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‘I like where the Mean Green are’: Football takes on C-USA media day

‘I like where the Mean Green are’: Football takes on C-USA media day

‘I like where the Mean Green are’: Football takes on C-USA media day
July 28
10:56 2022

With the beginning of the season in sight, football faced the media at Conference USA media day. 

Head coach Seth Littrell and two players — senior linebacker KD Davis and sophomore tight end Jake Roberts — represented North Texas at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The 2022 season will be the Mean Green’s last competing in Conference USA.

“Really excited about this group — the things they’ve done in the offseason to prepare and continue to build our culture [and] our leadership, the way they’ve worked has been awesome to watch,” Littrell said. “This is always a fun time of the year getting back and around the guys.”

At the end of June, it appeared that Davis would not return to North Texas as he entered the transfer portal. After visiting other universities, the senior linebacker decided to remain with the Mean Green. 2022 will be his fourth and final year in the program. 

Since Davis’ debut year in 2018, his performance has steadily increased in value, culminating in the senior’s first appearance on the All-C-USA First Team. Had Davis not returned, two of the three starting linebackers would have been missing from North Texas’ 2022 roster. 

“Since I came back throughout the spring, I was worried I wasn’t 100 percent here,” Davis said. “Going out and seeing things and coming back, I’m 100 percent in and my whole mindset has changed — my leadership has elevated.”

North Texas and five other C-USA schools are moving to the American Athletic Conference next July. North Texas has not won a C-USA football title and its highest finish came in 2017 when the team lost to the Lane Kiffin-led Florida Atlantic University in the championship. 

With its days numbered in C-USA, Littrell said that the team is remaining focused on competing in the conference. 

“Conference USA is a really good conference and has a lot of great teams — a lot of great teams [and] a lot of great players,” Littrell said. “I know it’s going to be a battle throughout the season […] I got to focus on the task at hand.”

Three teams have already departed C-USA en route to the Sun Belt Conference, downsizing the conference’s field to 11 teams in 2022. As a result of the departures, C-USA rescheduled its games accordingly, resulting in the Mean Green opening their season on Aug. 27 against the University of Texas-El Paso rather than a home contest against rival and future conference-mate Southern Methodist University previously scheduled for Sept. 3.

With the unconventional schedule due to extenuating circumstances, North Texas will not play another conference game until Oct. 1 after the Texas-El Paso opener. 

“A sense of urgency has to be there,” Roberts said. “Starting week zero is already a jump that’s a different swing of things and being a conference game just puts the stakes up even more, so we got to be ready to roll.”

Fall camp begins on Aug. 29 for the Mean Green. The Mean Green still have questions to answer before the opener in El Paso. While junior quarterback Austin Aune seemed to retain his starting spot following spring, the addition of former University of Memphis quarterback Grant Gunnell could create a battle for the starting job. 

Coming off of a 6-7 season in which the team won five straight to gain bowl eligibility, North Texas enters 2022 hoping to build off the momentum of last season’s push.

“It’s going to be a good year — I’m excited to see where our offense is at,” Roberts said. “I like where the Mean Green are. We’re going to be in a good spot.”

Featured Image: The UNT football team practices in the Lovelace and McNatt Families Practice Facility on April 6, 2022. Photo by Kristian Freeman

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

Senior Sports Writer.

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