North Texas vs

Utah St.

at New Mexico
Sat, Dec 15
11:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 201
Odds: Utah St. -7.5, Total: 68

Game Analysis

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Utah State (-7.5)  35   North Texas  31

Utah State head coach Matt Wells has accepted the job at Texas Tech but he’s continued to run most of the Aggies’ practices and will be on the sideline to support his 10-2 team, although assistant Frank Maile is officially in charge as the interim head coach. Utah State’s only losses were on the road to good teams Michigan State and Boise State and the Aggies blew out most of the bad teams that they faced. North Texas is a slightly below average FBS team and Utah State is the best team that they have faced this season, but the Eagles’ have some good offensive talent and their 3 losses were by an average margin of just 4.3 points.

North Texas is led by 3-year starting quarterback Mason Fine, who continues to improve and averaged 7.1 yards per pass play in his junior season. That’s actually not that great when considering that the teams he faced would allow 7.4 yppl to an average quarterback and overall the Mean Green are just average offensively on a national scale. Utah State’s defense allowed just 24 points per game and were 0.2 yppl better than average overall this season on that side of the ball (5.1 yppl allowed to teams that would combine to average 5.3 yppl against an average team). However, the secondary took a hit with a mid-season injury to CB Ja’Marcus Ingram and a few weeks later safety Shaq Bond was also lost for the season. The Aggies went from being better than average defending the pass to 0.7 yards per pass play worse than average over their final 6 games without Ingram and they got a bit worse when Bond went down. Utah State has a strong run defense (4.3 yards per rushing play allowed to teams that would combine to average 4.9 yprp against an average team) but Fine should be able to throw the ball with good success in this game.

Utah State’s offense isn’t as good as the 45 points per game that they averaged against FBS opposition (and they scored 73 points against FCS team Tennessee Tech) but the Aggies are 0.7 yards per play better than average offensively (6.9 yppl against teams that would allow 6.2 yppl to an average team) with a balanced attack that can run and throw the ball effectively. North Texas is also good defending the run (4.2 yprp allowed to teams that would average 4.7 yprp) but the Eagles were worse than average defending the pass (6.1 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would combine to average 5.4 yppp against an average team) – although they were only 0.3 yppp worse than average with All-Conference CB Kemon Hall playing. Hall had 5 interceptions and 17 total passes defended in barely over 9 games and overall the Eagles are average defensively with Hall playing.

The math model projects Utah State by just 4 points with a total of 65 points and I’ll lean with North Texas plus the points. North Texas has gone under the total in 11 of their 12 games this season but there isn’t enough value on the under in this game to consider playing it.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • North Texas
  • Utah St.


  • Run Plays 32.3 31.8
  • Run Yards 154.8 118.3
  • YPRP 5.3 4.3


  • Pass Comp 24.2 19.3
  • Pass Att 37.9 36.5
  • Comp % 63.7% 53.0%
  • Pass Yards 294.8 260.2
  • Sacks 2.2 2.3
  • Sack Yards 16.5 17.6
  • Sack % 5.4% 6.0%
  • Pass Plays 40.1 38.8
  • Net Pass Yards 278.3 242.6
  • YPPP 6.9 6.2


  • Total Plays 72.3 70.6
  • Total Yards 449.6 378.5
  • YPPL 6.2 5.4


  • Int 0.7 1.3
  • Int % 1.8% 3.6%
  • Fumbles 0.7 0.3
  • Turnovers 1.3 1.6
  • Points 34.6 24.2
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