After an impressive 9-4 season a year ago, the Mean Green, led by Head Coach Seth Littrell, and highly poised quarterback, Mason Fine, will look to build on their momentum and climb to new heights in 2019.
Since becoming a member of Conference USA in 2013, North Texas has yet to hoist the conference title; however, thanks to the hiring of Littrell in 2016, solid recruiting, and a high-powered offense, North Texas is set to make noise at the top of the conference.
After a 4-0 start a year ago, with lopsided victories over SMU, Incarnate Word, Liberty, and a huge road win at Arkansas in what many deemed to be an upset, it certainly seemed as if the Mean Green could run the table.
Well, the hype then got the best of them, and lack of experience in high stakes conference games was certainly an issue. This year, that all changes. The Mean Green offense returns most of its productivity from a season ago, due to the return of the battle-tested trio of Quarterback Mason Fine, Wide Receiver Rico Bussey Jr., and Running Back Deandre Torrey.
Together, these three have quietly become one of the best offensive packages in the country. This past season, Mason Fine threw for over 3700 yards, ranking 10th nationally. His vision, quickness, and unrelenting toughness in the pocket gave opposing defenses major issues all last year, and will continue to do so this year as well.
His top target, Rico Bussey Jr., is also a huge threat on this UNT offense. Bussey accumulated just over 1000 yards last year, and had 6 games of 100 yards or more. Not only does he have the quickness to separate himself from opposing defensive backs, he’s got the strength to break tackles and collect plenty of yards after contact. His ability to make huge plays next year will be crucial to the fluidity of this offense, given that much of the attack through the air goes through him.
Now, to think their offensive ability ends with the passing game would be a huge mistake. Junior running back, Deandre Torrey, often goes unnoticed, but his ability to make plays on the ground are just as important to this Mean Green offense as their ability to be destructive through the air.
Torrey rushed for a solid 977 yards last year. Had he not had one off game against Utah State, in which he rushed for only 35 yards on 14 attempts, he would have hit the thousand mark. At the beginning of the season, Torrey was not used as the primary back; however, that changed after a few fantastic games later in the season, and he is now set to be the go-to back this season, and much more of the offense will involve him.
The numbers put up by this trio a year ago suggests that they are arguably one of the best and quickest offenses in Conference USA this upcoming season. The added experience from this past season will be huge in fueling them as they look to make a run to the top of the conference.
When Littrell took over in 2016, he brought this team together with the intent of getting the spotlight on UNT football. In Fine, Bussey, and Torrey, Littrell has an excellent offense that college football fans everywhere should have their eyes on. In 2019, they are destined to make great things happen for their program and University.