The UNT offense was abysmal through the first 3 games. So the coaches made a switch to the young QB Dajon Williams. How has that move played out so far? I’d say pretty damn good. Explosiveness and efficiency are both up, which are two key factors in determining games. I know Nicholls helped pad the stats, but you don’t need stats to see that the effectiveness of the offense is on the rise. The more reps that young Dajon gets, the better this offense will get.
Yards per Game: 242
Yards per Play: 3.59
Points per Play: 0.35
1st Down Yards per Play: 3.52
3rd Down Conversions: 30%
Sacks Given Up: 7
20+ Runs: 1
20+ Passes: 5 (3 were thrown by Dajon)
Yards per Game: 437
Yards per Play: 7
Points per Play: 0.81
1st Down Yards per Play: 7.13
3rd Down Conversions: 55%
Sacks Given Up: 2
20+ Runs: 6
20+ Passes: 8
We know the production is up, but has the play calling changed? Now let me clarify. I know the type of plays we have called has changed, but I’m looking more at run vs pass. Looking at the numbers the one area that has changed dramatically is on 1st down. With Dajon at QB UNT has become a team that is actually a threat to throw a pass on 1st down. That change is a big reason why UNT has upped its production on 1st down. Everything else has stayed pretty much status quo.
What else has changed? Well Carlos Harris has become the go to guy. When I pulled these numbers I didn’t factor in the RB’s, Chelf or Tanner Smith. Here is a look at WR targets through the first 5 games.
Here’s what I take from these numbers. Harris had 11 of his 24 catches against Indiana. Part of the reason is that Indiana was playing off Harris. It was an easy pitch and catch for Dajon. Hey if you’re going to give us an easy 5 yards we will take it every time. The other reason was that Indiana was playing to protect against big plays late in the game. Canales drew up plays with a lot of down field routes and had Harris dragging across the field underneath the coverage. Indiana was content to give those up. Dajon took what the defense gave him.
I don’t expect Harris to continue to get over 50% of the targets the rest of the season. I chalk up his huge numbers in Dajon being comfortable with him and the defense giving up his routes. I expect Harris to to even out around 30% of the targets which is something I predicted before the year. Plus Dajon needs time to continue to build timing with the other wide outs.
Who are the play makers going forward?
#1 Dajon Williams – Is there really any question here? He can beat teams throwing and running. UNT needs him to continue to grow and mature as the leader of this offense. Once he gets comfortable with this offense he could be really special.
#2 Carlos Harris – He has been the most consistent play maker and has benefited the most after Dajon took over at QB. You wonder though if the work load is too much. I know Carlos is a beast with a big heart and huge competitor, but you don’t want him taking all those hits.
#3 Darvin Kidsy – Kidsy just needs ways to get involved. The dude makes plays with the ball in his hands and I think most UNT fans would agree. Maybe get him touches on kick off returns too. Do what ever you can to get him more touches. He should be targeted at least 20 %. 237 All purpose yards. 16.9 Yards per touch.
#4 Antoinne Jimmerson – Jimmerson is a fan favorite when he is not auditioning for “Dancing with the Stars” in the backfield. He is the most explosive healthy back. The point is he needs 10+ touches per game. In games where he has had at least 10 carries he has 809 yards rushing, 4.81 ypc, 7 TDs. He like most backs needs those carries to get going.
#5 Marcus Smith – 5 catches and 2 TDs. He needs to get more looks down the middle of the field. I love the looks we are getting him off the play action calls. Once Dajon settles in I see more plays and completions to Marcus.
Wild Card Play Makers – Reggie Pegram, Darius Terrell, Turner Smiley, and Erick Evans.
We thought going into this season that the defense was going to be okay. We thought that if the offense was similar to last year that UNT would be okay. We thought with a good returning OL we could run against anybody. Well we thought wrong. With the recent issues that have come light we now know that UNT’s defense needs some serious help from the offense. This team can’t lean on the defense to play the great equalizer. They just don’t have the players and don’t execute well enough at times.
The offense is going to have to carry their share of the load this season if UNT is going to return to a bowl game. Dajon Williams is going to have to be special. When they go up against average/poor defenses like Rice, UTEP, FAU and USM they need to score lots of points. When they go up against good defenses like UAB, FIU, and UTSA they need to show they can still move the ball and not get totally bogged down.
There is no reason this offense cant be averaging over 400 yards per game by the end of the season. I think in order for this team to go bowling we need to see this offense avg around 430 yards per game in conference play and 35 pts per game. It’s not hard to see that happen either. Rice, FAU, UTEP and USM all give up over 33 points a game and over 430 yards. Win those 4 games and your sitting at 6 wins and bowl eligible.