UNT-UTSA prediction

North Texas will look to extend its winning streak to three on Saturday when the Mean Green face UTSA in San Antonio.

North Texas at UTSA

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Alamodome, San Antonio

Records: UNT 3-3, 2-2 C-USA; UTSA 6-4, 4-2 C-USA

Last week: UNT 27, Rice 17; UTSA 23, Southern Miss 20

Last meeting: UNT 45, UTSA 3 (2019)

TV: Stadium

What’s on the line?

UNT has won its last two games and still isn’t out of the race for the Conference USA West Division title and a spot in the conference title game. A third straight win would keep UNT’s chances of coming out of nowhere to win the division alive.

Falling to UTSA would drop UNT under .500 on the season and eliminate the Mean Green from the conference title race.

UTSA is at the top of the division with a 4-2 mark and a .667 winning percentage in league play. UAB is 2-1 and also has a .667 winning percentage. Beating UNT in its regular season finale would keep the Mean Green in the hunt for the division title.

When UNT has the ball

UNT ranks second in C-USA with an average of 37.2 points per game and leads the league in rushing yards at 257.3 per outing.

The Mean Green didn’t have their best offensive game of the season last week in their win over Rice but still managed to roll up 389 yards.

Quarterback Jason Bean has thrown for 547 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to rushing for 325 yards. His 66-yard touchdown run after UNT fell behind 10-0 completely changed the complexion of the Mean Green’s game against Rice.

UTSA is allowing 26 points per game and ranks 10th in C-USA in passing defense with an average of 229.2 yards allowed per game.

When UTSA has the ball

Defensive tackle Dion Novil is coming off a tremendous game in UNT’s win over Rice. He finished with five tackles for loss and a sack in addition to forcing two fumbles.

UNT will need the senior to be at his best again this week as the Mean Green look to continue their late-season improvement defensively against UTSA. The Mean Green allowed seven points in the second half of their win over Middle Tennessee and then gave up seven in the final three quarters against the Owls.

Building on those performances against UTSA will be a challenge. The Roadrunners feature C-USA’s leading rusher in Sincere McCormick and dual-threat quarterback Frank Harris.

McCormick is averaging 121.6 rushing yards per game. Harris has thrown for 1,278 yards and rushed for an additional 324 in limited action.

Prediction

UNT and UTSA appear evenly matched. The Mean Green are better offensively, while UTSA has been more consistent defensively.

Both have standout running backs. UTSA has McCormick, while UNT has DeAndre Torrey.

UNT is as healthy as it has been all season, but UTSA will be at home in the Alamodome. The Mean Green have won just once at the venue, although that win came in their last trip to San Antonio in 2018.

UTSA will celebrate its senior day with UNT in town.

UNT and UTSA have a history of raining on each other’s parade. UTSA knocked the UNT out of contention for a spot in the conference title game in 2013. It’s the Mean Green’s turn this time around.

UTSA has the inside track on a spot in the C-USA title game. UNT will find a way to damage UTSA's chances.

Prediction: UNT 31, UTSA 28

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

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