North Texas Daily

UNT football plays its first game of the Conference USA era

UNT football plays its first game of the Conference USA era

October 04
15:11 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

With its nonconference schedule behind them, the UNT football team sets its eyes upon Tulane University in its first conference game of the season as a member of Conference USA on Saturday.

UNT (2-2) is one of six teams in C-USA that hasn’t played a conference game, while Tulane (3-2, 1-0) defeated Louisiana Tech 24-15 three weeks ago for its first conference victory of the season.

Coming off a 45-21 loss to Georgia and its first bye week of the season, the Mean Green prepare for a Tulane team that has several similarities. Both defenses are in the top five in the nation in creating turnovers – UNT is fifth with 13 and Tulane leads the nation with 16.

Both teams average 29 points a game on offense and allow 26 points per game defensively. UNT is second in the conference in passing efficiency and the Green Wave has the third-best pass efficiency defense.

This game is Tulane’s homecoming and UNT is looking to spoil the celebrations.

“It’s going to be a tough challenge, there is no denying that,” senior linebacker Zach Orr said. “We want to ruin their homecoming and to do that we have to play our game and the rest will take care of itself.

The Mean Green will face the Green Wave at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, a venue that shares a rich history with the UNT football program.

From 2001-2004, the Mean Green took part in four consecutive New Orleans Bowls and won the program’s only title in 2002 against the University of Cincinnati in the same stadium.

“It’s part of the great tradition and history of this place and the great run that [former head coach] Darrell Dickey and that team had,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “I respect the past, we embrace it and we want to make those past teams proud of us in New Orleans.”

The Mean Green has yet to win on the road this season with losses at Ohio and Georgia. Defeating Tulane this weekend would give the Mean Green its best start at 3-2 since 1994.

“We have to come out firing on all cylinders. We can’t start off slow,” senior running back Brandin Byrd said. “We have to be able to play a complete game especially on the road in a game like this.”

Kick off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on the Fox College Sports Central.

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