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Football Football Recaps

North Texas Destroys UTSA 45-3

Ladies and gentleman, North Texas destroyed rival from San Antonio UTSA.

The final was 45-3 and it was not even that close. North Texas put up 501 yards of offense and 290 of that was on the ground. Tre Siggers, newly appointed star running back, ran for 143 himself (on 14 carries), knocking UTSA dudes aside as he ran through them.

North Texas fans had hoped for a playmaker to help Mason Fine and it turns out it is the stable of running backs. DeAndre Torrey had 62 yards running on the ground and added 60 through the pass game and a score. The two starting backs combined for 265 yard, four scores through the air and on the ground.

Mason Fine had a pedestrian 195 and 2 scores, on 15/22 passing.

The defense that played so well for three quarters against Cal last week was outstanding against UTSA’s questionable QB talent. The thought was that if UTSA could hurt NT it would be through missed gaps, and the QB extending plays with his legs.

That proved true, but there was not enough of the execution that would hurt NT. UTSA put up 295 total yards but only 128 through the air. Frank Harris, the star sophomore QB who was an NT recruit, was hurt again on the 2nd play of the game and did not return. His backup Lowell Narcisse played well in spots but his passes were not catchable by the UTSA WRs.

He overthrew his targets, and one was intercepted because it was thrown to hard at his WR. He finished 16/36 for 124 and 2 INTs. He was most dangerous on the ground, running for 98 yards, including a 42 yard scamper that put UTSA into NT territory.

Dangerous freshman RB Sincere McCormick had a nice 20-yard run that saw him break some tackles but he was held to 62 yards. UTSA was held to 6/20 on third downs and 2/7 on fourth.

That was the story here tonight. NT’s defense is suddenly ferocious against teams without quality offensive minds calling the shots like SMU’s Sonny Dykes. SMU, by the way, upset TCU earlier this afternoon and Cal beat Ol’ Miss in Oxford.

NT is now 2-2 on the season and has a conference win to boot.

Offense

Mason Fine did not have to do much, and that is always nice. He sat for the final quarter as we saw a couple of drives from Jason Bean and Austin Aune. The run game is the driver for this group and that is fine. We have an identity now, and a spread-power run game is fine by me.

UTSA is a poor tackling team and but we have seen four games where NT has powered through tackle and showed their ability to run. Tre Siggers is much of that. When Easly went down last year, NT struggled to find the power, even though DeAndre Torrey was slicing through defenses. Their combined attack is devastating so far.

NT still can use some help in the pass game, but it was nice to see the ball move crisply through the air when it was needed. NT was 7/14 on third down and 0-2 on fourth. Not bad.

NT’s points-per-drive: 3.214. That’s excellent and includes the time-wasting at the end. Offense added 14 combined chunk plays to the total.

Defense

This unit was great. We can throw a lot of caveats about how UTSA sucks on offense and all that but the thing is you are supposed to beat up a bad team. North Texas harassed the QB all night, got turnovers, and kept UTSA off the scoreboard.

Ultimately, that is what this game is about. Stats are great, but points are the only thing that wins or loses games. Three points in four quarters against a conference opponent, and six points in seven quarters against Cal and UTSA combined.

I am feeling better about this defense as I hoped I would. We thought this unit needed time and repetitions and so far it has paid dividends. KD Davis was the leading tackler and Dion Novil was a monster up front. He created pressure, and collapsed the line from a three-man front.

NT had six tackles for loss, three sacks, five QB hurries, and two interceptions. That is quality defense, folks. Defense allowed only six chunk plays and only one of those was in the pass game.

Special Teams

Hey, a missed field goal. Mooney made another and was not needed. Just the way I like it. Kenworthy had three punts and got one inside the 20. No returns for UTSA went anywhere, and NT had some decent ones of their own but nothing noteworthy.

Coaching

Hey well NT won by 42-points and was never really threatened. They subbed out the starting QB in time to get reps for the future signal-callers and everything ended fine. Those are quality coaching results.

Thoughts

This felt real nice. It is always nice to destroy a team, but it feels extra good to do it to one of the ones that has been so close to NT for so long. No game in this series has been a true blowout — even the one in 2016 in San Antonio was close before UTSA got up two scores.

The UTSA fans are thinking of firing their coach and well, that reminds me of when NT beat SMU so bad that June Jones up and quit. SMU beat the hell out of NT and well, it is nice to be on the other side of that again.

