2022 Conference USA Football Championship Game: North Texas has trouble stopping UT San Antonio again in loss


SAN ANTONIO – The UNT football team came up short on Friday night in its bid to win its first conference championship since 2004, as the Mean Green fell to defending Conference USA champion UTSA 48-27 at the Alamodome.

The Mean Green pulled to within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard plunge from Isaiah Johnson but could get no closer as a pair of turnovers and two trips deep in the red zone ending with Ethan Mooney chip-shot field goals doomed UNT.

UNT (7-6) took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter after the Mean Green stuffed UTSA (11-2) on fourth-and-goal at their 1-yard line and marched 95 yards on 14 plays to go up by three points after a 22-yard field goal.

Despite the loss, a couple of major program records fell, as senior linebacker KD Davis broke the all-time career tackles records, previously held by Byron Gross (1987-90), as he now has 419 career tackles. He also moved into seventh in career tackles in C-USA history, and with the bowl game coming could move into the top-5 in conference history.Junior quarterback Austin Aune broke the single-season touchdown pass record with his 32nd of the season, breaking Mason Fine’s previous mark of 31 set in 2017. The touchdown strike to Jyaire Shorter also tied Aune for the all-time, single-season mark for touchdown responsibility with his 33rd to match Mitch Maher’s total in 1994. He also passed two former Mean Green greats, Scott Davis and Steve Ramsey, on the all-time passing yards list to move into fourth all-time, as he now sits at 7,086 career passing yards.

Austin Aune
Jyaire Shorter

The Mean Green will wrap up their season with a bowl game in the coming weeks. Their bowl destination and opponent will be released on Sunday.


  • The Mean Green loss puts UTSA at 6-5 in the all-time series.
  • The loss puts head coach Seth Littrell at 44-44 in his Mean Green tenure, and he is fourth on the program’s all-time win list.
  • UNT’s captains for the game were KD DavisRoderic BurnsAustin AuneManase Mose and Sean-Thomas Faulkner.
  • The Mean Green are now 9-37 when trailing at the half in the Seth Littrell era, and this was the first time UNT had trailed a C-USA opponent at the half this season and first time its trailed at half this year since Sept. 24, at Memphis.
  • The 14-point halftime deficit was the second-largest halftime deficit of the year, behind the 31-10 lead SMU had on Sept. 3.
  • Junior QB Austin Aune (Argyle, Texas) finished 14 for 29 for 194 yards, two interceptions and a touchdown pass.
    • Aune’s 194 passing yards gives him 7,086 in his career and he is in fourth place on the program’s all-time passing yardage list, 338 yards shy of Derek Thompson (2009-13) for third.
    • Aune completed passes to eight different receivers.
    • The game was just the third this season in which Aune has failed to throw multiple touchdown passes.
    • His 36-yard touchdown pass to Jyaire Shorter with 8:42 to play in the third quarter was his 32nd of the season and 55th of his career. It broke Mason Fine’s single-season program record of 31, which was set in 2017.
    • That touchdown pass also tied the all-time, single-season touchdown responsibility record of 33, set by Mitch Maher in 1994.
  • Sophomore RB Ikaika Ragsdale (Las Vegas, Nevada) had 17 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown.
    • Ragsdale’s 108-yard day marked his third 100-yard rushing day of the season and sixth of his career.
    • Ragsdale’s 2-yard touchdown run with 8:09 to play in the first quarter was his seventh touchdown this season and 12th of his career.
    • Ragsdale’s 56-yard run from the UNT 1-yard line in the final seconds of the first quarter was a career-long run.
  • Junior WR Jyaire Shorter (Killeen, Texas) finished with two catches for 48 yards and a touchdown.
    • Twenty of Shorter’s 22 catches this season have gone for a first down or a touchdown (10 touchdowns).
    • His 36-yard touchdown reception with 8:42 left in the third quarter was his 10th of the season and 19th of his career in just 31 games.
    • Shorter’s 10 touchdown receptions this season is tied for ninth on the single-season list.
    • He is the only player in the country with 10 touchdowns on less than 25 receptions.
    • In the last 15 years, Shorter is the only player in FBS with nine or more touchdowns and less than 25 catches in a season. He also accomplished the feat in 2019 when he finished with nine touchdowns on 24 catches.
  • Redshirt freshman TE Var’Keyes Gumms (Houston) finished with two catches for 13 yards.
    • Gumms’ two catches give him 33 on the season and he is second on the program’s single-season list for most receptions by a tight end in UNT history behind only Jason Pirtle (2017-21), who had 41 in 2021.
  • Senior OL Manase Mose (Euless, Texas) made his 61st straight start and is the program’s all-time leader for most career starts at North Texas. The center has started every game of his career and is in his fifth season with the Mean Green.
  • When UTSA opened the scoring with 12:04 left in the first quarter, it marked the fastest a UNT opponent has scored this season since the season-opening win over UTEP, when the Miners scored just 1:02 into the game.
  • Senior LB KD Davis (Ennis, Texas) finished the day with 14 tackles, including five solo stops.
    • Davis now has 421 career tackles and passed Byron Gross (1987-90), who finished his career with 418 total tackles, to become the program’s all-time tackles leader.
    • Midway through the fourth quarter got his 12th tackle to break record.
    • Davis now has 196 career solo tackles to move into second on the all-time list ahead of Craig Robertson (2006-10), who finished with 194.
  • Junior LB Larry Nixon III (North Richland Hills, Texas) finished the day with seven tackles, including four solo stops, and a tackle for-loss.
  • Senior DB Sean-Thomas Faulkner (Easley, S.C.) finished with 11 tackles, including six solo stops.
    • His 11 tackles tied his season high, which was previously set at UNLV.
  • Junior DB DeShawn Gaddie (Arlington, Texas) finished with nine tackles, including six solo stops, a forced fumble and a pass breakup.
    • Gaddie’s nine tackles were a new career- and season-high, besting his previous mark of eight.
  • Sophomore DB Logan Wilson (Dallas) finished with nine tackles, including six solo stops.
    • Wilson’s nine tackles were a new career- and season-high, besting his previous mark of eight.
  • Sophomore DL Roderick Brown (Forney, Texas) finished with eight tackles, including three solo stops, and a half-sack.
    • Brown’s eight tackles set a new career high, breaking his previous best mark of seven.
  • Junior LB Mazin Richards (Burleson, Texas) finished with three tackles, including three solo stops, two tackles for-loss and a pass breakup.
  • Sophomore DL Tom Trieb (Arlington Heights, Ill.) finished with three tackles, including three solo stops, and two sacks.
    • Trieb entered the game without a full sack in his Mean Green career and finished the night with 2.0 sacks.
  • Senior DB Quinn Whitlock (Pinola, Miss.) finished with 10 tackles, including four solo stops.
    • Whitlock’s 10 tackles broke his previous career- and season-high of nine.
  • Junior LB Kevin Wood (Converse, Texas) finished with seven tackles, including two solo stops.
  • Senior kicker Ethan Mooney (Fort Worth) went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on extra points.
    • Mooney now has 325 career points and is the program’s all-time scoring leader.
    • Mooney now has 102 points on the season and is now third third all-time in single-season kicking points, trailing Cole Hedlund (2018) by six. Trevor Moore holds the single-season record with 115 in 2017.



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