Categories
CUSA Stuff

2016 CUSA Media Days Will Stream Interviews

CUSA Site

Tues 26th we can stream the interviews with coaches live beginning at 9am CT on WatchESPN. Seth Littrell will be on at 9:45. No worries, as the interviews will be archived.

Time Team Coach/Player
10:45a ET/9:45a CT NORTH TEXAS Head coach Seth Littrell, RB Jeffrey Wilson, LB Fred Scott
Categories
Football

Come All Ye DFW Footballers

I love this from MGN favorite Marcus Trice:

Dear Recruits,

The only reason Miami became “the U” is because all of their talent wanted to stay home and turn a program around together. Our country’s most talented high school athletes are in the DFW. If more of y’all decided to accept the challenge and stay home, there’s nothing the world of college sports could do to stop y’all. Honestly , if the DFW players stayed home to UNT, they would be a major power house every year. Who’s going to be the class to accept the challenge and bring back glory to DFW football?

With that being said, #gomeangreen. Stay home and show the world that we are #untouchable #countmein

  • Marcus Trice, Mesquite HS ’09

That’s mighty convincing recruiting work from one of the leaders of the 2013 Mean Green squad that nearly won a conference title, and did win the 2014 HOD Bowl.

Like most great sales pitches, it leaves out the ugly bits: like how you need some good coaching to go along with a talent-grab. Mack Brown’s Texas squads reflect some of this, as they had talent but not the best development1.

I really like how Seth Littrell is not only continuing the very good McCarney practice of welcoming back alumni, but doing so in a very 2016 way. While simply having former members come to the practices and hang out on the field during games was great, getting them out on twitter to sell the program is better. Go where your audience is, y’all.

The other argument you can make against Trice’s plea is that he himself chose Oklahoma first. Well, that kind of strengthens his point. He transferred to Denton, fully immersed himself in the program and culture, became a team captain, and won some hardware for the program. If similar guys chose to do North Texas first instead of using Denton as a safety school good things could happen.

Again, this is great and I love it. Seth is checking all the right boxes so far.


  1. Well, they at least had talent that was projected to be good in college. All those early commits don’t necessarily guarantee a haul of actually good players. Mack might have got too good at selling his program to HS Juniors. 
Categories
Football

Thoughts on CUSA Media Day

  1. Head Coach Dan McCarney is always a great interview. Hard to match his passion and enthusiasm when he talks football.

  2. The Carthage boys WR Tee Goree and WR O’Keeron Rutherford will be counted on heavily to increase the production of the offense. In Coach Mac’s interview with CUSA & ASN he mentioned these guys as having prominent roles to help Carlos Harris out.

  3. The running back position is loaded. Most hard core Mean Green fans know this, but with Jimmerson, Ivory, and Wilson UNT will have an explosive backfield. Each one of those guys has a different style which makes it even more difficult on the defense.

  4. Andrew McNulty is the starting QB going into camp and has a huge lead on his competitors Josh Greer and DaMarcus Smith. Not breaking news, but some NT fans where hoping to hear that this position battle was a little bit closer. I think the coaching staff is waiting to see what Smith gives them before declaring its a tight race. Until then McNulty has done everything asked of him and deserves the job.

  5. Blake Bean a transfer from Buffalo will play a big role in the defense this year. Bean will most likely be the starting MLB against SMU. Having played for new defensive coordinator Chris Cosh at Buffalo will help Bean be the QB for the defense. Dont undersell that thought.

  6. Kenny Buyers has a real nice beard

  7. The leadership looks like its stronger this year. Last year there was a bit of complacency that I felt. It was like last year’s team thought they had arrived and didnt have to work that hard. I don’t get that feeling this year. This year’s team is putting in some pretty good off-season work.

Folk its talking season in college football. Every coach pretty much says the same thing. All these coaches believe they are good enough to get to a bowl game, they believe they still need to work, and they believe they have a tough schedule. What was said by Coach Mac and his players was nothing earth shattering. He wasnt asked tough questions. It was a peaceful setting for Coach Mac to praise his team and look forward to the upcoming gruel of a season. Believe me its going to be a grueling season with 12 games and no bye week. The bye week comes week 1. After that NT gets 7 bowl teams from last year. Nothing will be easy in this crucial year for North Texas football.

