North Texas Daily

Football primed to take on Northwestern State in season debut

Football primed to take on Northwestern State in season debut

Football primed to take on Northwestern State in season debut
September 03
12:00 2021

Mean Green football is taking on Northwestern State University in their season opener on Saturday, Sept. 4 as Apogee Stadium opens back up to full capacity for the first time since Nov. 13, 2019.

Head coach Seth Littrell says he is excited to finally welcome in a packed stadium and believes that his players will benefit from the morale of the fans. 

“We got a great atmosphere at Apogee stadium with our students, alumni and fans,” Littrell said. “We’re really excited to get the place rocking and we feed off of that energy there’s no doubt.”

With so many young players on the team this year and seven freshmen making it onto the depth for the upcoming game, Littrell believes that the future is looking bright for the Mean Green.

“We have a young football team,” Littrell said. “A lot of these guys, though, have taken a lot of snaps this past year for a lot of different reasons, but gained some experience which will hopefully help them this fall.”

A big talking point for the Mean Green during training camp has been the quarterback competition between junior quarterback Jace Ruder and junior quarterback Austin Aune. With Littrell being impressed with the performance of both Aune and Ruder, both quarterbacks will be taking turns running the offense on Saturday.

Despite the quarterback rotation, senior running back DeAndre Torrey has full faith in both of the quarterbacks due to the work they have put in during the off-season.

“I have 100 percent confidence in whoever they pick,” Torrey said. “Both guys are dudes. Just seeing them practice every day, they stay after and work with me, work with the receivers. Both of them know exactly what they are doing and they’re going to do the best for this team whenever they’re in.”

Another major talking point coming into this game is how the Mean Green are going to replace running back Oscar Adaway III. Even though North Texas has some younger running backs in sophomore Isaiah Johnson and freshman Ikaika Ragsdale, the Mean Green will be relying on Torrey to answer the bell as the top runner for the team.

“Before he [Adaway] went down I was doing a lot of receiver work as well,” Torrey said. “But now we’re kind of thin in the running back room, so I’ll be spending most of my time there this year.”

One player that North Texas will be keeping an eye on is running back Scooter Adams. Adams was the leading rusher for the Demons last season, rushing for 681 yards in six games. His highlights of last season included two 200-yard games while scoring three touchdowns on one of those occasions.

Stopping Adams will be the first true test of this new Mean Green defense that saw most of the defensive coaching staff get replaced. Captain and senior linebacker K.D. Davis expressed his faith in new defensive coordinator Phil Bennet and the new culture that he has implemented into the team.

“He comes in every day with a very high intensity, he wants nothing but the best for us,” Davis said. “He comes in and coaches us hard every day, he doesn’t have his on or off days. He’s on go every day.”

In the end, Littrell understands expecting perfection in the first game of the season is a stretch. What he is looking for, however, is hard play and a tidy game.

“It won’t be perfect early, it never is, but I feel like this is a team that is mature enough to understand the different situations,” Littrell said. “I’m just wanting to see a clean football game. I want to see us go out and execute and play as hard as we can.”

Photo courtesy Carson Kropp via Twitter

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Caleb Yum

Caleb Yum

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