Next up: Houston, who lost on national TV on Thursday night to Tulane. They bring a dynamic QB in D’Eriq King and a quality offensive head coach in Dana Holgerson.

Corrected Lowell Narcisse’s name. S/O to Adler on gmg.

Categories
Football

SMU Found a Coach

Apparently new SMU coach Sonny Dykes grew up an SMU fan.

“There’s a picture somewhere of the pile of SMU players in that end zone celebrating,” Dykes said. “I can promise you, there’s a 13-year-old kid in the background somewhere celebrating with them, and that was me.”

This blog had speculated aloud that Sonny Dykes, following his firing at Cal, might make his way back to Texas for some consultancy at little ol’ North Texas. The ties to Graham Harrell and Seth Littrell are there.

Instead he consulted at TCU and then took his ‘dream job’ at SMU. For North Texas, this means the competition for offensive players is raised. Chad Morris was and is a good recruiter but the power spread he ran was different enough from the NT scheme that there was not the same kind of overlap in some of the areas.

Dykes has run an up-tempo spread with tons of offensive success and put a QB in the NFL (Jared Goff) recently.

NT competes with the Ponies for recruits in the same area, and now for those interested in the same system. We also will be competing on the field until at least 2025

Categories
Football

2016 Football Schedule Series: SMU

Better Know SMU

There is a lot of time before football comes back to blind us to reality. In the mean time we could be doing postive things like hanging out with our children, being better husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, citizens, podcasters and what-have-you. If you don’t want to do those things you could get to know your opponents a little better.

For the others click here.

Date Opp
Sep 3 at SMU
Sep 10 Bethune-Cookman
Sep 17 at Florida
Sep 24 at Rice
Oct 1 MTSU
Oct 8 Marshall
Oct 15 Bye!
Oct 22 at Army
Oct 29 at UTSA
Nov 5 LaTech
Nov 12 at WKU
Nov 19 SoMiss
Nov 26 at UTEP
Dec 3 CUSA Championship Game

MGN Page – SMU

I’ll restate here what the MGN page says:

SMU is famous program in college football but not all for good reasons. There were championships in the 30s and 40s, and Doak Walker may or may not have built the Cotton Bowl, but people alive today most remember that SMU was banhammered with Death in the late 80s for cheatin’. They haven’t fully recovered since.

The ‘rivalry’ between our great school and that one in University/Highlands Park is more of the public/private, middle class/upper class variety than anything else. While the average UNT alumnus was commuting to Denton in a hand-me-down car, the SMU folks were driving a new BMW and well on their way to an internship at daddy’s law firm. Or at least that’s how the jokes go.

I don’t know if you hate them right now. Bill Connelly says they’ll be crazy and fun.

Last Year:

Opp Score
Baylor L 21-56
NT W 31-13
at TCU L 37-56
James Madison (FCS) 45-48!
ECU L 23-49
at UH L 28-49
at USF L 14-38
Tulsa L 31-40
Temple L 40-60
at Navy L 14-55
at Memphis L 0-63

SMU was awful, in the way that rebuilding teams often are. Though they managed just one more win that the year previous, the feeling around the program is one of excitement and better days. Interestingly, SMU and UNT now boast the former offensive coordinators of the ACC’s best offenses the last few years. Chad Morris laid the foundation for the Clemson beast that won the ACC and lost the NC title game. Seth Littrell’s credentials are also shiny and awesome.

Logic tells us that we should expect something similar to Chad Morris’ first year in Littrell’s 2016 season. Our bottoming out came the year after theirs did and that sure looked similar. Unfortunately, that means we are a year behind in this rivalry, which is one thing cynical portions of our fan base feared when Chad Morris was hired.

The good news is that this matchup is in Denton — #NewDenton? — where NT has had something like a clear advantage over opposition. The bad news is a big stage (relatively speaking) and the matchup just winnable enough that there could be some consequences in recruiting. A Chad Morris win on the field would help bolster his year-long advantage.

The mysteries of recruiting aside, this is one of two games that do a lot for my personal morale. The other being the UTSA game, of course. I’ve yet to walk out of Ford Field with the smugness that only the away team’s fans can have, but I have gotten the pleasure of gloating near visiting Smoo folks. I look forward to the opportunity in September. At the very least, a good showing in this game — lots of scoring, maybe some competence, potential — would hearten the students and the folks in Denton who have been beaten down by the last two awful football seasons.

