Added at the last minute to ensure that all bowl-eligible teams were able to play in the postseason, the Frisco Football Classic is a new addition to the bowl slate. Still, it landed a rather intriguing matchup between North Texas out of Conference USA and Miami (OH) out of the MAC.
North Texas won five straight games to close out the season, including a 45-23 decision over upstart UTSA in the season finale in Denton, Teas. Miami (OH) fell to MAC East champ Kent State 48-47 in overtime to close out the regular season, but had dominating wins over Bowling Green and Buffalo prior to that loss.
What should you expect on Wednesday in Frisco? Let’s break down the game and make picks straight up and against the spread.
North Texas vs. Miami (OH): Need to know
RedHawk defense is no joke: Defensive lineman Kameron Butler and linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. landed on the first-team All-MAC team after the season, and for good reason. Pace finished second in the conference in tackles with 116, and both stars notched 13 tackles for loss this season. Defensive lineman Lonnie Phelps and defensive back Matthew Salopek also established themselves as staples in a star-studded two-deep. The RedHawks are a force on defense, which might make this one an old-school slugfest.
Getting hot: The North Texas offense has been building to a fever pitch this season. It averaged 4.73 yards per play in September, 5.35 in October and 6.33 in November, which coincided with its run to bowl eligibility. That offense is paced by a punishing rushing attack that has topped the 300-yard mark in three of its last four games. If you wrote off the Mean Green early in the season, it’s time to take one final look after an impressive close to the year.
The trend is your friend: North…