Better 2013: Louisiana Tech or North Texas?
Since Conference USA has added six new teams for 2013, let’s compare a few of the new squads. We’ll start with Louisiana Tech and North Texas out of the West division.
The Bulldogs were 9-3 in 2012 with an impressive showing against Texas A&M, losing by only two points, 59-57, to the ranked Aggies. The Mean Green didn’t fair as well, finishing at 4-8.
Louisiana Tech, now coached by new hire Skip Holtz, scored 367 more points than North Texas in 2012. The Bulldogs averaged 51.5 points per game to the Mean Green’s 20.9. However, Tech’s defense gave up 128 more points than that of North Texas.
Looking at the difference in points scored can give you an idea of the contrast in total yards – Tech had 6,935 and North Texas gained 4,731 – the Bulldogs doing almost double its damage through the air.
Quarterback Colby Cameron, now a senior for Tech, had a ridiculous 2012 with 4,147 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, and a 68.8 percent completion rate. Cameron won the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Offensive of the Year award, and set the NCAA record for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception, breaking Russell Wilson’s mark of 379 on Nov. 10, 2012.
With Cameron returning under center, the Bulldogs will have high hopes for 2013, but Cameron will be without his top two targets, Quinton Patton (1,392 yards) and Myles White (718), who graduated. Patton is one of the top wide receiver prospects for the NFL Draft because of his height, length, and swell acceleration off the line. D.J. Banks, who caught 33 passes for 434 yards last season, will have to step up as Cameron’s main target for 2013.
Freshman running back Kenneth Dixon had 1,228 rushing yards in 2012 for the Bulldogs, and was backed up with 769 yards from senior Ray Holley. Dixon will be in Tech’s backfield for a few more years.
Tech had the fifth-best offense in FBS last year and the team shouldn’t drop off much in 2013. North Texas ranked 85th in offense, but could improve with its move to C-USA and relatively young roster. Mean Green will have to beef up its offense for a chance at a winning record.
It’s hard to predict the outcome for Louisiana Tech and North Texas in 2013 because both teams have new competition. However, I’ll take the Bulldogs over Mean Green any day. North Texas has a good defense, but very few defenses can stop Cameron from lighting up the field, and he’s only going to get better with age.