Senior quarterback Mason Fine's name is all over the Mean Green record books, and other key categories are in his sights. What else is left before he moves on to his next chapter?
First things first -- check the career passing touchdowns record off the list. Prior to the first game of the season, Fine already owned program records for career passing yardage, career completions, career pass attempts, career passing efficiency and career 300-yard passing games. He entered this season with 64 career passing touchdowns, second only to the great Steve Ramsey (1967-69), who held the school record of 69. By game two, versus the SMU Mustangs, Fine had tied the record. By game three, against California, he had tied the record with 71 career passing touchdowns.
Currently, Fine is second in career completion percentage, trailing Riley Dodge (2008-10), who completed 64.7% of his career pass attempts. Fine has seen his completion percentage rise in each of his three seasons -- in fact, he reached 64.6% in 2018. Under new offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder, he has the opportunity to continue to see those numbers rise.
He's also looking for a bowl win this season. North Texas resurrected itself quickly from the 1-11 2015 season prior to head coach Seth Littrell and Fine's arrival. Still, Fine missed the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl in 2016 due to injury, 2017 ended with a New Orleans Bowl loss, and last season he suffered a leg injury in the first quarter of the New Mexico Bowl that cost him the remainder of the game. The Mean Green are again well positioned to compete for a conference championship and find success in bowl season. One of the only things left on Fine's resume is a win in that last game.
And, finally, the legendary QB has a chance to break UNT's 15-year draft drought. With offensive trends shifting more toward a spread and in some cases an air raid approach, and with the recent and potential success of quarterbacks with similar builds -- like Baker Mayfield in Cleveland and last year's No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray in Arizona -- Fine should stand out as a great fit in a league that continues to progress.
Several North Texas football players have been named to watch lists this season.
Junior running back DeAndre Torrey was selected as a member of the Paul Hornung Award watch list and the Doak Walker watch list, Mean Green tight end Kelvin Smith was chosen as a member of the Mackey Award watch list, redshirt senior center Sosaia Mose was picked as a member of the Rimington Trophy watch list and senior wide receiver Rico Bussey, Jr. was selected to the Biletnikoff Award watch list.
Additionally, quarterback Mason Fine has been named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, Walter Camp Award, Davey O'Brien, Manning Award, Unitas Golden Arm and Maxwell Award watch lists.
A Diving Eagle design won the fan vote to determine the Super Pit's new court for the 2019-20 season. With over 6,500 online and social media votes cast, the Diving Eagle option garnered nearly 54% of the total vote. A Battle Flag design was a clear second-place finisher in the voting, combining to have just over 24% of the vote on all platforms. A Light the Tower design had about 15% of the collective votes. The new design will be unveiled later this fall.
During its current run of five straight conference championships, the women's soccer team has taken UNT's winningest program -- now entering its 25th year -- to even greater heights.
The team earned the program's most wins in a single season (19), had a program-best 16 shutouts in a season, was nationally ranked for the first time, won 85% of its home matches, had an all-American honoree and won 22 more matches than anyone else in Conference USA.
"When you're going for six straight C-USA titles, the target on your back becomes much larger," head coach John Hedlund says. "Everyone wants to knock you off the top of the mountain, so we know we're going to get everyone's best."
The North Texas men's cross country team, the 2018 Conference USA champions, were picked to finish third in the 2019 C-USA Preseason Poll, while the Mean Green women are expected to finish seventh. "As returning champions, the goal is always to defend the title," head coach Kevin Williams says. He noted that the task will be tough -- but the Mean Green team is up to it.