College Football Betting Free Pick: North Texas Mean Green at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
CFB FREE PICK: North Texas Mean Green at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
#190 Southern Miss -3 (Saturday, October 12 @ 7 pm EST)
The betting market loves the North Texas Mean Green to a point where they forced my hand. There wasn’t a C-USA defense better than Southern Miss last season but unfortunately their offense constantly let them down. Quarterback Jack Abraham led the country in completion percentage but never showed the ability to throw anything past 10 yards as they bled the clock on offense and leaned on the 19th best defense in the nation. In 2019, that nasty defense remains with two all-conference defensive backs and all-conference front seven players, Turner and Booth, to help keep the opposition’s run game in check. The biggest difference this year has been the offense with a switch to a faster pace and quarterback-friendly RPO scheme that new offensive coordinator Brett Faulkner (Arkansas State) installed. And with 10 returning starters including Abraham, future NFL receiver Quez Watkins, and all but one offensive linemen, it’s become clear this offense has been upgraded considerably.
On the flip side North Texas, who was built on offense, specifically the Air Raid, lost maybe the best offensive coordinator in C-USA as Graham Harrell moved on to USC. The program’s career passing leader, Mason Fine, has been solid, but he’s without all-conference pass catcher Rico Bussey (ACL) which leaves North Texas lacking in terms of big plays and experience; two musts for an Air Raid system. To make matters worse is the pass defense of UNT has major holes; forced to play two freshmen corners since Week 2 and allowed 235 yards rushing to Houston’s backup quarterback and running back last time out. I feel no confidence in UNT’s defense and feel the offense will sputter at times the remainder of the season. Take the Golden Eagles at this short number!
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