Time: October 15, 2015 6:30 pm CT
Location: Apogee Stadium – Denton, TX
Line: WKU -32.5
TV: CBS Sports Network
Radio: KHYI 95.3 FM KNTU 88.1 FM KGAF 1580 AM
Weather: Clear, 90 to 75 degrees. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
- GMG has a chat room and numerous game threads. Can be a bit chaotic.
- Reddit/r/CFB likely will have a game thread. Also a new cool FILM ROOM.
Adam – Western Kentucky 55 – 21 North Texas
I talked to a couple of folks that cover / follow WKU closely and asked them what the chances were that the Hilltoppers overlook is in this one. They told me very slim. Whereas previous incarnations of that squad might have, this one is more special.
That said, my heart is hoping WKU is looking toward LSU after they destroyed their rivals MTSU. Jeff Brohm is rumored for some coaching gigs which could help by distracting everyone.
But WKU is a legit monster offensively. We’ll give them a game — Canales’s teams do, and that pride will do the rest — but I just can’t predict an upset. I hope I’m dead wrong.
Look this game isnt about match-ups or stats its about pride at a time of crisis. These types of games never go the way that the experts think. They never do. Western Kentucky wont respect North Texas. WKU has said that North Texas doesnt look good on film. That says it all right there, the WKU players are looking past North Texas straight to LSU. The most important thing for North Texas tonight is to come out and jump right on Western Kentucky. North Texas needs to have something big happen early in the game. Onside kick or touchdown to take the lead an then onside kick. Something needs to happen to fuel the belief. Once that happens its all about battling till the fourth quarter and having a chance. If North Texas can get to the 4th quarter with the lead or within a TD then anything can happen. I havent picked North Texas to win any game at all this year. That changes today and I’m picking NT to win. I just have this feeling that the North Texas team will play beyond belief in front of 1,000 fans. North Texas wont go 0-12. Nope they come out and beat WKU in dramatic fashion.
North Texas 38 – Western Kentucky 35
1. Recruiting going forward this year.
North Texas is kind of in a tough spot right now. The next head coach won’t have much to hold onto as far as guys that North Texas has committed right now. He will have to hit the ground running and try to flip a bunch of guys or get in on those guys that are sitting on the fence. You know there will be a ton of negative recruiting against North Texas the rest of this year. That’s kind of why its important to hire a guy by earlier December. He will need to hire a staff and set his recruiting board. Man the job that next head coach will have is going to be tough.
The current staff probably wont put out many offers if put out any at all. You hope that they still stay in contact with the guys that currently have offers. You hope that the guys like Perry and KP get to stay on the staff, because those the best recruiters UNT has. They could make the transition easier for the new North Texas head coach.
2. What I want the next North Texas Head Coach to focus on.
The number one priority for the next head coach should be fixing the QB issue. Now DaMarcus Smith may prove to be a good QB for next year, but after that its wide open. The next head coach has to focus on getting the next leader of this program. The second priority should be to find as many athletes as you can. It doesnt really matter if they do one thing good. Just get athletes in here and then find them a position when they get here. Patterson makes this work for TCU. I want the next head coach to repair the relationships with the DFW area. Its come up a bunch of times in the past and since McCarney’s termination. If North Texas is going to be great it starts with recruiting DFW.
3. Conversation with Gabe Brooks (Scout.com Midlands Region football recruiting analyst)
A lot of North Texas fans are concerned with the recruiting efforts from this staff specifically this year so far. They aren’t offering a lot of guys and most of the guys they have offered are guys who have loads of offers. What are your thoughts about where North Texas stands right now?
I think it’s a good idea for a school like North Texas to offer very early and very often. At the P5 level, Texas Tech does a good job of differentiating itself in that manner. Kansas has started doing that under David Beaty. Some programs worry about flooding the recruiting market with too many offers and “cheapening” their offer. Well, as a G5, North Texas should have no qualms about pursuing as early as possible on a lot of guys, and that goes back to making sure you’re succeeding in evaluation.
Why do you think North Texas hasn’t been able to land a difference maker at the QB position? Do you think recruits are turned off by the system or just the overall lack of success the North Texas has had in recent years?
Dajon Williams had a chance but that experiment didn’t last very long. I think Damarcus Smith might have a chance, too, but who knows right now. I always go back to North Texas signing Tee Goree and O’Keeron Rutherford and not offering their quarterback, 4,000-yard, 57-touchdown Blake Bogenschutz, who’s now UTSA’s starting QB as a redshirt freshman. I’ll always have a hard time understanding that, especially when the size argument is made. He’s the same height as McNulty and more athletic. Besides, size doesn’t matter quite as much at that position as it has in the past. For example, Devin Williams, the 5-foot-10 Mansfield Timberview QB who just decommitted from Texas State, doesn’t have a UNT offer and could definitely play there.