Categories
Basketball Football

Offseason Thoughts: February 2015

The offseason has been unkind. Our favorite football program has to replace the defensive coordinator, the QB(with like, nine other possibilities), and the recruiting battles that come with fending off hype at SMU and UTSA. It is hard, as Danny Mac might say. Yet it still has to be done. Well, it should be done if we want this program to be one of the greats. That desire is not shared throughout that which shall call the Stakeholders. Honestly, I’m not sure if it should or should not be shared. I can’t say with any certainty whether North Texas should aspire to become an Oregon or Boise. I don’t know if it should be a Chicago State, and give it all up for academic integrity.  Complexity is a poor description of the present state of college sports. It exists as a kind of guilty pleasure in an age of austerity — both fiscal and healthful 1.  It is hard to excuse and even harder to justify.

The reigning kings of football2 established themselves in a world scarcely resembling the one in which we live. They got their nicknames from beat reporters, local stereotypes, or coaches bringing them over from previous gigs. They’ve held on to their advantageous positions through shrewd political maneuvers, and first-mover advantages3. Pining to be counted among their number means grappling with state legislatures in some cases. Then you get into sticky public policy areas. On top of that you have the entire concussion discussion 4. You may have spent the last year or so questioning your love of the sport, college sports in general, and perhaps this society we’ve participated in creating. Count me among that lot.

When we think about how to improve the teams we support we often are presuming some sort of ideal scenario. That creates a problem. Discussion is muddled with seemingly competing answers to different, unrelated problems. Take, for example, the basketball team. Should we fire Tony Benford? This is answered differently with different assumptions. Do we want to be a respected, competitive, nationally recognized basketball program? Then yeah, we probably should make a change because he hasn’t been pushing this team toward that goal. Do we just want a coach on the cheap that can maybe make a conference push every four years? Then we shouldn’t fire him.  Can we fire Tony Benford and maintain the program? Can we hire a guy that will do a better job under the financial constraints brought on by coaching changes? This changes the meaning of ‘should’. Let’s not even start asking if we can make a coaching change.

Here is where you can make the argument that the athletic department’s cheapness up front (salary for a rookie Head Coach vs paying for an experienced guy) costs the program much more than they saved the last few years. The lost attempts at championships, — the lack of ‘delight’ with the UNT basketball program has been tremendous burden on the program 5. This is what the lay-fan refers to as ‘momentum’. It isn’t just a fan-speak term or a talking head word. It has tangible consequences. It is real.

While these things aren’t death sentences, they are the equivalent of a transmission going out for folks living paycheck to paycheck. North Texas can’t afford to make hiring mistakes … while hoping to be competitive. That’s an important distinction.

The problem with firing Dickey and hiring Dodge and letting Johnny Jones go and hiring Tony Benford wasn’t in actual decision to make a coaching  change — but having to undergo a complete overhaul in philosophy because of the change. Boise — the literal poster example for less prestigous sporting universities has had a few head guys in their run of good-to-great. There is Boise-way. They hired men who knew how to win at Boise.

How do you win at UNT? Well if you a ask Hayden Fry, Darrell Dickey, or Danny Mac, they’ll tell you you win with hard-nosed defense, a solid run game and tough SOBs 6. Those men are separated by decades. Any momentum from one winning regime was lost and had to be rebuilt from the ground up. That is no way to maintain a program –if you want success etc etc, see above. — This has been the discussion for awhile. It isn’t new — Basketball had a chance to continue the run begun by Johnny Jones. They could have hired from within and continued with the people who knew hwo to win at NT. Instead they chose a man who knew how to win at Marquette. I don’t have an issue with Benford’s upside at hire-time. My issue — and I think most of the loudest critics agree — has been what happens once he fails7.

Every hire carries some risk. It seeems that North Texas didn’t think too far ahead on this. They require the ability to accurately assess coaches that have little or no history — or a relatively unimpressive one8. So criticism of Rick villareal should settle on his hires. Kudos for having the temerity to swing for the Home Run (Dodge). Huzzah(?) for not hitting more singles. The above isn’t a sexy thing to say. Ten years ago I had very different opinions. I was also a dumb kid. Don’t listen to me from 10 years ago. Further criticsm should be on the Board of Regents. These folks hired him. They bungled money already. They are cool with the situation. Still more criticism is on the government officials who appoint the Board of Regents. And we elected those people. Ask yourself: what do you really want?

