FRISCO, Texas — Miami football is set to square off against North Texas Thursday, December 23, in the first ever Frisco Football Classic. Here are some notes from around the bowl game this week.
HOT MEAN GREEN
After starting the year 1-6, North Texas won its final five games of the season to earn bowl eligibility. The Mean Green last lost on Oct. 23, so the RedHawks hope to hand them their first loss in exactly two months Thursday.
North Texas capped off its regular season by beating No. 15 Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) 45-23 on November 27, handing the Roadrunners their first loss of the season.
Frisco’s Toyota stadium is busy this week. The Frisco Football Classic will be the second bowl game played at FC Dallas’s home stadium in 48 hours. San Diego State bested No. 24 UTSA there in the Frisco Bowl on December 21.
The RedHawks will play on a grass field at Toyota Stadium for the first time since they traveled to “The Swamp” to play Florida on Sept. 4, 2010.
The contest is effectively a road game for the RedHawks. The University of North Texas is about a 30 minute drive from the stadium.
Sorenson cited contests against Minnesota and Ohio as good preparation for a potentially hostile environment.
“Obviously, we have to put together a whole game, and that’s been some of the difficulty for us on the road,” Sorenson said. “But we’ve had a lot of time to prepare and a lot of time to scout.”
Senior running back Jaylon Bester is the only player on Miami’s injury report this week, and he’s listed as questionable.
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LIKE A VACATION
Head coach Chuck Martin was excited for the warm weather in Frisco.
“I’d love to go to a bowl anywhere,” Martin said in a press conference a couple weeks ago. “If they had a bowl in Alaska, I’d love to go to the Alaska Bowl … it can get cold in Dallas, but hopefully when we’re there we’ll get some warm weather.”
The RedHawks arrived in Frisco on Sunday, and they’ve had a chance to explore some of the city and unwind a bit since then. Some players went to watch the new Spider-Man movie (it got two thumbs up from seniors Jack Sorenson and Dominique Robinson), and Coach Martin enjoyed a meal at the famous Hutchins BBQ in Dallas.
Players are enjoying the Frisco experience.
“Just being able to go out and hang with the dudes that I’ve been hanging out with since freshman year is amazing. I’m just enjoying my time, going out to movies, going out to eat with them, doing different things like that. Even just chilling in the room with them, just kicking it. It’s been great,” Robinson said.
Sorenson has also enjoyed his week in Texas.
“When you spend six years anywhere, you create some really amazing friendships. It’s a week where I’ve gotten to really take some time and put some focus on some friendships … it’s an awesome opportunity to write a great conclusion to some great friendships and also put the cherry on top of a great story come tomorrow.”
(Odds live as of Wednesday morning. For current odds click here.)
Miami: -2.5 (-110)
North Texas: +2.5 (-110)
North Texas: +115
Here are some trends to keep an eye on:
North Texas is 5-0 against the spread in its last five games
North Texas is 3-18 in their last 21 games as underdogs
Miami is 7-2 against the spread following a loss in its last nine games
HOW TO WATCH
The Frisco Football Classic kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Oxford time on December 23. Here’s how to follow along:
Television: The game will be aired on ESPN
Radio: Fans in Southwestern Ohio and Southeastern Indiana can follow the game over the airwaves at the following frequencies.
AM 1450 (Hamilton, Ohio)
FM 101.3 (Richmond, Ind.)
AM 1230 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
AM 980 (Dayton, Ohio)
Both head coaches are looking for their first ever bowl win at the top of a program. Miami’s Chuck Martin is 0-2 in bowl games as a head coach and North Texas’s Seth Littrell is 0-4.
Miami hasn’t won a bowl game since 2011, when they defeated Middle Tennessee in the GoDaddy Bowl.
North Texas is looking for its first bowl win since 2013 when they beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. It would be their fourth bowl win in program history. The others came against Cincinnati in 2002 (New Orleans Bowl) and Pacific in 1946 (Optimist Bowl).
Miami’s three Mid-American Conference losses in 2021 came by a combined four points
In his last four games sophomore quarterback Brett Gabbert has thrown for 1,475 yards and 15 touchdowns.