North Texas isn’t headed to a bowl for the first time in four seasons under coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green finished 4-8 and are in the process of looking for new offensive and defensive coordinators.
Over the next few days, we’ll take a look back at what transpired in 2019 as we wait for those hires to be made.
Today, we start out on a positive note by looking at five players who exceeded expectations:
Tre Siggers, running back
There might not have been a bigger surprise for UNT this season than that emergence of Siggers.
The former Duncanville standout was a two-way player in high school as a running back and safety. He started out as a running back at UNT and redshirted in 2017. He shifted to safety the following season and played sparingly.
The Mean Green’s staff decided he was a better fit at running back heading into this season and moved him back.
Yeah, that was a good idea.
All Siggers did was rush for a team-high 853 yards and six touchdowns.
To say Siggers exceeded expectations would be an understatement.
Jyaire Shorter, wide receiver
Shorter showed flashes of potential ever since he arrived on campus ahead of the 2018 season. UNT elected to redshirt him in his first year with the Mean Green. The expectation was that he would contribute this year.
Shorter did more than that while emerging as one of the best deep threats in Conference USA. He finished with 24 catches for 473 yards and nine touchdowns.
The redshirt freshman is a matchup nightmare at the Group of Five level because of his combination of size at 6-2 and 215 pounds and speed. He should continue to develop into an elite C-USA wide receiver.
Jason Pirtle, tight end
Pirtle had five catches in his career heading into his redshirt junior season and was best known as star quarterback Mason Fine’s former high school teammate, good friend and fearless sidekick.
Pirtle showed he was more than that after moving from wide receiver to tight end. He caught 17 passes for 263 yards and five touchdowns this fall.
Pirtle was one of the feel-good stories of the season and a key contributor.
Tyreke Davis, linebacker
One of the big questions for UNT heading into the season was how it would replace linebackers E.J. Ejiya and Brandon Garner. The Mean Green brought in a host of highly rated high school recruits and also had a highly regarded backup in KD Davis ready to step into the lineup.
Tyreke Davis, a converted defensive back, thrived after moving into that second open spot in UNT’s lineup.
The junior finished second among UNT players with 80 tackles in addition to leading the team with 14 tackles for loss. He also tied with defensive end LaDarius Hamilton with seven quarterback hurries.
Ethan Mooney, kicker
Mooney stepped into a tough spot this season as he tried to build on the legacy of excellence set by Cole Hedlund and Trevor Moore.
Moore set just about every kicking record UNT has in a four-year career before Hedlund stepped in for one season and earned first-team All-Conference USA honors.
Mooney picked right up where those two left off. He made 16 of his 20 field goals, including a 22-yard game-winner on the final play of a 33-30 win over Middle Tennessee.
UNT couldn’t have asked for much more from Mooney.