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University of North Texas has Chance at Historic Victory Against UTSA

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University of North Texas RB DeAndre Torrey (3) runs in a touchdown against the FIU Panthers. | Image by Manny Flores, Mean Green Sports Website

The University of North Texas (UNT) football team had little hope when their record stood at 1-6 following a six-game losing streak in late October. UNT has since won four consecutive games to get to 5-6 and is one win short of becoming eligible for a bowl game.

UNT’s last loss came on October 23 against Liberty. The following week UNT defeated Rice to start their win streak. The win streak reached four when the Mean Green defeated Florida International 49-7 on the road last Saturday.

The win streak positions UNT to potentially end their season remarkably. Not only would a win in the regular-season finale give UNT a 6-6 record and a chance to win just their third bowl game in program history, but they would also secure just their second win over a ranked team in North Texas football history.

UNT is 1-47 all-time against ranked teams. This Saturday, their opponent is the Associated Press’ 15th ranked UT-San Antonio (UTSA). The Roadrunners are looking to finish off a perfect regular season as they enter at 11-0. The UTSA football program had its inaugural season in 2011 and, in the time since, have developed a rivalry with the Mean Green.

The teams have played eight times, and the series is tied 4-4. Both schools have gained a disdain for each other and now seek to secure landmark wins while wrecking the other’s hopes.

UTSA coach Jeff Traylor understands the nature of the meeting, saying in a press conference, “North Texas can ruin our season, but guess what? We can ruin their season too. So, that’s going to be our mantra. They’re going to try to ruin ours, and we’re going to try to ruin theirs.”

If UNT loses this game, it finishes at 5-7 for its third straight losing season. Three consecutive losing seasons create doubt about the program’s direction. Avoiding this fate is plenty of motivation, but potentially spoiling UTSA’s perfect season will undoubtedly add more fuel to the Mean Green’s fire.

UNT running back Ikaika Ragsdale said, “Of course,” when asked if the Mean Green are motivated to spoil UTSA’s perfect run. “They’re undefeated. We want to be the first ones to knock them off.”

“It’s an important game for all of us,” UNT coach Seth Littrell said. “If anyone on that field Saturday tells you this isn’t a big game, they’re lying to you.”

The game is scheduled to kickoff at Apogee Stadium in Denton, TX, at 1 pm on Saturday.

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