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MGN Podcast

MGN 25: Just the Beginning

Hello ladies and gents, listen as Greg and Adam discuss the Heart of Dallas bowl, the build up, the breakdown, and everything else Mean Green. Also mixed in: some basketball talk.

Official Podcast of the Unofficial UNT sports blog Mean Green Nation! had Greg Goedecker to talk about the Mean Green.

Click here for the podcast feed. That should get you everything you need. You can play the episode from there or subscribe via your favorite podcast catcher. 

We are also in the iTunes store

You can contact the podcast at podcast@meangreennation.com.

MGN25 download link

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Football Football Recaps

Quick Recap: NT 28 LaTech 13 — 10.19.13

The game started slowly for North Texas. Derek Thompson threw an interception and LaTech went down and scored a touchdown. Very quickly UNT turned that thing around behind a stellar run game and stingy defense. Nort hTexas scored 28 straight points after going down 10-0 and then held on late to win for the second straight game, the first time since 2004 that has happened.

Unsurprisingly, it was the best players that made the biggest plays for NT. Brelan Chancellor broke free late in the second quarter, snatched a pass from a scrambling Derek Thompson deep down the middle and out ran everyone to the end zone for a 61-yard TD. The next possession, the defensive line broke through, pressured the throw, and Zac Whitfield grabbed a floater on the sideline and took it to the house for the lead.

Later, Derek found Darnell Smith on streak to set up a 2-yard run on an inverted veer. Zach Orr and company bottled up the LaTech offense and UNT scored again. The run game took over the rest of the way.

It was, in short, a very Dan McCarney win. Lots of defense and running, complimented by timely passing. A well-executed plan is always beautiful to watch. There is no reason to think this can’t continue into and through next week against a very terrible Southern Mississippi. The difference between this iteration of Mean Green and the previous losing ones is that this one doesn’t aim the gun at its own foot. Less shooting-of-selves. Even compared to the early losses against Ohio and Georgia, this is a better team and one more focused, and more aggressive.

North Texas was favored in each of the last three games, at Tulane, home against Middle Tennessee, and away to Louisiana Tech. They went 2-1, 1-1 on the road, and 1-0 at home. Next game is in Hattiesburg against the worst team in the nations. Although most of us have every confidence that this will be a (big) win, Southern Miss will beat someone, eventually. Being that team to break the losing stream would damn near eliminate all these good, warm, tingly feelings right now.

The next game is a big one against Rice, at home, on Halloween. Rice is presently 3-0 in the conference, which puts them atop the CUSA West division, tied with Tulane. With our loss to the Green Wave, we need them to lose twice, but we can get the tie-breaker over the Owls with a win in Denton. Yes, the conference title game is still a possibility if Tulane drops two games.

The two toughest games on the schedule are Rice and Tulsa, and Rice is at home. I expect UNT to be favored for Souther Miss, UTEP (homecoming) and UTSA. We just need two of those five to get to bowl eligibility.

Before the year I called a loss to LaTech and a win against the Green Wave on the way to a 9-3 record. In actuality those were swapped. I still see a 9-3 finish. Depending on what happens with Tulane (I think they will lose to Tulsa and Rice) we have a CUSA title game to play against (I’m prognosticating here) whoever wins the ECU-Marshall battle on November 29th.

Of course, two more wins means UNT is bowl eligible for the first time since 2004.

It is a great day to be mean and green, guys.

Things to Be Excited About

The Run game and the Defense. Hey! Nice to see the run game look formidable as it did all last season. All three running backs are performing at a high level. It is exactly as we envisaged preseason. The offensive line was opening up nice, big holes and when they weren’t Antoinne Jimmerson created some space. Their success created time and space for Derek Thompson to flourish. He was able to make good decisions and hold on to the ball late. When the lead was secure, and even though LaTech knew we were going to, we ran with success.

