It was another bad week for the QB and the coaching staff has decided to give UNT fans what they all wanted. Moving the much hyped RS FR Dajon Williams to starting QB. What does the move to Dajon do for the offense?
The sample size is very small, but it looks like he’s going to do a lot. His running ability gets the most attention from us fans, and the zone-read did help create bigger running lanes than running power and counter from under center against 8-9 man fronts. Even if it wasn’t against the first team defense.
In the passing game Dajon looked much better than Greer has in the pocket. He does a great job of keeping his eyes down field while still being able to feel out the pass rush. We also saw multiple times where we’d have a receiver open down field but Greer would either miss or throw a duck where the receiver would have to come back and dive to get. Dajon did a much better job hitting the receivers in stride.
In the SMU game Darvin Kidsy ran an out route where he got open but had to dive and make a one-handed catch. In somewhat similar plays late against La Tech, Dajon rolled out and hit Kidsy on two hitch routes, square in his chest where he could make a move with the ball and rack up some yards after catch. The same happened down field, as Dajon bought time by sitting in the pocket twice, using his scrambling ability once, as he hit Turner Smiley down field for two big catches. The passes were bullets and Smiley was able to catch the ball and make a move.
Finally, Dajon stood down the blitz and threw a dime to Skip Caldwell down the sideline. Greer’s struggles against the blitz were well noted, as evidenced by how many we saw opposing DCs run. We don’t know if this will revive our offense, and we won’t see this week, but it was the necessary move.
First off it makes the opposing defensive coordinators have to prepare for a mobile QB. No offense to Josh Greer, but he was pretty much a statue in the pocket. Secondly it gives the offense a spark of explosiveness. I mentioned it after the SMU game that I was in favor of a Dajon package because I thought it could spark the O when things got really stale. Like you mention it opened up running lanes because defenses have to account for him now.
After the La. Tech debacle it was Mac’s only choice to give him a shot. Dajon is the best down the field thrower which this offense needs to be successful. This offense really needs to challenge defenses vertically in order to get those 8-9 front that you talked about to turn into 6 or 7.
As a fan don’t expect to much different plays then you’ve already seen with Dajon. He is not well versed in the playbook. The coaches know this and to their credit they designed a package of plays that they KNEW he could run well. How did they know? Well go look at his high school highlights. Everything he did well in HS are things he is running here. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to being the starter. He has such a calm demeanor on the field, so I don’t expect him to be overwhelmed with the situation. I expect him to put in a workmen like effort on Saturday, nothing crazy. I do think he throws our first TD pass of the season.
Lastly it re-energizes the fan base. After such an ugly loss how many times are there talks of excitement? This may be the most anticipated starting debut by a Mean Green debut. Its also probably the most anticipated starting debut for the entire athletic program since Tony Mitchell.
My Dajon Season Projections: 146-225; 1800 Yards; 13 TDs; 9 INTs; 350 Yards Rushing 3 TDs
If Coach Mac gave you to the keys the offense what would you like to see done?
I’d let him know that starting Dajon is necessary and is not leaving a bad message. He was punished effectively and had to work his way up and have the players in front of him not perform in order to be given an opportunity. It also lets players know that you have to perform on gameday, not just in practice, the film room, weight room, etc.
I’d also let him know that we can mix up the run:pass ratio more, throw more, and run more shotgun without losing our identity as a running team that will wear down a defense. I wouldn’t run Dajon a whole lot. Just enough to keep the opposing DC very conscious of his ability. I also think we can run under center in between the tackles and run with more open space on stretch plays, zone blocking schemes, and jet sweeps for our speedier backs. Our offense can handle different formations, and we have the skill players to make it work. With a dual threat like Dajon, there should be more room to see guys like Harris, Kidsy, Wilson, Ivery, and Evans show off their ability to make plays in the open field.
Multiple, multiple, multiple. That is the key to ultimate success. Can you be a team that can spread the field and still run the ball? Can you be a team that goes into a power formation and still be able to pass the ball? If you can do those two things your offense will be pretty damn hard to stop. I believe that is the way I would try to build an offense. To be honest with you I think we have the players with the skill set to accomplish that. The biggest missing piece is the QB position. Dajon is a kid who could grow into a dangerous QB, because he posses the skill set to be a mobile QB and a passer. When you combine those two things together your offense will be dangerous no matter what you run.
I love what a spread offense gives you because it allows me to get athletes in space. You can do it two ways. You can use a spread like Oregon where it’s all about getting the ball out quickly and using yards after catch to destroy a defense, but if you run up against a good tackling team then you’re going to have trouble. You could go the Baylor route and press the ball down the field, but if your OL isn’t dominate a team with a good DL could give you lots of trouble. The one common denominator in each of those offenses is the running game. Each one needs a good running game to allow for maximum explosiveness.
Teams are so enamored with the spread and athletes in space that’s its caused defensive coordinators to change their game. A lot of them are trying to get more speed on the field. You see safeties playing LB and LB’s playing DL. They are sacrificing strength for speed. Wouldn’t it be great if your offense was built to defeat both defenses built on speed and strength. If your defense is slow I can spread you out. If your defense is fast I can over it power.
