USM faces C-USA’s top-ranked offense in North Texas

USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro. Courtesy: WDAM


Southern Miss (2-1) opens conference play on Saturday against the No. 1 ranked offense in the C-USA: North Texas.

The Mean Green (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) average over 500 yards of total offense per game. North Texas comes off a 46-43 shootout win over UAB in which running back Jeffery Wilson rushed for 211 yards.

UNT’s quarterback Mason Fine is a playmaker as well. The sophomore has over 1,000 yards passing and nine touchdowns through four games. USM defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro compared Fine to 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

“[Fine]’s a little Johnny Manzielish,” Pecoraro said. “He’ll escape the pocket, he’ll try to extend the play. He’s a good football player, he really is. They’re loaded on offense, they really are. They put up a lot of points. They put up 50 points, 40 points, 30 points, I mean they put some points on the board. We’re definitely going to have to come up and play on Saturday, that’s for sure.”

“I just know they present a challenge, they’re a good football team,” said USM head coach Jay Hopson. “They wouldn’t be number one in Conference USA in offense if they weren’t a good football team. Certainly a challenge to our defense.”

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