The defense continued the dominant streak. Last week we shut down Middle Tennessee’s pass game. This week it was LaTech’s run game. Sure, a lot of it has to do with the relative youth and quality of the opponents but we’ve faced younger and worse teams and yielded gobs of yardage and lots of points. Zac Whitfield picked off two, tackled well and didn’t get beat over the top. The entire secondary tackles well. Richard Abbe and the defensive line pressured the QB, forced bad throws, and bottled up Kenneth Dixon, La Tech’s most dangerous threat. It was a clinic. One that has been going for three weeks now (and a little more if you count the good plays in the Georgia game).

Things to Be Concerned About

Another slow start and methodical offense. The comebacks are dramatic, but it would be nice to see more MTSU and less games where we allow a lead and make our way back into it. Derek Thompson threw another interception to mar his good day. The offense, despite the big margin, has the defense to thank — again — for padding the scoreline. It is great because of the wins, but it is toeing a dangerous line. The slow starts have something to do with it and there are still too many possessions ending in punts or turnovers. If some of those would at least get into FG range? Well we’d see a good 3-4 point bump in scoring average.

Other Observations

The North! Texas! chant was loud and clear on the broadcast! That was all kinds of awesome.

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Football Football Recaps

Quick Recap: North Texas 21 Ohio 27 — 9.7.13

North Texas was the underdog and lost. No surprises, right? Well after a good offensive outing against Idaho last week, we all were considering this match up a winnable game. The spread fell to 4 points by last night. It all seemed possible.

So what happened? Disaster? Same ol’ North Texas? Nope. The Mean Green scrapped their way back into the game from a 21-7 hole to a 21-21 tie early in the fourth. Later they put themselves in position to win with 1:23 left and the length of the field to go. It isn’t the most ideal of situations, but as I mentioned on twitter, it’s a chance and that is all you can ask for. As it happens, Derek threw his second interception that ended the comeback and the game.

Derek Thompson played poorly. He was not as sharp or as decisive as he was against Idaho. Fun fact: Neither was Tyler Tettleton.

Which QB is which?

QB C/ATT Yds Avg TD INT Rtg
QB1 19/30 239 8.0 2 2 46.1 QBR (ESPN)
QB2 19/29 195 6.7 2 2 55 QBR (ESPN)

If you followed the game then you know the answer is that QB1 is Tyler Tettleton and QB2 is Derek Thompson. Kind of changes the narrative a bit doesn’t it? It can be argued that the run game was the real culprit here. Less than 3.0 ypc? For a run-first team?

The biggest takeaway (buzzword!) is that we hung in with the MAC’s best on their field, in front of a packed house, and nearly stole the game away. Were it not for a pick-six, and two fumbles we might be celebrating the first 2-0 start since 1994. It was a missed opportunity, but wasn’t the same ol’ North Texas way. This wasn’t a blow-out. This wasn’t an embarrassment. It was just a loss against a good team.

Random thoughts as I recover from drinking Sam Smith’s Oatmeal Stout:

  • Our coaches wearing black while Ohio was donning all-black uniforms was strange.

  • A week removed from the dark green jerseys and I already miss them. The light green thing we are going with isn’t my favorite. Still would love the diving eagle — the son of worm aka SOW– on the helmet.

  • The Vaas guy. He sure had a northeast accent. McCaahnee. So many lulz.

  • Twitter was poppin’. It is my favorite place to watch the game. Mean Green Nation — the concept and the twitter handle –> @MeanGreenNation is growing and it is cool. For all the knocks the school takes for having underperforming name athletic programs, the school pride is growing from when I was a freshman. Awesome.

  • CUSA had a bad week. Losses to Sunbelt teams, New Mexico, and just poor games. The brightest spot may have been UTSA hanging with Okie State and dropping 35(!) on them . . . that is until I saw that Sam Houston State did practically the same thing to A&M in College Station. Looks like those two teams just have porous defenses.

  • Got hot sports opinions? email the blog/podcast and we’ll talk about it. Send me an email

Go Mean Green.

