UNT hit the halfway point of the season last night with a win over Middle Tennessee. The Mean Green rolled 34-7 in one of its best all-around performances in recent years.
At 3-3, UNT is squarely in the hunt for its first bowl berth since 2004.
What’s left out there and what are UNT’s chances. Funny you should ask, as that is the topic of tonight’s notes:
Saturday, at Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) – This game had all the makings of an intriguing affair over the summer and at the beginning of the season. UNT brought on Kansas transfer quarterback Brock Berglund in the offseason, while Tech signed Texas Tech transfer Scotty Young, who was also talking to UNT. Young is a former Ryan standout. Oh, the story lines … that all went out the window. UNT stuck with Derek Thompson, Tech went with freshman Ryan Higgins after benching Young early in the year. UNT fares about as well out of Apogee Stadium as milk out of the fridge, but this is a game that the Mean Green could (and some would say should) win. Look out for Tech’s really good running back Kenneth Dixon.
Oct. 26, at Southern Miss (0-5, 0-1 C-USA) – USM is horrible, which will give half of UNT’s athletic department a chance to return to its old stomping grounds in triumphant fashion in the “Rick V. Bowl” Yeah, UNT’s AD worked for a long, long time at Southern Miss, which right now is a Southern Mess. The Eagles lost to Florida International, which is still trying to overcome the inexplicable move of firing Mario Cristobal, which is looking worse and worse all the time. This is a game UNT should win.
Oct. 31, Rice (4-2, 3-0 C-USA) – The smart money was on Rice to be really good again this year. Sure enough, the Owls are good and will present a challenge on Halloween night in a nationally televised game. Rice struggled some offensively early in the season, but seems to have found its form again behind quarterback Taylor McHargue, who has thrown for 1,009 yards. UNT is at home, but this will be one of the toughest games left on the schedule.
Nov. 9, UTEP (1-5, 0-3 C-USA) – UTEP is another really bad team left on UNT’s schedule. The Miners will likely head into this game riding a six-game losing streak. Jameill Showers has thrown for 1,259 yards and is one of the few players who is having a good year for UTEP. This is another game UNT should win.
Nov. 23, UTSA (2-5, 1-2 C-USA) – The “North Texas Fans Wing Zone Green Kool-Aid Suicide Pact Game” is suddenly looking less worrisome. UTSA hung with Rice, but has lost three straight since beating UTEP. Eric Soza has thrown for 1,642 yards and could pose some problems. UNT is a veteran team, though. I have a feeling UNT’s players understand what losing to a team that played its first game just a couple of years ago would mean for a program celebrating its 100th anniversary. UNT fans would lose their … well, let’s just say they would lose something.
Nov. 30, at Tulsa (2-4, 1-1 C-USA) – Don’t let Tulsa’s record fool you. The Golden Hurricane lost to Oklahoma, Iowa State, Rice (barely) and a Bowling Green team that is 5-2. This will be a tough game for UNT to win on the road. UNT wants to be sure to have won its sixth game before heading out to face Tulsa, which has beaten UNT 10 straight times.
Bottom line, there are three games UNT should win left on the schedule — Southern Miss, UTEP and UTSA. Louisiana Tech is a little closer to being an even game on the road. UNT could pull off the upset against Rice or Tulsa as well, but UNT’s chances to win those two games is not as high.
UNT should get to six wins, but you always wonder. Something always seems to go wrong. Hopefully that trend will come to an end this year.
While we are at it, several UNT players made the classy move of thanking their fans for showing up for at Apogee for their win over Middle Tennessee:
Appreciate all the support at Apogee last night! The fans were great! #GMG
— Zach Orr (@ZO35) October 13, 2013
— Will Wright (@yung_smook) October 13, 2013
And finally, a recruiting tidbit on an offensive lineman UNT has been after for some time:
— Damon Sayles (@DamonSayles) October 14, 2013