The UTSA Roadrunners, ranked 23rd in the Associated Press football poll, will go for their second consecutive Conference USA championship on Friday night in the Alamodome when they host the University of North Texas Mean Green. It’s the second meeting in the ‘Dome between the teams this season, with UTSA winning a 31-27 thriller on Oct. 22. Whoever comes out on top Friday, it will be the last meeting between the teams in Conference USA since both teams are headed to the American Athletic Conference next season.
UTSA Roadrunners (10-2, 8-0 C-USA) vs. University of North Texas Mean Green (7-5, 6-2 C-USA)
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m.
How to watch: CBS Sports Network
UTSA fell behind 24-0 to UTEP halfway through the second quarter before overcoming that deficit by outscoring the Miners 34-7 the rest of the game to win 34-31. The victory allowed UTSA to finish a conference season undefeated for the first time in program history and gave UTSA its second straight 10-win season.
North Texas came from behind to beat Rice 21-17 in a game the Mean Green had to win to earn a berth in the Conference USA championship game. The Mean Green’s sixth conference win left it tied with Western Kentucky in the standings but UNT earned the rematch with UTSA by virtue of its previous defeat of the Hilltoppers.
Frank Harris threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to De’Corian Clark with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter, lifting the Roadrunners to a 31-27 win on Oct. 22 in the Alamodome. The lead changed hands five times in the fourth quarter after the Mean Green led 6-3 at halftime.
What they’re saying:
UTSA Head Coach Jeff Traylor on the conference championship game: “Looking forward to our championship game against an opponent we have a lot of respect for. It will be great for our kids to be back in the Alamodome.”
North Texas Head Coach Seth Littrell on playing in the Alamodome: “It gets loud in there. They do a great job. Their fans bring a lot of excitement. A lot of energy in there and it echoes around. The lighting is a little bit different too. A lot of our guys have experienced that setting, but there is no doubt it will be an intense atmosphere.”
UTSA is on a nine-game winning streak since losing at the University of Texas on Sept. 17. In those games, the Roadrunners have averaged just under 40 points a game. For the season, they are averaging 37.9 points per game, 13th best in the nation.
North Texas saw its eight-game conference winning streak, which dated back to last season, snapped by UTSA in October. The Mean Green went 2-4 on the road this season and were 2-2 in conference road games.
Players to watch:
UTSA quarterback Frank Harris has tied his school record for touchdowns in a season with 27. In terms of passing yards, Harris ranks ninth nationally with 3,524 yards.
North Texas quarterback Austin Aune is ranked 21st nationally with 3,115 yards passing. His 31 touchdown passes ties him at eighth in the country.