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Football

Gameday Preview: Ohio 9.7.13

Here’s the thing: We didn’t look as good as we could have in that Idaho game. The turnovers, and porous defense stand out in particular. Relative to our recent past, it was fantastic. I don’t want to sound like the

I can’t remember the last time we blew an FBS team out.

Road games are tougher, obviously, and we’ll be facing a much tougher opponent. Whereas Idaho won only three games these last two years, Ohio hasn’t had much experience losing games–especially the ones at home. In fact, they’ve gone 5-1 at Peden every season back to 2009, in which they went 4-2.

The defense, Derek Thompson, and the coaching staff will all be tested this week. Defenses in 2013 need not pitch a shutout ; they just need to teams down. Offenses are prolific and fast and outside of exceptions like Alabama or Notre Dame no one is really successfully defending offenses consistently. That said, look for Ohio to attempt to take advantage of our secondary on long pass plays. NT allowed a 40+ and two 50+ plays against Idaho. If it weren’t for those forced turnovers, it could have been a more stressful game. Zach Orr and company do a great job of containing teams on short stuff but is vulnerable to a big run and long pass because of the aggressiveness of the front seven. It isn’t a terrible strategy if your offense can score some points to back up up.

Speaking of the offense, they were aggressive vs Ohio. I don’t know if we’ll see the same 4th down attempts. I suspect some of that was because they wanted to put on a show for the home fans — no one likes a punt. In Athens, we’ll likely see a more conservative NT squad. Hopefully they won’t need anything dramatic from the offense. Derek Thompson doesn’t need to put up the same stat line as he did last week, but he does need to put in a solid performance. What does that mean? Well, somewhere in the vicinity of 60% passing and no turnovers. That should be enough to keep the ball moving and drives alive. There was some evidence of Coach Chico having a longer leash this season (or feeling comfortable enough with Derek to give him a longer one). Getting the ball out to Brelan and Jimmerson will be key. Frank Solich knows this, too. The road games are where you find out who your real solid supporting cast is. Darius Terrell, Lynrick Pleasant, Carlos Harris and the other guys not wearing #3 had a good debut. We’ll see if they can continue that on the road.

TV: ESPN3 6pm Central

Watching Parties: Various.

Odds: NT opened as a 6.5 point underdog. As of last night the line went down to 4 points.

Prediction: North Texas 31- Ohio 27

Categories
Football

2013 Season Preview

It is game week. The first of the season and the first of year three of the Danny Mac Era. Spare me your talk of hot seats and deadlines. Todd Dodge left terrible program and Dan McCarney not only had the same obstacles that every other NT coach has had — subpar facilities, subpar stadium, irrelevance, apathy — to go along with the shambles of a roster Todge. Danny couldn’t believe it was an FBS roster. He’s had some help along the way, however. Dodge left a few gems — particularly in the running back depth chart. Rick Villareal got the stadium built and facilities improved.

Last season the team made strides. The team looked tough, competitive, and competent. Unfortunately, they also looked afraid of scoring points. This year the team looks something like a return to the Darrel Dickey Era, which is good and bad, depening on which portion of the era you saw. There is the defense that, despite having a former running back starting at corner, fared well most of the time. There is the run game that looked formidable. Unfortunately there was also the lack of points and worst of all — the losses.

The good news is that Derek Thompson — the named starter — has had time to improve, the defense has a bit more experience and we have a new conference. It is all looking up . . . or is it? Let’s find out.

Offense

The group that put up a decidedly mediocre 20.9 points per game last year is mostly back. That would seem like a bad thing at first glance, but the guys showed some promise. Between Antoinne Jimmerson and Brelan Chancellor, the offense should have some explosiveness that can keep the pressure off the run game. Mike Canales is back coordinating and there are rumors that we will see more if his prefered shotgun looks this season. Danny Mac’s imprint has been obvious. Last season no only did we run on first, second and probably also third down, but we didn’t even do it cleverly. Two tight ends (sometimes three!) and an inside zone. It is great when you run like Wisconsin, but not when you don’t. We didn’t. Some of the offensive drudgery can be blamed on the passing game. Whether or not you put that on Derek Thompson or the WR corps is a matter of preference/bias/seating position. Whether of not we’ll get some shotgun and variety will depend on how well Thompson has improved and how much Chico has convinced Coach Mac that his way is the best way.

