438 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 1,137 yards and 14 scores.
So yes, McNulty played at Iowa City High. He's also their leader in total offense and arguably the most important player on the team. Iowa's depth chart lists the same four starters as last week: Meier, Johnson, Bazata and Ott. It's likely that Ott will be used sparingly, so similar to how we're wanting to get the second team offense some reps, this would be the time for guys like Hesse (who already starts, I suppose), Faith, and Matt Nelson to get after a guy like McNulty and give Iowa's backups some much-needed experience.