UNT Football just might earn bowl eligibility this season

UNT quarterback Mason Fine and the Mean Green are halfway to earning a bowl berth. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
UNT quarterback Mason Fine and the Mean Green are halfway to earning a bowl berth. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /

As the UNT Mean Green reach the midway point of the football season, a bowl spot has become a real possibility.

The UNT football team is 3-3 through six games, meaning they are just three wins away from earning a bowl berth. It’s uncharted waters lately for the Mean Green, who haven’t even sniffed a chance at postseason play since 2013. While the road that remains still has some bumps and obstacles left to navigate, the finish line is within reach for Coach Seth Littrell and company.

Who could stop them?

The Army Golden Knights — Saturday, October 22, 11 AM CST

After taking a much-needed week off, the Mean Green have a road date in West Point, New York against Army this Saturday. With a 4-2 record and a run-heavy option offense, they’re a challenge.

The Golden Knights are a tricky lot. You know they’re going to run, and you know they’re going to run the option, yet you still have a hard time. They run the option with precision and efficiency that can keep them a step ahead each time their offense lines up.

The odds don’t look good, but even a solid game from UNT could mean a lot in this game. While a loss wouldn’t destroy the Mean Green’s season, a win could bring the mojo this team needs.

The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs — Saturday, November 5, 4:30 PM CST

The Bulldogs are currently riding a three game winning streak, and it could be up to five by the time they descend upon Denton next month. They have a well-balanced offense and a defense that plays the run well. In 14 previous meetings, eight have gone Louisiana Tech’s way.

The fact that the game is at Apogee helps things a bit, but the Bulldogs are at the top of the Conference USA West Division for a reason. A North Texas win would be monumental in this game — especially in front of a homecoming crowd.

The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers — Saturday, November 12, 12:30 PM CST

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When the Mean Green travel to Bowling Green, they’ll have their hands full. Don’t be fooled by their three losses. Their first loss came early in the season against an Alabama team that many believe will win it all this year.

The other two were by a combined four points against Vanderbilt in overtime and the same Louisiana Tech team that leads the C-USA West. Not to mention, Western Kentucky has a strong aerial attack and a stingy rush defense.

Who can they beat?

The UTSA Roadrunners — Saturday, October 29, 6 PM CST

This season’s meeting between UNT and UTSA will mark their fourth clash since the Roadrunners joined Conference USA. The Mean Green are 1-2 against them, which drives the Denton faithful crazy and gives UTSA something to brag about in their brief existence. UNT has yet to win a game in San Antonio, making the task a bit more daunting.

While North Texas would love nothing more than to march into the Alamodome and kick them around, this is still a proverbial monkey that hangs around the shoulders of the program. Given the history of this series, it’s pretty much a must-win game for the Mean Green.

The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles — Saturday, November 19, 4:30 PM CST

Year-to-year, the Golden Eagles seem to have some strange “Jekyll and Hyde” sort of history. They have a chance to buck that trend this season though, with a solid start to this point. With the Mean Green hosting, the matchup favors North Texas.

The Southern Miss. run defense is very beatable and it’s a flaw the Mean Green have the tools to exploit well. A North Texas win isn’t exactly expected, but a loss could be devastating to bowl aspirations for the Mean Green.

The UTEP Miners — Saturday, November 26, Time TBD

North Texas has played UTEP pretty well recently, and the Miners are currently 1-5. This season finale in El Paso could have everything riding on it for the Mean Green.

Running teams have feasted against the Miners, which bodes well for UNT. If the Mean Green enter this game with five wins, then bowl season is all but assured.

Next: Five reasons the 2016 Mean Green will be different

In the meantime, Coach Littrell will not have his staff or players looking this far ahead. Their only concern right now is the Golden Eagles. And that’s the way it should be.