February 1, 2023

The Conference USA Championship Game will be a repeat of an October thriller as the UTSA welcomes North Texas with a league title on the line. As those teams played into Week 8, the Roadrunners walked away with a 31-27 win after quarterback Frank Harris found receiver De’Corian Clark for the go-ahead touchdown with just 15 seconds left.

The game capped a back-and-forth between the state’s opponents, who have gone 5-5 since becoming league rivals in the 2013 season. They’ve played every season since, but this is the first time they’ve played twice in one season. Both recently appeared in the Conference USA title game – just not against each other. In fact, the UTSA is the reigning champion after beating Western Kentucky 49-41 last season.

North Texas last appeared in the title game in 2017 when Mean Green lost 41-17 at FAU in coach Seth Littrell’s second season as coach. Subsequent seasons brought some ups and downs for North Texas, but this year’s 6-2 league record is the program’s best since that 2017 season.

With both schools moving to the AAC after this season, it marks their departure from Conference USA. Both would like to get out at the top before moving up to a new league.

UTSA vs. North Texas: Must know

Riding Ragsdale: Reaching that game took a brave effort from Mean Green in a 21-17 win over Rice last week. Running back Ikaika Ragsdale clinched a 6-yard touchdown pass with 10:35 left to put North Texas ahead, and the Mean Green defense came with back-to-back stops from there to claim the win. Rice passed North Texas 415-362 and led in possession by more than 11 minutes, but North Texas won the turnover battle 2-0 and had the best player on the field in Ragsdale. The redshirt sophomore led the Mean Green in receiving with five catches for 59 yards and in rushing with 122 yards and a touchdown on 17 tries.

run inequality: Shutting down the running game of North Texas proved crucial for UTSA in their October 22 victory over the Mean Green. North Texas rushed for just 22 yards at the net and failed to score on the ground. On the other hand, UTSA rushed for 257 yards while racking up 32 first downs versus just 13 for North Texas. Nonetheless, the Mean Green managed to hang around behind quarterback Austin Aune’s three touchdowns. North Texas led 13-10 into the fourth quarter before teams scored 35 points in the fourth quarter and the Roadrunners escaped on Harris’ late touchdown throw on Clark.

Rise of the UTSA: The Roadrunners have lived just outside the national spotlight this season, having climbed to No. 15 last season during a 12-2 campaign highlighted by road wins over Illinois and Memphis. That season, the Roadrunners came with a 37-35 loss at then-No. 24 Houston in Week 1 and lost 41-20 at then-No. 21 Texas on Sept. 17. But since that loss to the Longhorns, the Roadrunners have recorded nine straight wins to secure double-digit straight wins. While the Roadrunners may not have cracked the polls this season, they have cemented their status as one of the nation’s top Group-of-Five programs under third-year coach Jeff Traylor as they prepare to join the AAC.

How to watch UTSA vs. North Texas live

date: Friday 2 December | time: 7:30 p.m. ET
location: Alamodome – San Antonio, Texas
TV: CBS Sports Network | Live broadcast: fuboTV (try for free)

UTSA vs. North Texas prediction, tips

Featured Game | UTSA Roadrunners vs. North Texas Mean Green

UTSA has experience in this area, having won the Conference USA Championship Game against Western Kentucky last season. With a veteran star quarterback in Frank Harris and home advantage, the Roadrunners are poised to repeat the Conference USA championship. Although they narrowly escaped with a 31-27 win over North Texas on Oct. 22, the Roadrunners were more dominant than the bottom line suggested. The Mean Green struggled to run the ball that game, and UTSA more than doubled them on the first downs. Look for the bottom line to more accurately reflect the UTSA’s status as the Group of Five’s staunch companion this time around. Forecast: UTSA -8.5

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