Addendum that couldn’t go anywhere above: Our Boogey Man to the south has good vibrations. Lets see what happens when they have a change at Athletic Director, Head Coach, and the Texas System is not as happy with UTSA’s success as they are now. North Texas problems are those of a mature university. Generations of cruft, people stuck in their ways, power struggles at mid-level positions. That isn’t to say they can’t or won’t sustain, just that it is a bit easier to build from scratch than turn around an existing program. I don’t begrudge them success, just wish it didn’t come at our expense. That is more on our program than theirs, though. UTSA reminds me of the Marvel Ultimate universe. It exploded in popularity when first released partly because it was free of the Marvel 616 continuity. Starting fresh with the best storylines, best character beats, and knowledge of what works and what didn’t envigorated the line. Then they killed it ten years later. Well, technically it is getting killed later this year but for all intents and purposes it was disposed of a few years ago once the 616 adopted all the cool ideas MUU begat. After ten years the weight of its own relatively brief history killed the momentum. The new exciting baby? The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

photo credit: Denton, Texas via photopin (license)


  1. Yes I used “healthful” 
  2. Ohio State, Texas, etc. 
  3. For the most part. There are always exceptions. Don’t be a smart ass. 
  4. Not related to conjunction junction. Though they did meet once. 
  5. I like ‘delight’ as a quality
  6. Is there a better way to win here? I don’t doubt there is. We haven’t seen it, however. 
  7. Of course, this presumes he hasn’t failed already. I think he has. 
  8. See Dan McCarney. He obviously can coach a mid-level non-powerhouse to respectability. He can’t necessarily bring that to NT. I mean, it is hard remember? 
Categories
Football Recruiting

JUCO-stravaganza

Now that we’re two-weeks removed from the conclusion of the 2014 football season, recruiting season is officially upon us. Coaches will work relentlessly in order to sign their top targets on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 — National Signing Day.

However, before NSD there is a much less-hyped, yet more immediately impactful signing day taking place this Wednesday, December 17th, 2014. That day is for Junior College (JUCO) signees who are set to become mid-term enrollees and enroll in the spring semester. That allows them to participate in the crucial spring practices.

Heading into this offseason our coaches are tasked with replacing twelve players who started at least six games (six on each side of the ball). Among these twelve seniors were all three of our all-conference players. Combine these personnel losses with actual loss-column losses — a 4-8 season1 in which we struggled to legitimately compete against the few .500 or better teams we faced — and you’ve got a good recipe for a busy JUCO recruiting season.

During the year, as some panic was beginning to set in, we saw some JUCO offers going out at new positions and we’ve seen more since the season has ended. We’ve also hosted quite a few JUCO visitors in Denton. Here’s a look at what JUCO positions we are looking at filling and who the recruits/candidates are. I’ve listed the positions in order of likelihood that we’ll sign a JUCO player in that position. I’m also not listing every JUCO offer we have out, since some have already committed elsewhere or have eliminated us from contention.

Just the realistic options.

Offensive line:

Losing four of five starters, this is an obvious need. We’ve already received a commitment from JUCO interior lineman Brian Ochs, but offensive tackle is the position to look out for here. Not only do we lose both starting tackles, but none of the young guys were able to emerge and take the right tackle spot in fall camp, prompting the coaches to move Cyril Lemon from guard to tackle. Those young guys still could claim a spot this year and end up being good players, but taking a JUCO OT or two is almost a necessary insurance policy.

  • OT Justin Sandifer (visited 12/5/14), listed offers from Louisville, Georgia, Florida, and Miss State.2

  • OT Preston Brooksby (visited 12/5/14), listed offers from UTSA, Old Dominion, Georgia State, and Weber State.

  • OT James Works, listed offers from East Carolina, Marshall, Georgia State, Idaho, Utah State, UAB3

Defensive back:

Another obvious position of need, with 3 of 4 starters graduating. Losing two safeties makes that an obvious spot to potentially add a JUCO. Additionally, losing second-team all CUSA cornerback James Jones is huge. Jones has played a crucial role for the UNT defense the past two years; being tasked with covering the boundary side of the field and usually matching up with the opposing team’s best receiver.

