2:03 pm
December 15

North Texas v. Utah State

What will be the GAME RESULT?

North Texas: Wins or Single Digit Loss

Utah State: Wins By Double Digits


Current odds:

North Texas: (+220)

Utah State: (-260)


 The line for this game is Utah State by 7 points.

• Utah State begins life without coach Matt Wells when it takes on North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15 in Albuquerque. Wells, the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year who bolted for Texas Tech on Nov. 30, went 44-34 – 2-2 in bowl games – in six seasons with the Aggies, marking the school’s most successful stretch in more than 50 years. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our program,” Utah State interim coach Frank Maile said in a news release. “It is a fantastic reward for all of the hard work and dedication that our players have put in, from all the offseason workouts, to watching film to the practice field. I am so happy for them.”

• The Aggies were ranked as high as No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Poll before ultimately falling to No. 23 with a fortunate victory at Colorado State followed by a 33-24 loss at No. 24 Boise State on Nov. 24 that prevented it from playing in the MWC title game. Utah State is third nationally in scoring at 47.2 points per game with North Texas 21st with a school-record 36.4 as each school’s quarterback enjoyed a monster season. Aggies sophomore Jordan Love completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 3,208 yards with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions while Mean Green junior Mason Fine completed 64.6 percent for 3,734 yards with 27 TDs and five picks.

• North Texas and Utah State enter with spotty bowl records with each team losing last season. The Mean Green are 3-7 after a 50-30 loss to Troy in the New Orleans Bowl while the Aggies fell to 4-8 with a 26-20 setback to New Mexico State in the Arizona Bowl. Utah State has played in one New Mexico Bowl – a 21-6 victory over UTEP in 2014 which marked its last postseason victory.

• Love’s favorite target is senior wide receiver Ron’quavion Tarver, who hauled in 62 catches for 676 yards and seven touchdowns. Junior running backs Darwin Thompson (951 yards, 14 TDs) and Gerold Bright (785, eight) power the rushing game, although the tandem was held to a combined 206 yards and zero touchdowns in the last two contests. The defense is led by sophomore linebacker David Woodward, who was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus after recording 124 tackles – 12.5 for loss – to go along with five sacks, four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

• Junior wide receiver Rico Bussey Jr. (68 catches, 1,017 yards), whose 12 touchdown catches are tied for seventh nationally, left the Mean’s Green last game – a 24-21 victory at Texas-San Antonio on Nov. 24 – with an apparent hamstring injury. If Bussey is unable to play or is slowed, Fine can turn to other wideouts such as junior Jalen Guyton and sophomore Jaelon Darden, who combined for 96 receptions for 1,269 yards and nine TDs. North Texas also boasts a potent ground attack led by sophomore DeAndre Torrey, who has exploded for 614 of his 942 yards and seven of his 14 TDs on the ground in the last four games while adding his two receiving scores during that span.

StreakSmarter Pick
Utah State: Wins By Double Digits