North Texas Missouri Football

North Texas coach Seth Littrell walks along the bench during the fourth quarter of the Mean Green's loss to Missouri on Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia Missouri.

North Texas fell to Missouri 48-35 on Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia. The Mean Green have lost four straight games to fall to 1-4.

Here are five thoughts on today's game.

1. UNT is backing itself into a corner

There were plenty of positive signs for UNT tonight one can point to. The Mean Green's offense looked a whole lot better and Austin Aune showed signs he could be the answer at quarterback in his first start of the year.

That's all well and good, but the bottom line is UNT is 1-4. UNT will have a chance to win several of the games that remain on its schedule.

The problem is there are still some tough games out there, including dates with Liberty and UTSA.

UNT is going to have to make some serious hay late in the year to turn its season around.

2. Aune deserves a shot to continue as a starter

Aune wasn't perfect against Missouri. He threw a killer interception right off the bat, but he came back to throw for 305 yards and four touchdowns.

Considering UNT hadn't cleared 100 passing yards in either of its last two games, Aune did more than enough to show that he deserves to continue as the Mean Green's starter.

UNT's players praised his leadership traits and the tone he sets after the game.

3. UNT has to figure out the first half

UNT has gotten into the habit of being terrible early in games. The Mean Green fell behind 31-7 against Missouri.

It would be one thing to fall behind early against an SEC team and call it an aberration. That isn't the case with UNT.

It's become a pattern. UNT was down 24-0 to Louisiana Tech and 33-0 to UAB.

This team isn't talented enough to keep fighting its way back from huge deficits.

4. We are going to see what UNT is made of

There are only so many times a team can keep getting back up after getting knocked down. 

It's time to start wondering how much UNT has left in the tank.

The Mean Green have now lost four straight, including a heartbreaker two weeks ago against Louisiana Tech. UNT has a quick turnaround this week when it will face Marshall at home on a Friday night.

UNT doesn't have a whole lot of time to bounce back.

5. UNT continues to make killer mistakes

Aune's early interception was just one of several killer mistakes UNT made in its loss to Missouri. 

The Mean Green also gave up a host of huge plays defensively and turned the ball over three times. 

UNT isn't talented enough to overcome those mistakes.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

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