What model should North Texas adopt to awaken the sleeping giant?
I think the Houston comparison is the best. Houston’s made a solid program out of hiring up-and-coming offensive minds and replacing them when they leave for greener pastures. UNT and Houston are almost the same enrollment and both have new stadiums and are located in enormous metro areas. UNT can be the U of H of DFW under the right circumstances.
It is official. We have hired Seth Littrell as the 19th Head Coach in NT history.
We had a hunch that Athletic Director Rick Villarreal was leaning toward Littrell with his ‘schedule’ hints. Since UNC’s de facto OC is preparing his Tar Heels for the ACC Title game against #1 Clemson, it made sense.
Then came the following tweet from Pete Thamel, and the subsequent ‘me too’ tweets from Joe Shad et al.
If Meacham and Littrell were indeed the two finalists, it stands to reason that North Texas will hire Seth Littrell as the new head coach.
The scary thing is that his name and profile could blow up after a successful showing against Clemson. UNC’s offense been ridiculous this season, but few non-die hard college football fans know about it. Exploding for yards and points in a showdown against the number one team in the nation will raise the profile a bit.
I have no illusions about our ability to outspend the competition. North Texas may be able to compete with the majority of G5 schools, but with Houston setting a G5 precedent, I don’t know if little ol’ NT can afford to not lock up the next coach before the money gets ridiculous.
Mendez updates his post to say “yeah it’s probably Littrell” now.
NT Daily writer Scott Sidway has been tweeting his skepticism of the Meecham stuff all day.
This is exactly where I've been on this since last night. No decision, no real merit to Meacham reports/sources. https://t.co/SPiqqFxlgV
— Scott Sidway (@ScottyWK) November 30, 2015
He adds that it seems no one knows who is the favorite except the two people who likely know the decision — RV and Smastresk.
Ultimately, he’s right. Of course the guys that have been actually conducting interviews and the search know who they want. Still, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have an idea. Both FWST and DRC got burned by their insiders. They trusted their sources enough to publish updates on this, but it seems both were burned a bit. First Vito and his ‘industry’ guys, and Mendez and his ‘sources’.
So we wait. If I had to guess on this, I’d lean toward Seth Littrell, simply because of the ‘schedule’ references Rick Villarreal made (see below at 11/29/15 update). It seems to me (and I’m guesstimating here) that Meacham has the freer schedule of the two. Seth is out here preparing for an ACC title game matchup with Clemson.
Carlos Mendez, TCU beat writer tweeted the following:
Sounds like something in Denton has changed. Littrell has big backing in some corners. Working it.
— Carlos A. Mendez (@calexmendez) November 30, 2015
No one knows anything
In the update below, we linked to Vito’s sunday night blog post letting us know that Meacham was the likely candidate but nothing was certain.
This morning he posted an update saying that someone told him Littrell was still in the race.
Later, he posted an afternoon update saying that Meacham was perhaps considering staying at TCU in light of the Cumbie-to-Texas thing. He cites yet another ‘industry source’ that says Meacham will not come here.
Football Scooped chimed in laying out the centrality of this job to a bunch of other positions. Basically, if Meacham comes here, Cumbie may not go to Texas. However, it could be that if Cumbie does leave Meacham may stay at TCU.
Finally Fort Worth Star Telegram TCU beat reporter Carlos Mendez says someone tells him Meacham definitely will come to UNT. Now this was posted before Vito posted his update above that says someone told him Meacham will not be the guy.
So we have conflicting reports that cite conflicting sources. Enjoy!
Update: Football Scoop says slow your roll, Star-Telegram
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 30, 2015
Vito reports that it might-could-be-very-well-looks-like we are getting Doug Meacham as our coach. I’m excited.
There are mixed reports, however, so I’m not too excited. We know that we need to hire a guy as soon as possible:
- North Texas has had plenty of time to make a decision since firing Dan McCarney in October. Recruiting season is upon us and North Texas needs to salvage a class.
- With more coaches being fired in the last few days, and more to come, securing the next guy so he can begin to build his staff is important.
- Athletic Director Rick Villarreal has his hands full with this hire, and the fact that the basketball team started off terribly in a make-or-break year for Tony Benford.
It feels like it will be Meacham considering his close DFW ties, his schedule — TCU doesn’t have a conference championship game to play — make it seem likely that he’ll be available to fit the timeline of an announcement.
It is interesting that RV said
“We have done our due diligence and will make a decision soon,” Villarreal said. “All of the things that we have to do are dependent on people’s schedules.”
But I could be reading too much into it. There really is very little information available to go on.
Football Scoop reports we’ve whittled down the coaching list to two names. Meacham and UNC’s Seth Littrell are the two names. The latter coordinated the explosive UNC offense under Larry Fedora. Littrell himself coached at Indiana under Kevin Wilson, Arizona under Mike Stoops, and Texas Tech under Mike Leach. Both options are Air Raid coaches, given they’ve both been under Leach or Leach proteges (Meacham).
