North Texas won its fourth straight game on Saturday when it rolled past Florida International 49-7 at Riccardo Silva Stadium.
The Mean Green moved to 5-6 on the season heading into their regular season finale against UTSA.
Here are five thoughts:
1. UNT is suddenly looking at a huge showdown against UTSA
Raise your hand if you thought UNT would be here at this point in the season a few weeks ago.
The Mean Green had lost six straight games not too long ago. It’s responded with four straight wins to set up a huge game with UTSA.
The Roadrunners remained unbeaten after a thrilling win over UAB. They will roll into Apogee Stadium unbeaten and nationally ranked.
UNT needs a win to become bowl eligible at 6-6. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.
2. It’s time to acknowledge that UNT’s defense has something going
UNT was tremendous defensively against FIU. Kevin Wood came up with a huge interception early and the Mean Green pitched a shutout in the first half.
We were told it would take some time for UNT to get used to Phil Bennett’s system.
The Mean Green finally seem to have hit their stride after holding a fourth straight opponent under 24 points.
3. UNT’s running game was terrific
It wasn’t much of a secret that UNT was going to run the ball and run it some more on a night it rained and then rained some more.
It just didn’t matter. FIU couldn’t stop the Mean Green. DeAndre Torrey rushed for 109 yards, while Ikaika Ragsdale added 102 yards. UNT rolled up 378 yards on the ground.
4. Austin Aune was solid
Austin Aune spent most of the night turning around and handing the ball to UNT’s running backs, but still made a host of key contributions.
He threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another score. Aune finished with 219 passing yards on just 12 attempts
5. Seth Littrell certainly has helped himself
Speculation has run rampant about coach Seth Littrell’s future with the program the last few weeks.
UNT has struggled the last couple of years. What is of little doubt is that Littrell’s situation has improved dramatically since the Mean Green were 1-6. A win over UTSA would land UNT in a bowl.
That goal seemed a long way off not all that long ago. That run certainly has to factor into UNT’s thinking about the future of the program.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.