  • CB Quinton Lane (visited 12/5/14), listed offers from South Alabama, Louisiana Lafayette, Troy, Hawaii, Southern Miss, Jackson State, Jacksonville State

  • Safety James Scott (visited 12/10/14), listed offers from Kansas[^4], Southern Miss, South Alabama

  • CB Wesley Bailey, listed offers from Indiana, MTSU, Idaho, Utah State, Georgia State

Linebacker:

2014 saw a noticeable, yet inevitable dropoff in production at linebacker following the loss of NFL’er Zach Orr and fellow starter Will Wright. In addition to still trying to fill the shoes of those players, we now have to replace our one consistent linebacker from last year in first-team all CUSA linebacker Derek Akunne. Akunne was also our only linebacker with the legitimate size you look for in a SAM (strongside) linebacker. The JUCOs we are recruiting seem to be bulkier, inside linebacker types who may both be given the chance to fill Akunne’s spot at SAM or compete to replace Fred Scott and Anthony Wallace at middle linebacker if they don’t pick things up and have a good spring.

  • LB Antreon Bennett (visited 12/5/14), listed offers from Charleston Southern, SE Louisiana

  • LB AJ Hotchkins, listed offers from Bowling Green, Southern Miss, Texas State, Georgia State, Idaho

  • LB Jamal Lucas, listed offers from Texas State and UAB

Quarterback:

The position that is most highly debated going forward. Many fans want a JUCO QB who can come in and immediately jumpstart our offense, but most fans also agree our success with JUCO QBs under McCarney has been poor. The coaches have said we will be signing a guy here. I believe if we don’t sign a JUCO QB to come in and be a mid-term transfer then that may be a good indication we’ll look to add a graduate transfer QB sometime before next season.

NOTE: we have not offered these two qbs as of yet, but have expressed interest.

  • QB Damarcus Smith (visited 12/5/14), not seeing much info on him. Highly recruited out of high school.

  • QB Jake Hubenak, offer from San Diego State

 


  1.  Against one of the worst schedules in the FBS 
  2. Georgia, Florida, Miss State offers do not appear to be committable 
  3. UAB football program has disbanded 
Categories
CUSA Stuff Football

Pre-Season Favorites: 2014

The 2014 Pre-Season awards and predictions were announced today. Perhaps most surprisingly the CUSA coaches picked North Texas as favorites to top the Division over Rice and UTSA. This is in contrast to most pre-season previews that have the program finishing third behind behind the Owls and Roadrunners. I don’t put much stock in the average preview, as the majority are rehashes and under-researched. A few 1 are very well done and so must be considered carefully.

Coaches polls, perhaps surprisingly, do not usually fall in the ‘good’ category. Take for example the fact last year CUSA bosses overwhelmingly picked Tulsa to top the West. We know how that turned out.

Granted, no one saw Tulsa being so terrible, and they had some big injuries. Still, North Texas being good and UTSA being salty weren’t that surprising. Not nearly as hard to see coming as Tulane being fortunate.

Adjust your anger appropriately is all I am saying.

Really, the worst part about this is that now you’ll see “write-ups” 2 discussing “Pre-Season Favorite North Texas” and I already hate it.


  1. Myerberg, SBNation 
  2. I already have seen these terrible posts. Also I hate “write-up” as a term, and especially used within a post. “This write-up is my first. . . ” Guh. The worst
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.

Categories
Football

North Texas National Signing Day 2012

Dan McCarney has the gift of motivation. He has long been known as master of the press conference and I must admit I fell for his charm at the podium once again. I came away thinking we had the recruiting class that will be essential to our future success.

Hell we just might have.

There is, however, an underlying tone of … something. It don’t know if it is disappointment or frustration or something else. Having built a program before it would seem he would understand the difficulty in recruiting to a historically moribund program. Perhaps he thought it would be a tad easier considering the proximity to the most fertile college football recruiting ground this side of southern florida.

Dan McCarney is not a quitter and he is ever positive. I’m not worried, just intrigued.

