UNT picked up a historic win last night, knocking off Louisiana Tech 28-13 for its second straight victory. The highlights are at the top of this post.
The Mean Green beat Middle Tennessee last week and can now claim having won back-to-back games for the first time since 2004. UNT had gone 102 games without winning consecutive games.
UNT is now 4-3 and has a clear path to a bowl game with a winless Southern Miss team looming next week and two other highly winnable games against UTEP and UTSA left on the schedule in addition to games against Rice at home and Tulsa on the road.
And in a side note, holy cow. Southern Miss has completely fallen apart after one bad coaching hire. Todd Monken is trying to revive the program, but it looks like he will need some time.
At UNT, Dan McCarney is on the verge of hitting what would be an amazing milestone in just his third year after taking over a program in a ditch. Amazing what happens when you fix the problem.
UNT is playing some of the best defense it has in years and was on top of its game again against Tech. The Bulldogs had 404 yards, but UNT held Tech without points on two trips into the red zone.
Zach Orr had a monster game with 17 tackles and Zac Whitfield had two interceptions. UNT is developing pretty nicely under veteran defensive coordinator John Skladany.
One overlooked aspect of the game was the performance of Derek Thompson, who threw a bad pick early, but came back to hit on 16 of his 24 passes for 221 yards. His 61-yard touchdown pass to Brelan Chancellor was one of the key plays of the game. He also had a 35-yard strike down the sideline to Darnell Smith to set up another touchdown.
Tech, one of the better pass rushing teams in Conference USA, didn’t have a sack on the day.
UNT really seems to be in position to get on a roll now. Next week’s game at Southern Miss is one that the Mean Green should win. From there, who knows?
More and more it looks like UNT has a real shot at its first bowl game since 2004.