UNT press conference takeaways

North Texas coach Seth Littrell held his weekly press conference on Tuesday in advance of the Mean Green's game Saturday at Louisiana Tech.

North Texas coach Seth Littrell and his players held their weekly press conference today in advance of their game Saturday at Louisiana Tech.

Here's today's press conference notebook, and as always, here are five takeaways from today's event.

1. Fixing what ails UNT's offense won't be easy

UNT has scored just 18 points in its last two games combined.

Part of the problem has been the Mean Green have faced two tough teams in SMU and UAB. The Blazers are usually one of the top defensive teams in the country, not just Conference USA.

UNT should have more success against a Louisiana Tech team that is allowing 38.7 points per game.

It's just not a given, considering the challenges UNT faces. UNT lost running back Oscar Adaway III for the year in fall camp and has three key wide receivers who didn't play last week in Jyarire Shorter, Tommy Bush and Loronzo Thompson. 

Littrell declined to comment on their status for this week's game. 

UAB also put out a pretty good plan to hold UNT in check. The Blazers dropped eight into coverage and dared UNT to run the ball.

UNT managed just 121 yards on 44 carries.

Not many teams have a defensive front like UAB, but others are sure to try the same approach.

2. UNT's coaches and players are frustrated

Littrell flat out said UNT's loss to UAB was frustrating.

It's obvious why. The Mean Green were blown out, couldn't get their offense that is their bread and butter rolling and committed a series of big mistakes defensively.

"You're going to win games and you're going to lose games, but it was very frustrating just the way we played," Littrell said. "You can look yourself in the mirror and be critical. All of us."

3. Big plays are killing UNT defensively 

UNT's defense has shown dramatic signs of improvement this year. 

The Mean Green gave up just 14 points in a season-opening win over Northwestern State and shut out SMU until late in the first half.

The problem for UNT has been the number of big plays it has coughed up. The Mean Green allowed two more scoring plays of at least 40 yards in its loss to UAB, running the total to five in its last two games.

"We have to stay in the structure of the defense," Littrell said. "Everybody has a job to do. If one guy is out of whack and they dial up the right play, it's going to cost you."

4. UNT knows its backs are to the wall

UNT came into the season hoping to be a factor in the C-USA title chase.

Falling to 0-2 in league play isn't going to cut it, and UNT's players know it.

UAB and Louisiana Tech both finished 6-2 in league play in 2019 and tied for the West Division title. That was the last full season in C-USA.

A second loss would essentially put UNT in must-win mode the remainder of C-USA play if it wants to stay in the hunt.

5. Injuries are catching up to UNT

UNT lost Adaway before the season started and has now seen a run of injuries decimate its wide receivers.

The Mean Green didn't come into the season with a huge margin for error. Losing so many key players has shrunk it significantly.

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

Recommended for you

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!