It has been chiché to say “No coach will tell you they had a bad class”. This one was … okay. We managed to nab a stud on the offensive line in Boone Feldt, ESPN 150’s 10th ranked center in the nation. He will be the starting center going into next year.

Dan said there were no shocks or surprises in this class. I wonder if that was the reason for the relative lack of excitement on twitter for these guys. Other than a few shoutouts from high school classmates, there was no “JUST SIGNED WITH UNT!” updates. Of course, I could just suck at twitter. . .

So, the state of the program is thus: we are unknown, and have few positives outside of a shiny new stadium with which to woo recruits. The carrot, as it were, is the opportunity to be a part of a culture change. “We have lots of challenges ahead of us”, says the coach. “we need guys that want to take those kinds of things on.”

That kind of thing is hard to do. I think we probably end up with less talented, more motivated guys when we open up Spring Camp. Is that good? Yeah. Unmotivated talent is a drain. Guys that can play okay combined with a desire to succeed and a coaching staff that can teach them how? Well we might just do something pretty good, ya’ll.

Let’s get into some totally random, quick observations after looking at their minute-long highlight videos on Mean Green Premium, shall we?

Mark Lewis RB  5-10, 210 –looks shifty. and quick.

Boone Feldt OL 6-3, 276 — dominating the competition. Looks beastly.

Brad Horton 6-6 DE 230 –looks quick.

Carlos Harris WR 5-8, 175 –fast and shifty. has breakaway speed. good returner.

Connor Trussell OL 6-5, 285 — yeah pushing people around.

D.Q. Johnson JUCO DB -5-11, 185 — Can make tackles –blocked a kick. good in special teams. Apparently really fast.

David Busby S 5-11, 180 — reads the play well.

Devante Davis CB 5-11, 185 — can tackle. blowing dudes up. blew through a blocker to beat up a runner. He played LB??

Dustin Clark LB 6-1, 205 –fast. special teams guy?

Dutton Watson DT 6-3, 250–quick and big off the end.

Jamal Marshall DB 6-3,185–fast. chased down a guy from across the field. play recognition.

Jamarcus Jarvis RB 5-10, 195–shifty. quick. fast. breakaway speed.

Jarrian Roberts LB 6-2, 220– strong.

Lajaylin Smith LB 6-0, 218– quick and fast

Malik Dilonga DE 6-4, 250– Big. strong. quick.

Mustafa Haboul DT 6-0, 247 — quick. strong.

Nic Schrapps WR 6-3, 197– big and good hands. not that quick or fast.

Rex Rollins S 6-1,185 –big hitter. had some time as RB. — pretty damn fast.

Rodrick Lancaster 6-2, 200– WR –fast and plays big.

Ryan Rentfro OL 6-4, 280– Yeah. Sure is blocking and stuff.

Sir Calvin Wallace DT 6-2, 300– monster. big and strong. gets into the backfield with some quickness too.

Xavier Kelly CB 5-11, 165– quickness and speed.

Cam Feldt OL 6-5, 308 –will start JUCO transfer

Marcus Trice DB, 5-8, 190 –will start JUCO transfer.

Other:

As always, this list likely includes a bunch of guys that won’t be on the roster in three years for various reasons. Rankings and stars are tabulated on a lot of things that do not necessarily translate into on-field success. Like coach said, a lot of this is about evaluation: what you have, what you can be, and what these recruits can be.

Here’s hoping we have some gems in this thing.

Go Mean Green.

hat tip: ESPNDallas.

Categories
Football Sunbelt Stuff

Linking: Revisit 2010, Todd Dodge’s New Home and More

Football Study Hall

This is a good, objective look back on last year. It is fairy accurate (he missed some of the details) and provides the statistical version of the story your local season ticket holder would tell you without the harping on the use of tight ends.

Quick version: UNT was predictable on offense. Given the injury situation, it was understandable. The defense was terrible defending the big play.

Favorite quote:

To that end, does it really matter that the Mean Green only return six starters, few of which made much of a statistical impact in 2010? Does it matter that they lose both starters at defensive tackle … when the line was basically a sieve anyway? Their 2011 performance will be based on how quickly McCarney and incoming defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, who previously served four years as Mark Mangino’s D.C. at Kansas, can tweak UNT’s scheme, conditioning, skill, mentality, etc.

