Mean Green travel to Arkansas to protect unbeaten record

Mean Green travel to Arkansas to protect unbeaten record

Mean Green travel to Arkansas to protect unbeaten record
September 13
10:00 2018

The Mean Green football team is set to face the Arkansas Razorbacks in their third straight non-conference game on Saturday, Sept. 15 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

This is the first time this season North Texas will be traveling after starting the season 2-0, the first time since 1994. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

The history between these two teams goes back to 1947. Since then, the teams have met a total of nine times, the most recent meeting taking place in 2007 that resulted in a 66-7 Razorback win over North Texas. Outscored by more than 250 points in those nine games, the Mean Green have their toughest challenge of the season ahead of them.

The Mean Green have struggled against teams in Power Five conferences, and since 2008 the team has lost each of the last 13 meetings with Power Five opponents.

The Mean Green’s 58 points against the University of the Incarnate Word are a season-high for the team, as they now average 52 points per game and look to keep the high-scoring offense going.

“I think we improved from last week, and that’s all you can ask for: To keep improving each week,” North Texas quarterback Mason Fine said. “I think we need to be more physical on the perimeter — we need to watch film to see what we need to work on and get ready for Arkansas.”

Sophomore running back DeAndre Torrey received the starting nod for the Mean Green following his three touchdown performance against the Incarnate Word.

“I’m happy coach trusts me enough to start me,” Torrey said. “The [offensive] line did a great job. Of course having Mason means they can’t stack the box, so that really makes it easy.”

In his third year with the Mean Green, head coach Seth Littrell wants to establish higher standards for both himself and North Texas football.

“Our team has done a nice job of resetting and understanding that we have to prepare the right way,” Littrell said, “I’m excited about the start we’ve had going 2-0, but we still have a lot to work on. We are nowhere near where we need to be.”

The Mean Green have a chance to do exactly that by going to a hostile environment and playing in front of 76,000 people in the Southeastern Conference. In a conference that has claimed 38 national titles, a win in Arkansas can set North Texas in the right direction.

This will be coach Littrell’s first game against an SEC opponent as a head coach.

The Razorbacks were recently stunned by Colorado State University in an unprecedented 34-27 upset last week. The Colorado State Rams scored 25 straight points in the second half to complete the 18-point comeback against Arkansas’ first-year head coach Chad Morris and the Razorbacks.

Arkansas was leading 27-17 in the fourth quarter, but a 96-yard touchdown drive from Colorado State gave them the necessary spark to complete the comeback. The Rams were able to tie the game later in the fourth quarter with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Wyatt Bryan. On their next drive, Colorado State would take the lead 34-27, and with eight seconds left, Arkansas could not come up with a play to save the game.

Morris has now dropped to 1-1 on the season, and looks to get back on track Saturday.

“We have to come together and learn how to finish,” Morris said in a post-game press conference. “We have to continue to play hard, and we will. These guys and this coaching staff will pull together.”

This game will not be the first time these two head coaches have been on opposing sidelines. Before joining the Razorbacks, Morris coached the Southern Methodist University Mustangs for three seasons, winning three games against the Mean Green and Coach Littrell: 31-13, 34-21 and 54-32 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.

This is also the third week in a row that Coach Littrell will be facing a head coach with whom he has a previous professional relationship. SMU head coach Sonny Dykes coached alongside Littrell at Texas Tech, where Incarnate Word head coach Eric Morris attended and was coached by the two.

The game will be broadcasted on the SEC Network at 3 p.m. on Sept. 15 Central Standard Time (CST).

Featured Image: Junior wide receiver Jalen Guyton (right) celebrates with fellow junior wide receiver Micheal Lawrence (left) after a successful play during their game against the University of the Incarnate Word. Jessika Hardy

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Josue Hernandez

Josue Hernandez

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