UNT thoughts

North Texas fell to Southern Miss 45-27 on Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

North Texas fell to Southern Miss 45-27 on Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The Mean Green are now 2-4 overall and 1-1 in Conference USA play.

Here are five thoughts on the game and where UNT stands:

1. UNT had better hope that Mason Fine and Tre Siggers are OK

Falling to Southern Miss was bad enough for UNT. The Mean Green's injury situation made the whole situation all the worse.

Running back Tre Siggers went down with an ankle injury in the first half. Matters got worse when quarterback Mason Fine went down with a left shoulder injury after halftime.

Fine is right-handed, which helps matters, but the bottom line is UNT really needs both players if it hopes to rally late in the season.

Both will be evaluated when the team gets back to Denton.

2. We are about to see what UNT is made of

UNT has a chance to rally in the second half of the season after a 2-4 start. The Mean Green can still make a bowl game and aren't completely out of the race for the Conference USA West Division title.

The schedule is easier in the second half of the season, but rallying isn't going to be simple for UNT.

The Mean Green need to go at least 4-2 down the stretch to break even.

UNT coach Seth Littrell expressed confidence in his team's ability to pull together. We will find out what UNT is made of when it answers the call or folds.

3. It's time to start worrying about UNT's defense

UNT has given up a ton of big plays and has surrendered at least 45 points in three of its four losses. 

The Mean Green could write off giving up 49 points to SMU by saying that the Mustangs are a nationally ranked team. Houston is in the American Athletic Conference, a step above Conference USA.

Giving up 45 points and 563 yards to Southern Miss is a whole lot harder to explain.

UNT lost some key players after last season and clearly haven't adequately replaced them.

4. One has to feel bad for Fine

Fine is as good of a person as one could hope to have representing a program and a school.

Fine was hoping to go out with a bang. He still has a chance, but things are not going well so far.

The senior has been beaten up all season. UNT doesn't look like it has the team it did the last two years. 

UNT pushed Fine for the Heisman. Now he might not be the front-runner for player of the year honors in C-USA, unless the coaches in the league look at it as a career achievement award this year.

Fine deserves better.

5. The swing in talent between UNT and its rivals is noticeable

UNT had beaten Southern Miss in three straight seasons and also ran over SMU last year.

The Mean Green were blown out in the rematches against both.

The swing in in talent in both games was noticeable.

That's a problem for UNT. The Mean Green have recruited well and have a good class on paper.

UNT had better hope those players make an immediate impact because SMU and Southern Miss have both made dramatic strides when compared to UNT since last season.

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

Recommended for you