The Mean Green take another trip to Florida for a rematch with FAU, this time for the CUSA crown. A few thoughts on the championship game.
What did you learn?
Rematches in college football in any season are rare, so the Mean Green and Owls are in the odd predicament prepping for the same team twice. For North Texas, game one was a disaster, a 69-31 pasting. Nathra Nader, the father of government watchdog Ralph Nader, used to ask his kids, as they returned from school whether "they taught you to think or taught you to believe?" For the Mean Green did the 38 point ass whipping cause them to re-evaluate things or did it teach them that FAU is superior? Knowing Seth Littrell, losses like the one suffered at the hands of Lane Kiffin's team are teaching moments, and his squad won't let the October 21st game beat them twice.
Even though its the Lexus December to Remember, North Texas can't afford to be hospitable. In October three of the Mean Green's first five possessions ended in turnovers. North Texas handed the ball to FAU at the 50, the Mean Green 38 and 33-yard lines. Combine that with the fact that FAU scored on their first eleven possessions (11!) and the route was one. Chances are the 38 point blowout is substantially different if North Texas isn't such a giving team. If the Mean Green can get out to even a decent start, they're in better shape in round two.
North Texas has a chance to make history on Saturday with a CUSA championship. Remember, two years ago, this program was 1-11 and lost by 59 to Portland State. On homecoming no less. They made the right hire in Littrell and have a chance to claim the CUSA title just 24 months later. FAU went 6-18 the past two seasons. They hired the right guy in ridiculous as a fox Lane Kiffin, they've turned their program around overnight and sit at 9-3. Bottom line, a lot is riding on Saturday for both teams, but the fact that both are playing for a trophy is significant.
Notes and Numbers
Saturday marks the twelfth meeting between FAU and North Texas; the Owls hold a 7-4 advantage.
North Texas won its fifth straight last week with a road win at Rice. Five straight wins are the most since 2013.
The Mean Green have topped 30 points nine times in 2017.
North Texas is one of only 12 FBS teams to have a 1,000-yard rusher and a 3,000-yard passer this season.
The 2017 FAU Owls have scored the most points of any FAU team in the program's 17-year history.
The Owls six-game turnaround ties Michigan State for the largest turnaround in the FBS this season.
A win would be the Owls tenth just one shy of the record for the most in school history.