Wanting to learn a little more about North Texas? We talked a little with Adam Woodyard of Underdog Dynasty to learn some more about North Texas and they’re prolific offense. Big thanks to Adam and you can check out their work about North Texas and the G5 schools all year.
1. In the Q&A on Underdog Dynasty, you alluded to Chad Morris having UNT’s number, what have past games against him looked like?
For North Texas, not great. Despite Morris’ three years at SMU being-- to my mind-- thoroughly underwhelming (though there is some disagreement in the UDD slack channel on that), his SMU squad beat UNT every year he was there, including his 2-10 year in 2015. Littrell took over in 2016, but even then it was a QB battle that North Texas won, but a defensive battle that North Texas lost. Fine was clearly the better QB (witness Week 1 this year), but Courtland Sutton caught 4 TD’s a year ago where our star RB was held to 36 yards. It just struck me that I think Littrell was outcoached, which worries me about this weekend.
2. How terrified should Hog fans be of Mason Fine?
The last thing I want to do is upset a Razorbacks fan, but without being a homer about it, last years North Texas team (a week after losing to SMU again) was down only 17-14 at the end of the 3rd quarter against Iowa, and Iowa is a damn good Big Ten team. This years North Texas team is improved, on both sides of the ball, and 14 different receivers caught a pass last week against our FCS opponent. If your defense is a solid SEC defense you should be able to contain him, but if it’s still mostly Bielema players, man, I dunno.
3. A lot of the talk about North Texas centers around their passing game, but how does the defense hold up?
A year ago, objectively terrible, but it’s been solid this year against comparable teams. We held SMU to no points until the 4th quarter, but the points our FCS opponent scored last week weren’t exactly during garbage time. Honestly I think this is as solid as they’ve been in years, and led by Kansas State transfer Bryce English. Without English, it did okay against Iowa a year ago, but I don’t need to tell you that the SEC is a whole ‘nother animal.
4. Your leading rusher (DeAndre Torrey) has just 50 yards on the year, is the running game a bit of an afterthought in this offense?
I see you’ve done your research. Yes, a year ago we had superstar Jeffrey Wilson, who’d regularly rack up 200+ yards a game (except Iowa), he went and graduated so we’re still finding that balance. I don’t think it’s an afterthought-- you gotta have both depending on the strengths of the opposing defense-- but it’s definitely taken a back seat to obscene passing yardage, and there’s been no need for a superstar to emerge just yet when your QB went over 400 passing yards in his first two games.
5. How has UNT historically looked on the road? Any concerns about the team making their first road trip of the season?
To answer the first question first: Not great, and I wish I could tell you why. Part of it is, as a G5, most of your road games are money games, but after that I dunno, is it that lack of Texas humidity? UNT was 6-0 at home last year and 3-4 on the road. I don’t think they’re intimidated by the hostile atmosphere, and luckily it’s only about a five hour ride from Denton to Fayetteville. As to the second question, as road trips go, this isn’t bad, though will be our toughest test of the season, regardless of location.