Lost in SMU's blowout win over North Texas last week was the performance of Mason Fine. North Texas sophomore signal caller spent last season trying to survive college football if Saturday is any indication, Fine is taking the next step and becoming an excellent college quarterback.
Two starts in Fine looks more in control of the offense and most importantly, able to use all areas of the field. Through two games Fine is 47 of 68 passing for 648 yards, a 68% completion percentage. Fine has improved his yards per completion from 6 in 2016 to over nine this season. Saturday against a game SMU team, Fine threw for a career best 424 yards and three touchdowns. Last year Fine threw for 300 yards or more just once in nine starts.
Through two games Fine's completion percentage is 10 points higher than in 2016 and while the sample size is small, the improvement isn't shocking. Fine is a gym rat, who took a sip from a fire hydrant last year. The game is slowing down, his time in the film room and on the field should continue to yield dividends.
Fine is more confident at pre-snap and more comfortable in the pocket, making the tools of the Mean Green offense more accessible. Saturday against SMU, Fine's 32 completions went to ten different receivers. Five of those ten receivers averaged ten or more yards per catch. The majority of North Texas' 2017 pass catchers are new to either the program or to the field.
Last season the Mean Green relied heavily on Jeffery Wilson and the run game to carry the offensive load. Fine played a complimentary road, up until his injury. Through two games Fine is showing the progress that could mean a big 2017 season.