College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

UTEP vs. North Texas 12/11/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The UTEP visits North Texas on 12/11/2020 at 6:00PM.

UTEP and North Texas face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. UTEP has a record of 3-4 this season. North Texas is 3-5 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

UTEP Team Defense Preview

UTEP has had 69 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.22 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, UTEP is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. UTEP has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 49.72% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

UTEP is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? UTEP can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.57 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Disruptive plays are a part of the fabric of this team’s defensive effort. Game changing plays that drive Offensive Coordinators and Quarterbacks crazy, they find ways to deliver. Getting more specific, this front seven is a cause of a lot of headaches for offenses. They may be good enough to cause trouble in pass rush with just four rushers!UTEP is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

UTEP Team Offense Preview

UTEP has had 69 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.75 plays per drive. UTEP runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Passing plays make up 48.36% of their play calls.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

UTEP struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.4 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the UTEP Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. UTEP is a better passing team than running team this season.

North Texas Team Defense Preview

North Texas has had 96 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.61 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. North Texas has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. North Texas opponents pass the football 48.61% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.34 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. North Texas has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

North Texas Team Offense Preview

North Texas has had 98 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.37 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. North Texas has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. North Texas passes the football 47.53% of the time.Relatively speaking, this is a team that favors run/pass balance.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. North Texas can take credit for 3.36 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

North Texas has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. North Texas is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. North Texas has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The UTEP Roster

The Players to Watch for UTEP

Gavin Hardison QB 6-3 205

This season, Gavin Hardison has put up 1419 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown 5 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 117.4thus far this season. Gavin Hardison has thrown 5 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Gavin Hardison has -30.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 6.33 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 26.0 times this season, which puts him in the 64.51 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Deion Hankins RB 6-0 215

This season, Deion Hankins has 493 rushing yards on 99 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 7 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Deion Hankins picked up 3 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jacob Cowing WR 5-11 170

This season, Jacob Cowing picked up 573 yards. He caught the ball 36 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Keenan Stewart DT 6-2 305

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for UTEP, Keenan Stewart has 29 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 6 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 96.4 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.88 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Praise Amaewhule DE 6-3 245.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for UTEP, Praise Amaewhule has 14 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 7 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 93.64 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 6 times this season, which put him in the 97.86 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Broderick Harrell DB 5-11 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for UTEP, Broderick Harrell had 32 tackles which puts him in the 81.13 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 86.13 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Broderick Harrell as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 38.0 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Ilijah Johnson CB 5-11 180

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for UTEP, Ilijah Johnson had 4 tackles which puts him in the 29.46 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 34.7 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Ilijah Johnson as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 36.4 percentile among Corners this season.

The North Texas Roster

The Players to Watch for North Texas

Austin Aune QB 6-2 216

This season, Austin Aune has put up 1348 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 138.9thus far this season. Austin Aune has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Austin Aune has 7.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 35.96 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 22.0 times this season, which puts him in the 57.41 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Deandre Torrey RB 5-7 195

This season, Deandre Torrey has 636 rushing yards on 107 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 6 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Deandre Torrey picked up 14 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 3 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jaelon Darden WR 5-9 174

This season, Jaelon Darden picked up 1017 yards. He caught the ball 66 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 15 receiving touchdowns this season.

Dion Novil DL 6-4 330.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for North Texas, Dion Novil has 37 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 95.73 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 80.93 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Makyle Sanders S 6-0 210.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for North Texas, Makyle Sanders had 50 tackles which puts him in the 94.78 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 32.02 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Makyle Sanders as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes this season, which puts him in the 94.49 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

UTEP vs. North Texas Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: UTEP 25 North Texas 40

Spread Pick: North Texas -10.5 -106 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: North Texas -350 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 62.5 -105 Pinnacle Sports