It all comes down to one game for North Texas.
A win in their regular season finale on the road against UTEP means the Mean Green would become bowl eligible, something not very many people would have expected at the start of the season.
“We just wanted a chance at this point of the season to be able to accomplish our mission, which is to win our bowl game,” said North Texas head coach Seth Littrell. “These men have bought in and worked extremely hard to put themselves in this position to have that opportunity.”
That opportunity will come against a 3-7 UTEP team that has lost three of its last four games. The Mean Green are 5-6 overall with a road record of 2-3 this season. The five wins are the most for North Texas since 2013 when they finished 9-4 with a victory in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
“When your back’s against the wall, it takes a number of guys stepping up and understanding what we can do as a football team,” said Littrell. “It takes all three phases. It’s pretty much winner take all. We need to stay focused on who we are and what we believe in.”
A key to the Mean Green’s success this season has been improvement on both sides of the ball. North Texas is scoring 9.1 points per game more while allowing 10.9 points less than they did last season when they finished 1-11. It’s a dramatic turnaround that has allowed the Mean Green to be in this position under Littrell, who’s in his first-year as head coach in Denton.
“I think it would mean a lot,” said Littrell. “It just validates that we are on the right track to do some very special things.”
Should the Mean Green become bowl eligible, it would be for just the third time in the last 13 years, and ninth time overall in school history.
“I think our guys understand what’s on the line,” added Littrell.
Mean Green Quick Hits:
* Defensive back Nate Brooks and kicker Trevor Moore both won Conference USA Player of the Week awards.
* Brooks was named conference defensive player of the week after getting two interceptions, forcing a fumble and had six tackles in the Mean Green’s 29-23 win over Southern Miss.
* Moore was named the conference special teams player of the week after converting on a pair of field goals and three extra points. Those three extended his school record to 92-for-92 on PATs during his time with the Mean Green.
Written by C. James