I’ve never been one to care too much about formation more than effectiveness. While I tend to favor spread formations and the guys who have made them famous, the real idea is to get your best players the ball in less predictable ways, and more players the ball in space.

QBs: Derek Thompson, Andrew McNulty, Dajon Williams, Brock Burglund

We might as well start at the biggest question mark of the roster. That’s not a knock. That is just the situation. No one knew who the starter would be until it was announced. Everyone had their preference. Most people outside of the Sports Information Department felt that the QB play left something to be desired. From the excellent Matt Hinton’s Deadspin article this week:

108. NORTH TEXAS UNT allowed fewer sacks in 2012 than any team in the nation, even the overwhelmingly ground-bound option teams, giving up just six sacks in a little over 400 called passes. Which means junior quarterback Derek Thompson was just not very good at passing.

That just about sums it up. The good news is that he beat out some capable guys in spring and fall practice. Also interesting? Freshman sensation Dajon Williams has been guaranteed time by the head man himself. The QB position will not be boring this year.

RBs: Brandin Byrd, Reggie Pegram, Antoinne Jimmerson, and Mark Lewis.

There are others, but these will be the guys that do the heavy lifting. Brandin and Jim Jim stepped up admirably in place of the departed Lance Dunbar and kept the RB U tradition alive. Reggie Pegram has made some noise in practice as well. He was highly touted after he transferred from Perdue. It’ll be nice to see how they fair against defenses not stacked against them. If it is anything like the one-two punch of last year we’ll get a good show from these guys.

WRs: Brelan Chancellor, Darius Terrell, Lynrick Pleasant, Nick Schrapps, Carlos Harris, Derrick Teegarden, John Chelf, Darnell Smith, Roderick Lancaster

The story Bret Vito is selling (he says the staff agrees with him) is that the wideouts were the reason the passing game was so mediocre after Brelan went down early in the year. Agree to disagree. Chance plus a couple of other guys (whichever combination that turns out to be) should be enough. In fact, let me just print what I said in last year’s preview:

A good spread offense is one where the ball finds the open players. You shouldn’t have to force the ball to a guy to get yards. That is the thinking at least. I dare say this group can be solid. No scoring records will be set, yet I don’t foresee the terribleness that was the final year of the Dickey era.

Darius Terrell is the latest in a line of WR transfers from name schools that is seeking to make his fortune here in green (in his case, he transferred from Texas). He’s a good twitterer so follow him if you like that sort of thing. Also follow me. @meangreennation

Carlos Harris is shifty, Lynrick Pleasant is big, and Darnell Smith has the distinction of being called the most difficult cover by a freshman DB.

OL: *LT Antonio Johnson, LG Mason Y’Barbo, C Kaydon Kirby RG Cyril Lemon RT LaChris Anyiam, BACKUPS of note: Shawn McKinney, Travis Ellard, Micah Thompson, Connor Trussell

The line that only allowed six sacks is back. If the passing game can take the pressure off the run game, we could see more explosive runs. The strength of the team right here ya’ll. Shawn McKinney will split time with Kaydon Kirby.

TE: Drew Miller, Daniel Prior, Cooper Jones, Marcus Smith, Tanner Smith, Cade Carter, Chris Loving.

Blocking and short passes. Bret Vito reports that we’ll likely see six tight ends play. Given our penchant for running with two and three TE sets, that makes a lot of sense. Daniel Prior makes a return after injury kept him out last season.