I’m excited about either of these guys, given the offensive backwardness these last two seasons.
- Football Scoop reports that we are down to the last four candidates.
Regarding North Texas, sources tell us that none of the four below are finalists. Will update when appropriate https://t.co/Gkcu7NbKrL
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 25, 2015
Apparently Riley and Briles said ‘no’. Of the Texas-area candidates it may be between Meacham and Cumbie.
- Mike Jinks is a new name on the list. We vetted his résumé. I won’t add him to the above tracker because he’s likely not a serious candidate as a head coach given the criteria we’ve heard the AD is using. He wouldn’t be a terrible staff addition, however.
- The AD has talked with and interviewed several candidates as of Saturday (10/31/2105)
- The pay scale for the North Texas job has been set. The salary range is between $900K and 1.5 million dollars.
- Fox Sports Bruce Feldman reported earlier this week that 3 names were in the mix for North Texas Kendall Briles, Mike Norvell, and Everett Withers.
- Briles initially had no interest in the job, but was warming up to it after North Texas tried really hard to sell it. Well we’ve been told that Briles is no longer interested and basically you can cross him off your wish list.
- Mike Norvell is a young OC at Arizona St and we’ve been told he really wants the job.
- Everett Withers is guy who impressed the AD.
- Lincoln Riley is a name that surfaced Monday night into Tuesday. We’ve been told that UNT officials have talked and met with Lincoln. North Texas came away very impressed with Riley. The interesting part about Riley is that he initiated contact with North Texas. Now there have been conflicting reports surfacing on Riley. Those reports say that Riley and UNT have only talked and that his interest isn’t as strong as we were first told. I tend to lean towards what we reported first. Riley and UNT are too perfect for each other. Are there other power programs interested in Riley? Hard to say right now. His name hasn’t really surfaced for other jobs. He was mentioned last year for the SMU job.
Time: October 10, 2015 4:00 pm CT
Location: Apogee Stadium – Denton, TX
Line: Portland St -1
Radio: KHYI 95.3 FM KNTU 88.1 FM KGAF 1580 AM
Weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. North northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
GAME PLAN FOR VICTORY
How Portland St will Win
Portland St. will win if they are able to establish their running game. It will allow the Vikings to control the game. They will be able to control the time of possession and it will allow them to hit a few big plays in the passing game with play action. The Vikings would be able to wear down the North Texas DL. Portland St. needs to load up on the NT run game and force McNulty to beat them with his arm. If they force McNulty to throw into tight windows he is liable to make mistakes.
How North Texas will Win
North Texas will win if they are able to get J.Wilson going and continue to feed him all day long. North Texas will also need McNulty to be efficient. The feeling is that North Texas will lean on the run game heavily, but if Portland St loads up on the run then NT will need McNulty to make plays with his arm. On defense North Texas has to get Portland St in 3rd down passing situations forcing the Vikings OL to pass block. If they do that NT should be able to get Portland St off the field.
North Texas has become a wasteland for QB play. However, the current head football coach continues to tell who will ever listen to him that the play from his starter is solid. I’m not sure how anyone in their right mind could call the play of his starting QB solid. No other coach in college football would do it. So why does Head Coach McCarney continue to tell everyone that? Does he know he is wrong? McCarney is beyond wrong, its borderline ludicrous. Coach the numbers don’t lie.
- Andrew McNulty has a QB Rating of 95.73 which ranks him 122 out of 124 QBs nationally.
- McNulty’s completions percentage is 47.6 which ranks him 119 out of 124 QBs nationally.
- The Mean Green QBs completion percentage of 45.8% ranks 115
- The Mean Green QBs rating of 93.6 ranks 118
- The Mean Green QBs throw 19.5 incompletions per game which ranks 125
- UNT ranks 89 in passing yards per game.
BUT WE HAVE PLAYED SOME TOUGH OPPONENTS
- Average QB rating given up by North Texas opponents – 157.4 which would rank 113
- Average completion percentage given up by North Texas opponents – 59.6% which would rank 70
- Average yards per game given up by North Texas opponents – 262 which would rank 94
The facts are that these numbers aren’t as bad as they should be. Do you want to know why? Well that’s because these averages were taken after these teams played North Texas. North Texas has played some really bad pass defenses ( SMU, Rice, Southern Miss), and they’ve made those teams look good. The fact is that not one QB on the North Texas roster is worthy of the words “gives us the best chance to win” statement.
Now we get into the curious case of DaMarcus Smith. The JUCO transfer QB that many North Texas fans were hoping to be the guy. The guy that just got thrown under the bus by Dan McCarney.
“I was really disappointed in the consistency of DaMarcus Smith when we did give him an opportunity.”
