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North Texas can’t ‘take the cheese’ and overlook FCS opponent

The Mean Green host Incarnate Word on Saturday, a week after beating rival SMU and a week before traveling to SEC foe Arkansas

NCAA Football: North Texas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

North Texas can’t take the cheese this week.

The Mean Green play Incarnate Word at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Apogee Stadium. Smashed between a win against rival SMU and playing Arkansas in an SEC environment, UNT has an FCS opponent, but head coach Seth Littrell was just as cliché as any other coach in the country about his team taking the season one game at a time.

“Us coaches and players, you’ve heard this saying, for our players and myself, ‘Don’t take the cheese,’” Littrell said. “It is what it is. You got success game one because of the way we prepared, the effort, the practice habits we’ve had. At the end of the day, you gotta reset, you gotta refocus.”

For UNT, Saturday is a chance for the program to start 2-0 for the first time since 1994 when the Mean Green began the season with wins against Abilene Christian and Missouri State before finishing 7-4-1. UNT’s win against SMU on Saturday, along with last year’s season-opening victory over Lamar, was the first time the Mean Green have won back-to-back season openers since the 1991-92 seasons. Neither of those previous seasons resulted in winning records.

“We’re always continuing to grow and develop and get better as a program,” Littrell said. “This is an important game for us. But in order for us to have success, I promise you, just like I said, anyone on our schedule, they’re more than capable of beating us if we don’t prepare the right way.”

So far this season, after only two weeks of action, four FCS teams have upended FBS foes on the road, not to mention several scares throughout the country. Nicholls knocked off Kansas in overtime, UC Davis beat San Jose State, Northern Arizona handled UTEP and Villanova upset Temple.

“I’m gonna tell you, FCS schools, they beat guys all the time,” Littrell said. “You’ve seen some of those throughout the years. There’s already been some this year, previous years, every single year. They got good football, too. There’s a lot of great players at that level and there’s a lot of competitive games. If you’re not preparing the right way, like I said, you’ll get beat.”