Defense

The defense was surprisingly stout last season. Zac Whitfield turned in a surprisingly decent performance as a cornerback despite only just switching over from running back. Unfortunately, as the season progressed the youth and inexperience in the secondary were exploited. The defense was okay against the pass overall and mostly okay against the run . . . until they go out and allow a big one to gash them. Even though it was a pass play, the touchdown that comes to mind is the eventual-game-winning TD by Troy against Zac Whitfield after a game-long stellar effort against one of the Sun Belt’s top QBs. With more experience and a couple of new faces, this year’s Defensive squad should be a little bit better.

DLine: DE Aaron Bellazin, DE Daryl Mason, DT Ryan Boutwell DT Richard Abbe, DT Andrew Lincoln, DT Austin Orr, DE Chad Polk (former LB), DE Jarrian Roberts (former LB)

To get more pressure on the quarterback a couple of guys have moved from LB to DE. This is standard stuff. We’ll see if does anything. It is a football rule that getting to the QB usually equals a good defense. Really, it would be nice if the run defense were a bit stouter as well. Defensive Line is Coach Mac’s specialty so know that his pride is tied up in this unit’s success.

LBs: Zach Orr, Derek Akunne, Will Wright, Fred Scott, Jamal Marshall, Sed Ellis

Zach Orr is the best player on the defense, and after Derek Thompson (I mean, he’s the QB) is the face of the program right now. The two-time All Sun Belt pick has a chance to grab an honor in a new conference. There are rumblings that he’s the best LB in program history. If he can lead the team to the first bowl game in 8 years? Hell, I don’t see why not.

DBs: Marcus Trice, Lairamie Lee, Hilbert Jackson, James Jones, Freddie Warner (UPDATE: he is out for the year again after he broke his arm), Kenny Buyers, Zed Evans, and Zac Whitfield.

This unit should be leaps and bounds better than the one that got burned often on the trickier plays. If the D-line can get some pressure on the passer we might even see an excellent group. Zac and Hilbert attack the ball but can get burned deep and on double moves — or did last year. Marcus Trice, the former OU transfer, is a ball hawk but made mistakes in the passing game. Lee, the other safety, is a coach favorite.

Question: What ever happened to Xavier Kelly?

P: Blake Macek

Sure

K: Zach Olen

Solid. He had that terrible game vs Troy but bounced back nicely.

Schedule & Predictions

  • AUG 31 IDAHO WIN
  • SEPT. 7 at Ohio LOSS
  • SEPT. 14 BALL St WIN
  • SEPT. 21 at Georgia LOSS
  • OCT. 5 at Tulane WIN
  • OCT. 12 MTSU WIN
  • OCT. 19 at La. Tech LOSS
  • OCT. 26 at So. Miss WIN
  • OCT. 31 RICE WIN
  • NOV. 9 UTEP WIN
  • NOV. 23 UTSA WIN
  • NOV. 30 at Tulsa WIN

Yeah. Looking at that Tulsa game the other night makes me feel smarter for picking us in a win on the 30th of November.

Go Mean Green.

// Hat tip to the DRC and Bret Vito, SBNation’s Bill Connelly, USA Today’s Paul Myerberg, Go Mean Green Dot Com, and of course, MeanGreenSports.com whose coverage of the Mean Green helped a ton, obviously.

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MGN Podcast

MGN 21: Throwbacks

Thanks for tuning in to the live stream and dealing with the problems. They should be fixed next time.

In this week’s episode:

Official Podcast of the Unofficial UNT sports blog Mean Green Nation!  We’ll had @JustinBrumit on to talk about the new uniforms, the football team, and other Mean Green stuff.

Click here for the podcast feed. That should get you everything you need. You can play the episode from there or subscribe via your favorite podcast catcher. We are also in the iTunes store. You can contact the podcast at podcast@meangreennation.com.

MGN21 download link

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Football

First Scrimmage 2013: No QBs

I was not the hugest fan of Derek Thompson’s quarterbacking last season. I cannot think of many outside of his friends, family, and blindly loyal fans that were very excited about the overthrows.

