UNT-SMU five things

North Texas running back Evan Johnson (7) tries to avoid SMU cornerback Treveon Johnson last season during the Mean Green's 46-23 win over the Mustangs at Apogee Stadium. UNT will face SMU in Dallas on Saturday.

North Texas will look to move to 2-0 on Saturday when the Mean Green face SMU at Ford Stadium in Dallas.

UNT opened the season with a 51-31 win over Abilene Christian.

Here are five things Mean Green fans should know about the Mustangs.

1. SMU's quarterback is the real deal

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele is one of the more highly regarded players the Mean Green will face all season.

Buechele was the No. 3-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2016 coming out of Arlington Lamar and signed with Texas. He started all 12 of the Longhorns games that fall and threw for a Texas freshman record 2,958 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Buechele started seven games as a sophomore in 2017 before falling out of favor. He transferred to SMU and threw for 360 yards in his first game with the Mustangs last week, a 37-30 win over Arkansas State.

2. SMU loaded up on transfers heading into the season

The Mustangs took more than a half a dozen transfers in the past offseason alone, including Buechele. 

Former Rice defensive lineman Zach Abercrumbia and UCLA product Brandon Stephens are on the two deep. Stephens is starting at cornerback. Kick returner CJ Sanders transferred in from Notre Dame.

UNT has taken a host of transfers as well, including cornerback Nick Harvey. SMU is taking it a step further and is making landing transfers from Power Five programs a key part of its recruiting strategy.

3. SMU coach Sonny Dykes is close with UNT coach Seth Littrell

UNT coach Seth Littrell is longtime family friends with SMU coach Sonny Dykes. The storyline was one of the main topics of conversation heading into Dykes' first season at SMU last year.

The two families have vacationed together. Littrell considers Dykes' family an extension of his own.

4. SMU has a starter from Denton

SMU signed Delano Robinson out of Denton Ryan a few years ago, a move that has paid dividends for the Mustangs.

Robinson starts at linebacker for SMU and ranks second on the team in tackles with eight after the first game of the year. He started five games last season.

UNT did not offer Robinson out of high school.

5. SMU has a veteran team

The Mustangs have a host of graduate transfers and veteran players. The experience SMU has is reflected in the fact that 21 of the players on its roster have already earned their degrees.

That is the highest total in the country.

SMU has 25 seniors listed on its roster.

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

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