North Texas Mean Green Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the North Texas season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
North Texas Mean Green Preview
Seth Littrell: 37-38, 7th year at North Texas,
2021 Preview: Overall: 6-7, Conference: 5-3
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
North Texas Top 10 Players | North Texas Schedule
North Texas Mean Green Preview 2022
Is Seth Littrell ready to take North Texas into a new era?
He’s a young head coach who was a hot name in the overall mix after two straight nine win seasons in 2017 and 2018, but three straight losing seasons and a 14-21 record since then changed the perception.
His teams can crank up the offense, improved a bit on defense, and at least got to bowl games in five of his six seasons at the helm. Granted, the Mean Green lost all five of the bowls, but he got there.
Now North Texas is gearing up for live in the American Athletic Conference next year. The league might be a shadow of its former self with the stars taking off, but it’s still a big step for the program and the university.
This year, with a few schools taking off early for the Sun Belt, and with a loaded offense coming back, this is when the team and program should rise back up again.
The tough schedule might have something to say about that, but in Year Seven, this is when North Texas needs to be the team everyone else fears. And it will be because of the …
North Texas Mean Green Preview 2022: Offense
The scoring punch might have been hit or miss, but it geared it back up after a tough start to win five straight games to close out the regular season, it finished with the fifth-best rushing game in the country, and the passing game was consistent as the season went on.
With eight starters expected to be back, and help on the way from the transfer portal, the attack should be even better.
The quarterback situation just got more interesting. Austin Aune wasn’t all that accurate, but he ran well and turned up the downfield passing game over the second half of the campaign.
Former North Carolina transfer Jace Ruder got his chances, but now he and Aune have try holding off former Arizona Wildcat and Memphis Tiger Grant Gunnell.
The quarterbacks have a loaded receiving corps to throw to. Roderic Burns, Damon Ward, and the return of deep threat Jyaire Shorter from missing most of last year will crank things up.
The great running game has to replace 1,215-yard, 13 TD star DeAndre Toney. However, Ikaika Ragsdale and the next three top backs return, and Aune is a good runner – if he grabs the gig as the starter.
The offensive line loses tackle Jacob Brammer to Vanderbilt, but the other four starters are back including all-star center Manase Mose.
North Texas Mean Green Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was a hot mess in 2020. It closed out allowing 500 rushing yards to Appalachian State, gave up close to seven yards per play, and it finished the season dead last in college football allowing 522 yards per game.
The 2021 defense improved by leaps and bounds, allowing 382 yards per game and just 5.7 yards per play.
There’s a lot of turnover and the depth is lacking, but at least North Texas knows it can play some D.
Step One is replacing the Murphys. Grayson and Gabriel Murphy combined for 15.5 sacks and 26.5 tackles for loss, and now they’re living the life out a UCLA.
The Mean Green don’t have the star defensive ends to replace those two. That’s going to be a fall camp work in progress, and finding two new tackles to replace Dion Novel and Caleb Colvin won’t be easy either. There’s not a ton of size, but 6-0, 288-pound Enoch Johnson has the upside to be a factor.
The linebackers should take over. KD Nixon was an all-around star, earning First Team All-C-USA honors with a team-high 121 yards – and he got into the backfield – and Larry Nixon, Sean-Thomas Faulkner, and Kevin Wood are all veteran tacklers.
The defensive backs have to make more big plays after coming up with just three of the team’s six interceptions, but three of the four starters are expected back – DeShawn Gaddie will once again be one of the team’s top tacklers and big on breaking up passes.