North Texas will host defending Conference USA East Division champion Marshall this fall when the Mean Green will also take on Florida International in a crossover game.
UNT announced its schedule on Wednesday in conjunction with C-USA releasing its entire league slate.
The Mean Green will face Northwestern State, SMU, Missouri and Liberty in nonconference play.
Those games were already on UNT’s slate. The one unknown heading into Wednesday’s release was who the Mean Green would draw in crossover games against teams from C-USA’s East Division.
UNT drew the team that finished last in the East Division in FIU as well as Marshall. The Mean Green will host Marshall on Oct. 16 before traveling to FIU on Nov. 20.
Marshall’s rise and fall last season was one of the key storylines in C-USA. The Thundering Herd upset Appalachian State, which was ranked No. 23 at the time, on its way to a 7-0 start.
Marshall was ranked as high as No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll before losing its last three games of the season. The Herd fell to Buffalo in the Camellia Bowl.
Marshall did not renew the contract of longtime coach Doc Holliday and later hired Alabama associate head coach Charles Huff to take over the program.
FIU was the only team in C-USA that didn’t win a game last season. The Panthers played five games, including three in conference play. FIU had six games canceled.
UNT will open the season with a home game against Northwestern State on Sept. 4 before facing a challenging stretch.
UNT will travel to SMU on Sept. 11 before hosting defending C-USA champion UAB. The Mean Green will then travel to face a Louisiana Tech team coming off a seventh straight bowl appearance before taking on Missouri in Columbia. Missouri has designated the game as its homecoming.
The Mean Green’s game against Marshall will be played the following week, with a home game against Liberty looming the next week. The Flames finished 10-1 last season and were ranked No. 23 in the final AP poll.
UNT will enter the 2021 season off its fourth bowl appearance in five seasons under coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green beat UTEP in their final regular season game and secured a berth in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. UNT fell to Appalachian State 56-28, its fourth straight bowl loss.
Littrell quickly began the process of revamping his coaching staff following the season. He parted ways with all four of his defensive assistant coaches, including coordinator Clint Bowen.
Littrell also promoted Mike Bloesch to offensive coordinator. The former Tulsa assistant coach served as UNT’s co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach last season.
Littrell has hired former SMU coach and longtime college defensive coordinator Phil Bennett as his new defensive coordinator.
UNT is expected to announce the remainder of its coaching staff in the next week. McNeese State defensive coordinator Jim Gush and former Magnolia West coach Blake Joseph are expected to be announced as new UNT assistants; Joseph will serve as UNT’s quarterbacks coach.