North Texas Suffers Second Straight Loss, FIU Beats Mean Green 46-39

By: Anthony Miller

The North Texas Mean Green could not pick up a win on Saturday as they fell to the Florida International Panthers 46-39.

This game was a mixed bag for the Mean Green as they were competitive throughout the whole game, but poor play at quarterback ultimately cost them the game. Stone Earle made his second straight start at quarterback and ended up turning the ball over three times before getting benched for Chandler Rogers in the second half.

With a 20-17 lead at halftime, Rogers came into the game and performed well with 201 yards passing and 49 yards rushing with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing). Despite 548 yards of offense for North Texas, it was the Mean Green defense that struggled to help support the offense.

The North Texas defense forced three turnovers themselves but allowed 514 total yards and 46 points in the game. FIU averaged 6.4 yards per carry on the ground which played a big factor in their win.

For the Mean Green, their record goes to 0-2 on the season finding themselves behind in pacing for a bowl game appearance. Their next game will be against the 2-1 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs which is the team’s second road game of the season.

Headlines From North Texas Loss

The Mean Green Have a Quarterback Controversy

Both Stone Earle and Chandler Rogers have similar traits in their game as they are mobile and can sling the ball around. They appear to both be good fits for what head coach Eric Morris is running with the air raid offense. Right now, it’s just not 100 percent there for North Texas.

Earle is turning the ball over too much on offense despite arguably being one of the top weapons on offense. He has four interceptions, two fumbles, and one fumble loss in the first two games of the season. These struggles might lead North Texas to pivot at quarterback which could be Rogers.

In two games, Rogers has three total touchdowns and one interception playing in relief for Earle. Rogers has also completed 63.6 percent of his passes compared to Earle’s 56.4 percent. With higher accuracy and fewer turnovers, Rogers might end up being the choice with just ten games remaining in the season.

Defense Struggles Again with Points Allowed

It’s the second straight week the Mean Green’s defense allowed over 45 points and over 500 yards of offense. For the season, they are allowed 104 points and 1,183 yards in just two games.

Looking at the positives, the defense created three turnovers and was able to help the offense in some aspects of the game. They were able to put some pressure on FIU’s quarterback Keyone Jenkins with one sack in the contest.

Unfortunately for North Texas fans, that was about it. The Panthers ran for 223 yards averaging 6.4 yards per carry including FIU’s running back Kejon Owens rushing for three scores. There was big play after big play being allowed throughout the game that the defense couldn’t slow them down.

The potential is there offensively to put up points, but without seeing an improvement from the defense, North Texas has a long road ahead of them. There are talented individual players on defense like safety Logan Wilson who had eight tackles in the game and linebacker Jaylen Smith who has 11 tackles and two turnovers on the season.

Morris has a lot of work to do to get the defense to gel together and make more stops. The good news is North Texas has a four-game stretch where the defense will face offenses that are not as strong as Cal and FIU. Hopefully, they can turn things around against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

Featured Image via X (@MeanGreenFB)

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