North Texas at Florida International
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Riccardo Silva Stadium, Miami
Records: UNT 4-6, 3-3 Conference USA; FIU 1-9, 0-6 Conference USA
Last game: UNT 20, UTEP 17; Middle Tennessee 50, FIU 10
Last meeting: UNT 17, FIU 14 (2014)
What’s on the line?
UNT has won three straight heading into its game at Florida International and is on a roll. The Mean Green began their run after falling to 1-6 and knew at that point that they needed to win out to become bowl eligible at 6-6.
If UNT can beat the Panthers as expected, it could set up a monumental showdown with UTSA to cap the regular season. The Roadrunners are 10-0 and 6-0 in C-USA play heading into a key game of their own at home against UAB. The Blazers are 5-1 in conference play.
If UNT and UTSA both hold up their ends of the bargain, it would set up what would be one of the more consequential games in the 10-year history of Apogee Stadium.
The Mean Green would be 5-6 and needing a win over UTSA to become bowl eligible. The Roadrunners are ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25. UTSA would certainly still be ranked after beating UAB and would come to Apogee with a chance to finish the regular season unbeaten.
It would be a dream scenario considering UNT lost six straight games not all that long ago.
FIU is looking to snap a nine-game losing streak.
When UNT has the ball
UNT did just enough offensively last week to pull out a win over UTEP. Austin Aune threw for 240 yards and DeAndre Torrey rushed for 61.
The Mean Green are averaging 24.9 points per game behind Torrey, who has 998 rushing yards on the season. The senior is looking for the first 1,000-yard season of his career.
FIU is allowing 39.0 points and 279.9 passing yards per game. The Panthers were torched for 50 points by MTSU last week.
When FIU has the ball
UNT has improved defensively throughout the season and came up with impressive performances in each of its last two outings.
The Mean Green shut out Southern Miss in the final three quarters of a 38-14 win and held UTEP in check in a 20-17 victory last week.
Linebacker KD Davis is in the midst of a terrific year and enters the weekend with 93 tackles on the season.
FIU has struggled all year and is averaging 22.0 points per game. Quarterback Max Bortenschlager is averaging 253.7 passing yards per game to lead the Panthers.
This game has all the makings of a blowout. The Mean Green are playing their best football of the season, while FIU is a team in turmoil.
Coach Butch Davis acknowledged recently that he will be out at the end of the season in an interview with The Action Network. He didn’t mince words, saying that the school’s administration has been "sabotaging the program."
UNT still has a lot to play for, while FIU is playing out the season and has nothing on the line other than pride. The Panthers are a bad team. The situation with Davis will only make matters worse.
Prediction: UNT 38, FIU 14