“He(DaMarcus Smith) made far too many mistakes. What you saw in the game is what we see in practice. He is inconsistent and makes too many mistakes.”
Coach your starter is just as inconsistent and makes mistakes too. Just letting you know
Ouch those comments hurt Coach. Especially when you set DaMarcus up for failure. First off if he was inconsistent in practice why would you play him? It goes against everything McCarney stands for. McCarney consistently puts a strong on emphasis on how a player practices. So if Smith proved to McCarney in practice that he wasn’t ready, why put him in the game? Was McCarney that desperate? Was McCarney just trying to appease the fan base? It just doesn’t make sense for a coach to say what Mac says, and then do what he did with Smith. McCarney is making the Cleveland Browns look smart when it comes to handling QB situations.
DaMarcus was given 10 plays in his playbook for this game. Canales was going to stay within those 10 plays. The full playbook was not available for use when Smith was on the field. So when DaMarcus changed a play on the field that was not in that 10 McCarney become hot. Smith was benched and McNulty was inserted back into the line-up. McCarney will likely continue to throw the “dirt” on Smith throughout the season now. Smith will most likely be confined to the ball cap and hand signals for a long time now.
The cherry on top is that North Texas will continue to march a 5th year senior out at QB in a season where there isn’t much hope instead of preparing for the future. North Texas might have 1 win going into November with no bowl hope and this staff wouldn’t change the QB. Proving that they have NO IDEA what they are doing when it comes to managing the QB.
I want to also say this befuddlement at the QB position isnt on McNulty, Smith, or Greer. They are out there doing what they can do. McNulty prepares well and dude is a tough competitor. Smith came in and tried to make plays. I’m not blaming them for anything. These kids are being set up for failure by the coaching staff. Its a shame they have to endure a situation like this.
Proof Dan McCarney doesnt know what solid QB play looks like:
In McCarney’s career as a Head Coach he has had
- Only one top QB throw for over 3000 yards
- Only one top QB throw 20 TDs in a season
Average numbers of top QBs through the years
55% completion percentage, 2093 yards, 6.9 yards per attempt, 12 TDs, 11 Ints, 118.86
That doesn’t exactly scream solid or good to me. Maybe solid for teams in the 70’s or 80’s.
Before the last game McNulty was on pace to throw more passes than Derek Thompson ever threw in one season. It would’ve been more passes attempted than Bret Meyer, and Sage Rosenfels too. So essentially McCarney trust McNulty more than those guys. He has to trust him more because he is willing to let his offense put the ball in the air more. To me that is huge red flag.
Now DaMarcus Smith came in and took away some of McNulty’s passes so that lowered McNulty’s attempts per game from 35 to 31.5.
We all must be looking at different stats and film than Coach Mac. Its the only way to describe what is going on in Denton.
Best team performance of the week: Western Kentucky
Worst team performance of the week: Rice
Best unit of the week: Southern Miss Defense
Worst unit of the week: North Texas Defense (8.3 Yards per play)
Coach in desperate need of W: Dan McCarney
WTH: UMass held FIU to under 200 yards of offense
- Charlotte, North Texas, UTEP are all kinds of bad.
- I knew Western Kentucky would beat a Rice team, by at least 21, but they looked really good.
- MTSU missed an opportunity against Vandy and shouldnt have lost that game.
- FIU lost to a good FCS school. Will C-USA lose another one this week when NT takes on Portland St?
Time: October 3, 2015 6:00 pm CT
Location: M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, Miss
Line: Southern Miss -16.5
TV: Fox College Sports
Radio: KHYI 95.3 FM KNTU 88.1 FM KGAF 1580 AM
GAME PLAN FOR VICTORY
How Southern Miss will Win
Southern Miss is trying to take a big step on Saturday. This is a game they should absolutely dominate. North Texas is usually an un-prepared road team and is struggling in all the areas that Southern Miss is excelling at. That being said Southern Miss still has to prove they are as good as I think they can be. They will win this game if they focus on what they do well and dont overlook North Texas. Give Mullens time to pick apart the defense and sprinkle in the run game when needed. On defense they just need to force North Texas to throw it deep. Take away Chris Loving and Marcus Smith underneath and force McNulty to go to his 2nd and 3rd read. If they do that they will end up with a lot sacks and ints.
How North Texas will Win
North Texas will win if they are able to establish Wilson and ride him to the victory. North Texas must dominate T.O.P and keep the defense off the field. Wilson is the key to doing that. Carlos Harris needs to have a big game like last year. He is the only target that McNulty trusts, and the only guy he can consistently hit. The defense will need to find ways to pressure Mullens. He is not immune from mistakes and will stare down a WR now and again. North Texas must give him multiple looks and avoid letting him just stand in there and pick the Mean Green apart. Finally the special teams has to make 2 or 3 big plays to help set the offense.