I have in my hand today’s game notes from both programs. The following are the funnest facts I could find:
Where / When / How
Saturday, September 24, 2022 * 2:30pm ct * Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium * Memphis, TN * ESPN+
Tony Simeone is play-by-play, while Leger Douzable is the analyst.
Memphis is 23-1 against non-conference opponents at home in the last 24 games. That one loss was to UTSA last year. This game is part of a four-game home-stand while NT is coming off a road trip to Vegas. Memphis has at least one turnover in eight straight games (18 total). Memphis is 16-4 all time vs North Texas including 8-3 at the Liberty Stadium.NT has won two of the last three — back in 1980 and 1977.
Memphis QB Seth Henigan is a Denton Ryan alumnus. Left guard Mike Denson is from Rockwall. Right Tackle Austin Myers is from Houston. Defensive end Jaylon Allen is from Humble. Since 2015, 13 NFL players have been at Memphis, including current Cowboy Tony Pollard.
Head coach Ryan silver field has been on staff since 2016 and Memphis is 37-5 at home in that time.
Both teams were picked fifth in their respective conferences. Memphis is in the AAC and NT will join them next season.
North Texas has won seven of its last ten road games, including four of the last five. The last time these two played was the 2003 New Orleans Bowl, in which Memphis won 27-17.
Manase Mose is continuing his start streak, and it will be 53 if he starts vs Memphis. North Texas’ QBs have made 37 total starts (Aune 16, Stone Earle 8, Gunnell 7, Ruder 5, Head 2). KD Davis is the first NT defender to lead the team in tackles for three straight seasons since Zach Orr, and would be the first to lead for four straight if he does it this year as well (he currently leads the team with 33).
Austin Aune is at 4,722 passing yards, behind Gio Pizza at 5,146 all-time.
Seth Littrell is one win behind Hayden Fry on NT’s all time win list (40).
NT is 15-21 all-time under Littrell on the road and 13-14 in November overall.
Seth Littrell spoke in front of ones of people again this week. He had some gems:
“There were a lot of positives. You look at the tape and other than seven-eight plays, we looked like a really good football team. But that doesn’t matter. It’s those seven-eight plays we have to get cleaned up. A lot of games are like that that come down to three-four plays that will make or break you.”
Our thoughts: Yes. We discussed this on the mystery podcast this week1 where we talked about how Seth Littrell has a good record of getting junk yards, but not the yards that matter. That is just another way of saying “Those important plays”
“The culture of the team is what it is, they’re going to bounce back and it means a lot to them. If you watch the tape there’s a reason you go on the road and don’t win that game. We didn’t make plays and execute in critical situations and they did.
“The way we run the ball, we were 92% on third-and-fourth-and short last year. Do I feel like we can get a yard with our experienced backs and offside line? Absolutely, that’s the way I feel”
Our thoughts: Cool. They thought they could stop you and they did. Three short-yardage scenarios were busted. NT was 1-5 last season for a good stretch. I wonder what percentage of times they got 4th and short came when down big already, against second-teamers. Regardless, it is about getting yards THIS season, in THIS game. UNLV had it coached up, and their players were ready to blow up the game. They did.
“… great opponent. …They’ve done well. Once you get that culture and start building on it, the more culture you build for the future.”
Our thoughts: I am just imagining like a silo for culture grain storage.
“The more you can execute in those situations, the better it’s going to be. The more adversity you have to overcome, the harder it gets each time. We have to be cleaner. It gets more frustrating because I know what we can do offensively — move the ball up and down the field. But we have had trouble finishing off drives a few times this year. It’s something we have tofu. We have to continue to grind and get better.”
Our thoughts: This is saying a lot of what we said already and slightly contradicting what he said earlier on short yardage. Finishing drives is about executing the details — but it is also about knowing your personnel and putting them in positions to succeed. Sometimes that is knowing that the defense has you scouted up and its time to do a little counter measure.
The MGN podcast was lost to user error and only Adam’s voice was recorded. We apologize↩