The Troy Trojans (10-2) and North Texas Mean Green (9-4) play on December 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. E.T. This is the second of six games that start the college bowl season. There are four more bowl games after this one on that day with nine more to follow prior to Christmas Day. Our Troy plays North Texas 2017 New Orleans Bowl pick has the Trojans favored by seven points and the over/under is at 62.0. The Trojans have won six straight and took the Sun Belt Conference title. The Mean Green are four-and-one for their last five, losing in the Conference USA title game to the Florida Atlantic Owls 41-17. North Texas got to the title game by finishing first in C-USA’s West Division.
Troy can score points, and unlike the Mean Green, they can stop opponents from scoring. Troy’s defense has served them well this season, as they have limited opponents to 17.5 PPG. CB/WR Blace Brown has five of Troy’s 15 picks, while LB Hunter Reese has nailed five of the team’s 36 sacks and 11.5 of their 111 TFL. This is a tough D with many outstanding performers. Plus, the Trojans are putting up 30.0 PPG on the scoreboard. QB Brandon Silvers (62.9 COMP%, 13 TDs, 6 INTs) has passed for close to 3,000 yards with Deondre Douglas (48 REC, 13.1 AVG, 4 TDs) being his favorite target. Senior RB Jordan Chun leads an impressive group of ground gainers. He’s rushed for close to 800 yards and made 10 TDs while averaging 5.0 YPA.
- Very tough D
- Ground attack can wear opponents down
- Pass attack offers balance
North Texas Overview
Although the Mean Green have a very fine offense, which is averaging 35.9 PPG, their defense is sporadic, allowing 33.8 PPG and 208.1 YPG on the ground. That final stat is especially worrisome versus the Troy attack. North Texas offers top rush and pass attacks. QB Mason Fine (64.9 COMP%, 28 TDs, 13 INTs) has a great group of receivers to toss to, including Jalen Guyton (48 REC, 15.9 AVG, 9 TDs) and Rico Bussey Jr. (43 REC, 14.3 AVG, 6 TDs). The ground game includes senior Jeffery Wilson (188 ATT, 1,215 YDs, 6.5 AVG, 16 TDs) and freshman Nic Smith (132 ATT, 665 YDs, 5.0 AVG, 6 TDS). LB E.J. Ejiya leads a solid QB containment squad with 100 tackles and seven sacks. He also has 10 TFL. North Texas interceptions are few and far between, and Troy will try to exploit that fact.
Mean Green Summary
- Excellent pass and rush attacks
- Sound QB rush
- D cannot stop run, giving up more than 200 YPG
Three Major New Orleans Bowl Takeaway
Our three major takeaways for our Troy plays North Texas 2017 New Orleans Bowl pick are:
- Mean Green brings explosive offense to field
- Troy has accomplished, stingy D and fine rush attack on O
- North Texas has tough time versus rush attack
Our New Orleans Bowl Picks
We do think that there will be a lot of points scored and that this game will be closer than most think. Our Troy plays North Texas 2017 New Orleans Bowl pick likes the over at 62.0. We are going with Troy at -7.0. That’s our first pick of the 2017- 18 college football bowl season.