I have never seriously called for him to be yanked from the starting lineup – just for a little competition. Maybe we could see what Brent Osborn had to offer. That didn’t happen last year. Now, with Brock Berglund the latest transfer-who-would-be-savior looking to take the job, I was hoping for improvement through competitiveness.

The QB position has been a sore spot for UNT since Giovanni Vizza decided to pack it up for A&M and a life of quiet reflection. Injuries to Nathan Tune, Riley Dodge, and Thompson had Chase Blaine – a WR – playing QB against Kansas State in 2010.

For the unfamiliar, we have a few guys that show some promise at the position but none that are making the job theirs –at least in practice and as of yesterday’s scrimmage.

Derek Thompson

Tale of the Tape

6’4” 226 lbs
Best attribute: Smart, experience
Worst: Overthrows all day.
Summary: When he’s good, he’s real good. He mixed in some games where he looked tough, a leader, and accurate (v ULL, ULM, K-State). When he’s bad, he’s baaad. Some other games (v Texas Southern, Troy, South Alabama) he puts up less-than 50% completion numbers. Many people think he was the biggest reason the Mean Green dropped the home game against Troy that dampened fan morale, and made the Sun Belt race even more of a long shot. He likely will get the start by default on account of his experience.

Andrew McNulty

Tale of the Tape

6’1” 197 lbs
Best Attribute: Backup QB, Nimble
Worst: Unknown, Little playing time, Smallish
Summary: He redshirted last season. He played sparingly in 2011, throwing for 352 yards and 1 touchdown (3 ints) . . all year. He looks good in practice sometimes and my teacher friend says that he is just a great kid. He benefits from Backup QB Syndrome. He needs a great fall practice to vault above of Derek.

Brock Berglund

Tale of the Tape

6’4” 215 lbs
Best Attribute: Mobility, High Rivals ranking
Worst: Nomad, Uknown quantity, Little football for the last few years
Summary: The DMN (Read: Bret Vito) has the best recap of his journey onto the Mean Green Roster. Read it here. Quick summary –> he has bounced around a few times and possesses huge talent. There is a sense that the job is his if he could just show some consistency and shake the injuries that have slowed his progress.

Dajon Williams

Tale of the Tape

6’3” 177
Best Attrbute: Athleticism
Worst: Smallish, Freshman
Summary: Bret Vito spent some time gushing about him on his blog. Read that here. The good news is that he is arguably the first decent QB recruit that signed with NT since Derek Thompson in 2009. Barring injuries and outright terrible play from the three guys above him, he won’t be starting this season. Although he’s shown some promise with the third team he isn’t quite ready to jump in and contribute.

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MGN Podcast

20: National Signing Day 13

In this week’s episode:

Official Podcast of the Unofficial UNT sports blog Mean Green Nation! Adam is joined by Tony again as they discuss the new batch of football players Dan McCarney just brought in.

Click here for the podcast feed. That should get you everything you need. You can play the episode from there or subscribe via your favorite podcast catcher. We are also in the iTunes store. You can contact the podcast at podcast@meangreennation.com.

MGN20 download link

Things we discussed, or will discuss:

Categories
Football

Golden Triangle Fallout

Per Vito on the 23rd –

First off, Antoinne Jimmerson and Freddie Warner will be with the Mean Green for spring practice. McCarney said the issue has been handled internally and that both had done some community service.

Their arrest was pretty much the Friday Bad News Dump equivalent eh? Right after the season ended, in the midst of bowl-season and Manti Te’o time, and before spring practice. I’m still not sure of the details, and honestly, I couldn’t care less about them. Given the relatively minor infraction and subsequent punishment I figure the response was appropriate and lessons were learned. Antoinne Jimmerson was the most exciting thing about last year and figures to be a huge part of the offense not named Berglund.  Freddie will likely start and lend some experience to the much-too-young-and-overwhelmed secondary. Add him the four or five guys that redshirted or are transferring in? I’m figuring we have turned a glaring weakness into a not-so-weakness. Yeah. I’m not so giddy just yet. I’m just glad to be out of freak-out zone.

