North Texas’ 1-3 American Athletic Conference record is truly deceptive, which is why the Mean Green make it to the Game of the Week.
Fellow former Conference USA member UTSA is in serious contention to earn one of the two berths in the AAC championship game. North Texas will look to play spoiler.
UTSA-North Texas How To Watch
Saturday, 3 p.m. (ET)
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UTSA (5-3, 4-0 AAC)
North Texas (3-5, 1-3)
UTSA: Jeff Traylor (35-13)
North Texas: Eric Morris (27-23)
Oct. 22, 2022, UTSA won 31-27 at home. De’Corian Clark’s 10-yard touchdown reception from Frank Harris with 15 seconds left was the game-winner for UTSA. That concluded a 10-play, 75-yard drive that took 1:23. UTSA outscored North Texas 21-14 in the fourth quarter. Harris completed 27 of 39 for 238 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed for 75 yards (4.7 avg.). North Texas QB Austin Aune completed 16 of 31 for 325 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.
Why This Game Is Important
UTSA is one of three teams that are 4-0 in AAC play, joining Tulane and SMU. The Roadrunners need to win to keep pace with the other two, especially since Tulane and SMU don’t play each other. On the other hand, even though North Texas is 1-3 in AAC play, the Mean Green have suffered three losses against Navy, Tulane, and Memphis by a total of 13 points following last week’s 45-42 home loss to Memphis.
It was a heartbreaking loss for North Texas, which overcame a 21-point halftime deficit to take their first lead with 47 seconds remaining, only to allow a game-winning 36-yard scoring pass from Seth Henigan to Joseph Scates.
UTSA-North Texas Preview
The Roadrunners have won four in a row following last week’s 41-27 home win over East Carolina. Sophomore LB Trey Moore was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week after recording a team-high seven tackles, including three sacks against ECU. Moore now has a program-record 12 sacks, which leads all FBS players. Harris, who missed two earlier games due to injury, is now in his seventh season at UTSA.
Harris missed two games this season due to a turf toe injury. He has completed 66% of his passes for 1,588 yards, 13 TDs, and six interceptions. Harris has also rushed for 99 yards (2.1 avg.) and 1 TD. Kevorian Barnes has rushed for 477 yards (4.3 avg.) and four TDs. Joshua Cephus is among the better G5 receivers. He has 56 receptions for 681 yards and seven touchdowns. The Roadrunners average 30.5 PPG and allow 25.38 PPG.
For North Texas:
The Mean Green average 35.5 PPG, but allow 36.63. Opposing teams are averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The QB is Chandler Rogers, a transfer from ULM, where he threw for 2,403 yards and 15 touchdowns (with seven interceptions) last year. This season, he has completed 65% of his passes for 2,173 yards, 19 touchdowns, and just one interception.
Ayo Adeyi has rushed for 611 yards (7.5 avg.) and four TDs. Ja’Mori Maclin has 39 receptions for 703 yards and 11 touchdowns. Junior LB Jordan Brown leads the Mean Green with 66 tackles.
UTSA-North Texas Prediction
I like UTSA in this game. The Roadrunners appear ready for a big breakout. Look for UTSA to take advantage of a North Texas defense that is 125th in scoring defense. During its four-game win streak, UTSA is averaging 41.7 points, so the Roadrunners should score plenty of points.
North Texas, as outlined above, has played everybody in the AAC to a close game, but UTSA is at its peak offensively and this should be too big of a challenge for the Mean Green defense. Harris appears as if he is returning to last year’s form as a passer, but still hasn’t had a breakout running game. He threw four TD passes in last week’s win over ECU and will be facing a defense that has struggled, so this lines up for a big game for both Harris and the Roadrunners.