Couldn’t agree more.

Pitt Panthers Preview

Care where the Worst Coach In UNT History is now? At Pitt helping Todd Graham spread ’em and shred ’em as QB coach.

Crimson Quarry

The Hoosiers SBNation site lamely previews our upcoming clash.

Pre Snap Read

No doubt you’ve read the Pre Snap Read preview. If you haven’t — shame on you.

Favorite quote:

Take note: North Texas outgained 14 opponents over the last two seasons but won only five of those games. In those 14 games, the Mean Green gained an average of 445.6 yards per game while allowing an average of 345.0 yards per game — 100 more yards per game — yet still lost nine times. So coaching played a role.

FAU Blog

FIU’s TY Hilton for Heisman? I know the dude is smoothness but if the Sun Belt is going to produce a Heisman candidate my vote is with our own Lance Dunbar: Touchdown Machine.

New Stadium

This guy went. Took pictures. There are around 50 or so. Sweet. MGN wishes it could have attended the cookout yesterday but sadly that wasn’t possible.

Fave quote:

Everything is amazing from the sight lines, to the huge concourse with monitors everywhere, to the team store, to even small things like having bathrooms on the student side accessible pre-game for tailgaters without opening up the rest of the stadium.

[Links]
[Football Study Hall]
[Crimson Quarry]
[PreSnapRead]
[FAU Blog]
[New Stadium]

Categories
Football Football Recaps

Sept 11 v Rice — Reaction

above: blurry final score

A heartbreaker.

Yet my heart isn’t broken. The climb back to respectability is long and hard. I see this whole thing as progress.

Where we stand on Dodge’s status is irrelevant. I’ll get into the coaching mistakes later. You have to look at the facts: in two out-of-conference games so far this season, we have played decently. I know an average of 30+ points a game is not something normally called ‘decent.’ This team isn’t normal, though. They have sucked for five years. They have been a team that allows 77 points, 59 points, shitton of points, omfg number of points and so on.

So it is improvement.

What about the mistakes dude?

Okay. We still cannot make a field goal to save our lives. As we were limping our way up the field on that final drive that could have won it, I was hoping we wouldn’t be put in a situation where we had to attempt one. Oh man. That would have sucked. Now that I think about it, I’d rather the situation we did have: Derek Thompson coming in to face a 4th and 15, than to watch a potential game-winner flutter wide right.

So, you are right, old man. What the hell should be done about the horrible special teams? I really can’t say. We can go on and on about how difficult it is to do things at UNT. I really can’t honestly defend the staff however. Judging the coaching staff by Good Coach Standards, you should not see problems with the hallowed Little Things.

The Little Things:

Ball Security
Special Teams
Penalties
Awareness
Any Good Coach will harp on these until it becomes cliche. Then harp some more. He will also instill it so deeply in his players that they’ll harp on it. Then they will believe it. Then they will take care of the ball, be solid on Special Teams, avoid stupid penalties, and have good football IQ.

At least that is the thinking.

So after five years we still make mistakes in those areas. Youth excuse? Gone. New regime excuse? Used it. Not his handpicked guys excuse? Not any more.

Cynical View:

Taking into account the above mistakes we keep making, and the fact that Rice made similar ones, the fact that we were at home in front of a big crowd, and we lost, we blew a huge chance to win.

It was very similar to that Ohio game last year.

From a get-fans-in-here point of view, this is not good because it is a loss. All those new freshmen that came in continued a five year tradition of losing at home their first game.

Brightside:

This performance is a continuation of steadily improving play from last year. The oft repeated stat that we were in most of the games we played last year is true. We are getting closer to being a decent team. The fans stayed. Also there Vito, Phillips and NTDaily were all liveblogging/livetweeting the game. I call that progress. Now all we need is a TV Deal/Better webfeed/more instant replay cameras.

Conclusion:

It is impossible for the die-hard fan to look at any game without wondering what it means for Dodge’s future. A loss is bad. A win is good. That is pretty much set in stone now. The Tune injury means that Dodge’s faults are highlighted even more. His failure to build a complete team and inability to recruit and keep a solid stable of quarterbacks leaves him relying on a young, inexperienced guy to get him his requisite seven wins.