Categories
Basketball Football

Recap of the Week

One of the problems with being an unprofessional pseudo-blogger is that you fall off the face of the internet for a while when real life stuff pops up. Work makes you work and school makes you school and after that you try to squeeze in time with friends and family so you don’t get accused of being a hermit.

I opened up my Internet machine and found that…

1) We lost to FIU in spectacular fashion. Losing while Tony Mitchell scored ZERO points is sadly unsurprising. It has been coming to this point for a while. Some nights he’ll have a handful on only a couple shots. It was only luck that he didn’t get the one or two shots on a bad night to fall. I am similarly unimpressed with Tony Benford’s fix for the problem: imploring his best player to shoot more. Why? Well it is a simple solution that fans yell out. “SCORE MORE BRO.” As if this were simply a matter of effort or trying. FIU conspired to stop our best guy. Roger benefited. Seems to me I remember something like that happening to Stephon Curry in college. . . Oh yeah. I can’t criticize much past shaking my head at yet another loss and the subsequent player-blaming from Benford because I didn’t get a chance to see the game or hear it live. I was sadly, learning in class (#sadface). Still, we could always chalk this season to bad luck. . .

2) BAD LUCK IS KILLING US. The snarky ones among you will likely call North Texas being founded the start of it all. I really can’t help but chuckle at that. Given that we hired the worst coach in the history of the school (go look at the history of this school’s coaches, that’s doing something) during our big push to get into CUSA in the middle of the decade. That killed any and all momentum from the Dickey era and sucked the life out of the football program. It has yet to fully recover. Meanwhile, the crown jewel of NT athletics, Johnny Jones’ basketball team reached the brink of breaking through the curse. A team stacked with talent, a fan base ready to climb on the bandwagon, a sport that allows any team to win a national title? Well we went and hired a bust, by all evidence. Also, whatever voodoo that took hold of the football team two years ago and the QB position in particular is now effecting the basketball team. That once mighty squad is now down to eight players and the NBA prospect can’t find a shot in this offense. Even the most hopeful among us don’t think a conference tournament run will be likely. Still, this could all be a set up for the greatest story in college basketball in the last decade. Injury-plagued team with a terrible start that didn’t believe in its coach turns it around with a glorious run to the Final Four with just eight players hobbling around? Oh god. It would be greater than that Boston Red Sox comeback in 2004. If this point in our season isn’t getting shellacked in game three 19-8 then I don’t know my terrible analogies.

3) We have some decent recruits coming in. I say this in one out of every three posts: I don’t get too excited about recruiting. It can get kind of creepy measuring and judging 17-year-olds, and I don’t want to be that guy. Outside of that a couple of Hudl film clips and Rivals numbers don’t tell us much. Sure, it helps fill the space between December and September. Practically it doesn’t tell us much of anything. I generally agree with Vito in that while an individual player may be overrated an overall highly rated class is better than the opposite. It seems to me like we are trying to fill our weak spots. This is a good thing. That said, we got in a bunch of DBs last offseason and like none of them did anything.

4) Dan McCarney is moving around the coaching staff. I didn’t think much of Mike Canales when he was brought in under Dodge but I came to respect the guy. He does a decent enough job calling plays and getting the playmakers the ball. The offense did suck last season though. I don’t have the numbers in front of me (nor do I want to look them up right now, for fear of depression) but this was the worst offense since like 2006, scoring-wise. Now, that is what this whole unit is out there for. Yardage is fun but points win games. Whether you agree with Vito that Derek Thompson just didn’t have weapons around him, or with me, who thinks there was plenty of guys that could do some nice things it doesn’t really matter. BROCK is seemingly a better, more talented option. I wonder if we’ll go back to seeing more shotgun out there next season. It is Canales’ preferred look which makes me think he didn’t have too much faith in DT or Danny Mac wasn’t too fond of it. Given the increased duties of Quartaro next season I wonder if Mike Canales isn’t in the dog house.