UNT-UTSA five thoughts

UTSA Charles Wiley sacks North Texas quarterback Jason Bean during the Roadrunners 49-17 win over the Mean Green on Saturday at the Alamodome.

North Texas fell to UTSA 49-17 on Saturday, snapping its two-game winning streak.

The Mean Green dropped to 3-4 on the season and 2-3 in Conference USA play. The Roadrunners improved to 7-4 on the year and 5-2 in league play.

Here are five thoughts on UNT's loss.

1. UNT is done in the C-USA race

The hope heading into the season was that UNT would make a run at winning the C-USA West Division title. That seemed like a long-shot considering the circumstances, but winning conference titles and bowl games is always at the top of UNT coach Seth Littrell's wish list.

UNT is done now in the C-USA West Division race.

The Mean Green have two games left to try to climb back over .500 and convince a bowl that they are worthy of a bid. There are no requirements as far as wins go, but UNT would have a better chance if it can beat Louisiana Tech and UTEP in its next two games.

2. Losing like this to UTSA stings for UNT

UNT's games against UTSA have typically been close over the years. The one exception was the Mean Green's 45-3 win last season.

To say the turnaround from last season was dramatic would be an understatement.

The question UNT faces going forward is how it went from winning by 42 to losing by 32 in one season.

What makes the whole thing worse is this wasn't just any team. It's UTSA, the Mean Green's biggest rival in C-USA. The Roadrunners are a team UNT recruits against and competes with for attention in Texas.

UNT's fans are also not real fond of losing to a program that only got its start a few years ago.

3. Jeff Traylor is looking better and better for UTSA

Jeff Traylor is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround project at UTSA. The Roadrunners are 7-4 after finishing 4-8 last season.

UTSA is recruiting well and has a lot of good young players.

The move to hire Traylor is looking better and better for UTSA, which is bad news for UNT.

4. UNT got beaten up physically

Littrell and his players acknowledged that UTSA was the more physical team in their game on Saturday. UTSA rushed for a program record 443 yards and  controlled UNT's running game most of the night.

That will be a tough pill to swallow for UNT, which prides itself on being a physical team.

5. UNT's defense took a step back

UNT's defense took several steps forward over the last few weeks. The Mean Green went the other direction on Saturday.

Sincere McCormick rushed for 251 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Frank Harris was also able to get out on the perimeter and make plays while throwing for 144 yards and rushing for an additional 113.

UTSA rolled up 624 yards, including 443 rushing yards.

UNT's growth was never going to be a straight line up. The Mean Green dipped back the opposite direction today.

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

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