If I was the OC at UNT I would build and offense that is multiple. One that forces you to defend the whole field, vertically and horizontally. I would keep the power run concepts that already instilled into this team. That is the identity of this team and I love it. I would utilize more passing out of the power formations and stick to what we already do out of the gun formations. The zone read would become more excusive forcing the defense to be concerned with our mobile QB. I would recruit more mobile QB’s. No more WR’s under 6’0 on the outside. They belong in the slot. I need guys who can win battles in the air down the field on the outside. I need my slot guys to win the matchups underneath. The TE becomes a huge need. I need a guy is athletic enough to beat LB’s and S’s, but tough enough to block. In spread formations a versatile TE can be a total mismatch. The tempo of my offense would vary. I love speed because the faster we play the less a defense can adjust, but I don’t want to go fast all the time. If we have a lead late in the 3rd or 4th quarter I would let things slow down and let the power run offense do its thing.
I would simply the concepts and reads. Focus on plays that don’t require a rocket scientist to figure out where to go with the ball. The less reads a QB has to make the more efficient he can be. I want the ball out of the QB’s hands as soon as possible. I’m not going to run many pass plays in the middle of the field unless I’m certain he has the mental make up to handle it. I want my offense running at a high efficiency. Always focus on positive yard plays. I have to keep my offense in manageable situations which in turn translates to more scoring opportunities. Any play that is inconsistent or results in negative yardage I’m taking it out.
Other than the QB play what other position or unit has you most concerned?
I am of the opinion that our defense will look a lot better when the offense doesn’t start the game with six straight three-and-outs. But our defense can’t make excuses.
Last year our rush defense was around top 25 in the FBS and our pass defense was more middle of the pack (60s). Not bad, but it can be exploitable and Cody Sokol exploited it. Sokol stood down the blitz all game and kept making the throw and getting back up.
That opened things up for the run game. We defended the run game well early on, but we were missing tackles. We were able to compensate because we were getting off blocks and swarming to the ball. As the game went along we weren’t getting off blocks nearly as well and the missed tackles were more meaningful. You have to give them credit as well. Their receivers, backs, tight ends, and line put on a blocking clinic. A lot to work on for our defense, but they’re capable. Plenty of time to iron things out and get back to the old North Texas D we know.
I’m with you on this one. I’m concerned about the secondary. I considered it a strengthen because of the talent and returning starters back there. Against good passing teams we are going to struggle. Much of the problem against La Tech was match-ups. I just think what they did well was something that we chose to give up. They hit us with quick passes and where UNT normally excels in tacking it didn’t this game.
Every time LT got Fred Scott in man coverage they attacked him. Scott can defend the run, but will struggle against teams that leak their backs out. It almost seemed like the refs where so aggressive in their flag throwing that it took away some of our DB’s aggressiveness. I was concerned that we got beat over the top. That is something that is unacceptable in this defense and it happened multiple times. Also I was concerned with the fact that our safeties were biting on play action at a time when LT wasn’t effective in running the ball. They had their eyes in the backfield instead of reading their keys.
With the loss of two key playmakers from last years recruiting class in Jalen Adams and Fonzale Davis does UNT need to look for more this year?
With so many young playmakers it’s not a dire need. With Wilson and Evans being good freshman backs I could see Ivery moving to slot with Davis and Adams guys gone from there. Could also re-open the door for Fonzale to be a part of our 2016 recruiting class after he finishes his two years at his JUCO (Kilgore).
It also may open a door for Trinity Valley CC WR Jarvis Baxter. Baxter is having his second straight solid season for TVCC and he has visited UNT multiple times. He’s waiting things out, but I think he’s ours if we take him. A high school guy is Dallas Skyline receiver Savon Rollinson. Not super fast or big, but his quickness could make him a tailor made slot. Had over 200 yards receiving a couple weeks ago and we are his closest offer, and we are coming off the best season out of schools who have offered him. The question with these two is do we take a slot receiver with limited spots in this class remaining.
A couple other receivers to watch are Greenville’s D’erren Wilson and South Garland’s Jermininc Smith. Both are more outside receivers, but we would take one if one wanted to commit. Wilson has been here as recently as the SMU game and has 9 offers, but we are his only in-state FBS offer. Smith is the younger brother of Darnell Smith. Smith has plenty of other offers, but being Darnell’s little brother gives us some help there. Both are having big senior years as well.
Would you take another QB in this class or hope that Dajon and Connor Means can shoulder the load for the future?
That’s a really tough one. I really like Chandler Eiland out of Canton (teammate of 2015 DE commit Sam Miller). Having a redshirt freshman qb can have its drawbacks, depth wise. If Chumley moves to tight end, Means decides to not sit behind Dajon for four years and transfer, and Mcnulty and Greer graduate, we may have a little trouble backing up Dajon and finding a ready successor.
It’s hard to tell your current guys “we’re bringing him in for when we move you to tight end” or “for if you decide to transfer.” It’s also hard to have 6 scholarship qbs on your roster. That being said, I would take one if it’s a guy I feel really confident in. I’d understand if we choose not to, but if so we better make sure we get a solid one next class (2016).
I want to thank BillySee58 for his great insight. If you guys have topics or questions that you would like us to cover please let me know and we will work those into these pieces every week. You can send us your questions through the messenger function on GMG.com or by these applications
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