No contest. A mismatch. Those are a couple of simple ways to describe the absolute molly-whopping Head Coach Seth Littrell and North Texas put on UTSA. The Roadrunners took a bus from San Antonio to Denton but only arrived physically; their energy, spirit and discipline all left behind somewhere along the interstate. UTSA was outmatched, outplayed and out of commission.
Over and over again Mason Fine and the Mean Green offense did virtually anything and everything they wanted to with mounds of success. Over and over again UTSA made mistake after mistake, doing almost as much self-inflicted damage as UNT did to them.
Let the defeated muttering of UTSA Head Coach Frank Wilson’s postgame interview sum up his blanked mind after what he called a “measuring stick game” coming into last week:
UTSA Coach Frank Wilson: “I thought we were ready to play...” pic.twitter.com/ZoF2q2gkMH— JJ Perez (@theJJPerez) September 22, 2019
You thought wrong, Frank. The Roadrunners were completely unprepared for this game, and Littrell once again outclassed Wilson as the two met for the fourth time in their tenures. The nature and the number of UTSA’s errors was simply inexcusable and points to an utter lack of readiness to play. The absence of discipline was appalling and it all points back to an incompetence on the part of the coaching staff.
The Roadrunners were dealt a bad hand on the second play from scrimmage when starting quarterback Frank Harris was sidelined with a shoulder injury on a poorly timed option call, the same shoulder that removed him from one play against Army last week. Second string transfer quarterback Lowell Narcisse stepped in and threw an interception directly to UNT cornerback Nick Harvey on the very next play. That would set the stage for a long night for UTSA, only the first of their four turnovers on the evening.
North Texas effortlessly waltzed 42 yards downfield for a touchdown behind running back Tre Siggers, who gained 30 yards on four carries on that single drive.
Siggers was essentially running directly through UTSA’s defense as form tackling continues to be a foreign concept for the unit. UTSA defenders haphazardly fling themselves into a ball carrier in attempt to bring them down. There is no low driving, no shoulder leading and no wrapping up. The Roadrunners had already had a game with 30-odd missed tackles and you can bargain that they had even more in this game.
Siggers wound up averaging a first down on 10.2 yards per carry with 143 total yards on 14 attempts and two touchdowns. Tailback Deandre Torrey added another 62 yards on 10 attempts (6.2 avg) and a touchdown as the Mean Green racked up 290 total yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Couple that with Fine’s 195 yards and two touchdowns through the air as every single North Texas receiver that caught a pass had a reception of 10 yards or more and you’ve got yourself a Mean Green field day.
UTSA, in attempt to answer, only mustered up two drives over 10 plays and 40 yards, all the rest ending rather quickly in the form of punts, turnovers and five failed attempts to convert on fourth down. Narcisse’s passes were rather sporadic, a few decent throws lost among a lot of misfires. But even on his decent throws the intended receiver would usually drop the pass, with rather critical drops coming from Joshua Cephus and Sheldon Jones. Narcisse ended 16 for 36 with 124 yards and two interceptions. He also led the Roadrunners in rushing, with 98 yards on 15 carries including a 42 yard scamper.
Narcisse accumulated so many rushing yards because UNT began to dismantle the Roadrunners upfront, causing three sacks, five quarterback hurries and six tackles for loss. UTSA running back Sincere McCormick had a decent showing with 62 yards on 16 carries (3.9 avg) and several quality runs. The Roadrunners’ offensive line did have good pass protection and run blocking through the first stanzas of the game, but eventually got worn down and submitted.
Whether or not Harris gets hurt, I don’t see the outcome of this game playing out very differently. North Texas was going to gain 500 yards on offense regardless. The lack of energy from UTSA almost made it seem like they arrived in Denton expecting to lose, and ultimately it’s discipline that this team just doesn’t seem to have through the first four weeks of the season. Albeit the Roadrunners only committed two penalties after racking up seven in their last two games, they committed copious amounts of in-play errors in the form of dropped passes, terrible tackling and failure to cover receivers downfield.
Seth Littrell has Frank Wilson’s number as he now claims a 3-1 record over Wilson and his Roadrunners, only losing in their debut matchup but claiming the last three straight. Wilson has proven his recruiting prowess as one of the best in C-USA, but what good is that when his coaching has been subpar at best? As far as a measuring stick goes, take the highlights to gauge for yourself:
North Texas hosts U of H and the Cougars next week and will most likely be primed as the favorites. ESPN’s Football Power Index already has them pinned at 55%. The Roadrunners go into a much-needed bye week after dropping three straight and will take on UTEP in two weeks. They may not be favored in that one after the Miners put up an impressive effort in a loss to Nevada last night.