Frisco Bowl: Getting To Know North Texas
Who are the Mean Green?
Boise State is back in a bowl game!
Boise State’s bowl situation over the past few. years has been unique. 2020 and 2021 saw no bowl game due to COVID-19 issues in either declining the game or not having enough players from either side.
In 2018, the bowl game against Boston College was stopped in the first half due to lightning and severe weather in the Dallas area. So, there are some players who have not played in a bowl game.
This weekend they are facing C-USA runners up in North Texas. To get to know the Mean Green much better we reached out to Brett Vito who covers the UNT sports programs for the Denton Record-Chronicle.
1. How much of a change with this team look like with Seth Littrell our and Phil Bennett taking over as the interim coach?
I don’t think we’ll see much of a difference in what UNT does. Phil Bennett is UNT’s defensive coordinator. The Mean Green will keep doing what they do on that side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Mike Blosech is also sticking around for the bowl game before heading to Cal.
What could change is UNT’s level of focus and motivation. The Mean Green’s players will have a lot on their minds. They are trying to get to know a new coach in Eric Morris and figure out where they fit in as UNT heads into a new era.
There are certainly some players with eligibility left who are considering entering the transfer portal.
We will see what has changed about UNT’s team after the kickoff.
2. With it being the portal season, how hard has it hit the Mean Green?
The surprising aspect of the way the last few weeks have played out is that UNT hasn’t lost any key players to the portal.
One of the aspects of UNT’s program one has to give Littrell a lot of credit for is a culture where the coaches and players seem to have genuine bonds.
I expect that some key UNT players will hit the portal after the game, but so far everyone is still in the boat heading into the weekend.
3. This team is coming off of a conference title appearance under Littrell with reasonable success what are the expectations for this team?
That’s a tough question to answer. In terms of this game, UNT expects to compete with Boise and give itself a chance to win.
That seems like a big ask, considering the circumstances, but the Mean Green are capable.
As far as going forward, the goal for UNT is to win championships. The Mean Green gave themselves one opportunity after another under Littrell. UNT played in two C-USA title games and five bowl games in his time and never got over the hump.
Those struggles are why UNT decided to turn to Morris, who will have a chance to get the Mean Green the win they’ve been hunting for years.
4. Who are the playmakers for this team that Boise State need to pay attention to?
UNT has a deep batch of running backs and a couple of talented wide receivers.
The Mean Green’s most dynamic weapon is wide receiver Jyaire Shorter. He’s got great size at 6-foot-2 and 218 pounds, and he can fly. UNT loves to throw it up and let him go get it when it sees him in man coverage.
Shorter has 10 touchdown catches on the year. Slot receiver Roderic Burns (37 catches) and tight ends Var’Keyes Gumms (451 yards, five touchdowns) and Jake Roberts (373 yards) are also good players
UNT’s best player, though, is linebacker KD Davis. The senior was the Defensive Player of the Year in Conference USA and has 132 tackles on the season.
5. How do you see this game playing out?
UNT will pull together and will keep this one close for a while.
Boise just has too much talent for UNT to overcome the Broncos. My guess is that Boise wins by a touchdown.