If you made it out to Dallas to see UNT at SMU to begin last season, you probably were angry that Matt Davis tore through the defense time and again as he scampered for gobs of yardage. He is as SR this year, and the Morris offense should mean a more controlled, efficient Matt Davis to deal with come September. Whether or not the newly tooled North Texas can stop that onslaught enough for Alec Morris and company to keep pace will be the storyline. There are months to go before we get into breaking down further details, and that means lots of time for injuries and surprises. So we will stop with the football stuff here.

Categories
General

Not Alone

Occasionally GMG.com will fill up with complaints about spirit. If you didn’t already know that most schools have this same issue, well at least you can read about the rival down the way with a very similar problem.

Via Adrian Bermudez over at UD:

There should also be a Roadrunners chant that is divided among the stadium. One half screams “Road!” and the other side responds with “Runners!” Rowdy and the cheerleaders can direct it with signs and finger pointing. It should be drawn out and repeated ad nauseam.

Well no points for creativity, but at least the guy is trying.

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Football Football Recaps

Revenge: UNT 30 UTSA 23

That was a relief.

I mentioned how much that the two UTSA losses hurt before. It felt so good to 1. Beat that UTSA team and 2. Not be winless. The latter may seem like a stupid goal to have but considering everything it really began to gain importance as we lost more. If we had any CUSA title hopes before the season they were quickly dashed. Bowl aspirations were tossed as soon as the losses piled up.

So forgive me if I feel good after our team beat a 1-6 team that I thought we would beat before the season. It’s been that kind of year.

The offense was better than the score lets on, even though we scored 30. Nine points can be directly attributed to the defense and special teams, and that makes me feel good. It’s almost like the ghost of 2013 came back to avenge the loss they had on that cold November day. Still our team left 10 points on the field tonight. DaMarcus Smith, rusher of 137 yards and passer of only 104, fumbled at the one yard line while trying to dive over a UTSA defender. Reliable Trevor Moore shanked a gimme field goal right before half.

The defense was able to continue the solid play that was hinted at against Marshall. They got to UTSA’s QB Sturm, and mostly shuttered the UTSA run game. Aside from some longish drives and some questionable drives, they won the game twice by holding UTSA on the final two drives.

UNT lost the yardage battle 475-371 but they won the special teams battle, missed field goals included. It is a three-phase game after all. That basically separated the two evenly matched teams. And yes, they were evenly matched teams. Much was made from the Roadrunner fandom about NT’s standing as the “Worst Team in the Nation” and yeah, the stats can’t be argued with. But anyone who watched this team in the weeks since McCarney was fired has seen the incremental improvement. This team tonight would not have lost to Portland State so badly.

It’s almost like the ghost of 2013 came back to avenge the loss they had on that cold November day.

Speaking of it, that Portland State loss was really hanging over this game wasn’t it? For our guys, it was to say that they aren’t that team anymore. I’ve noticed marked improvement since then. We should mark the season BPSU and APSU. Before, the Mean Green fandom loathed the thought of losing to an FCS team. For UTSA fans, losing to the team that lost to an FCS team would mark the nadir of the season and the beginning of the end of the Larry Coker era.

And so it goes. North Texas beat a team a lot of people felt they should have beaten and UTSA lost to a team the oddsmakers felt they should have beaten. Ergo two evenly matched teams.

Before we go further into the dissection of the game, lets point out something about this rivalry. All three games have come down to the final drive, with the eventual losing team needing just 7 or 8 points to tie. Two years ago Derek Thompson led his offense to the one-yard line before throwing an interception, with the team down 8. Last season, UNT forced a punt down 7 and Zac Whitfield tried to return a short punt but muffed it. UTSA ran out the clock. This season North Texas held UTSA on two straight fourth quarter drives while defending a 7 point lead.

Prediction Check

I said on the podcast that 1. We’d be able to run successfully on this team 2. We’d be able to sack this team and 3. We’d win this game.

I’m happy to say I was right on all the above counts, not because I like to pat myself on the back, but because it is confirmation that I’m not crazy, and have a decent handle on this team.

Offense

Whoa. DaMarcus Smith is dynamic isn’t he? Well I suppose that’s code for “he can run and pass” but it seems he is most dangerous when running. Then again, he fumbled twice while going for the goalline. The first was a slippage and the second was trying too hard. I can’t really blame him for trying to dive into the endzone from an effort point of view, but he has to make better decisions. That was a first down play that didn’t require an epic dive into the endzone there. That said, he rushed for 137 yards including a killer 54-yard run in the 4th while the two teams were tied on 3rd down. That is the kind of game-breaking ability we’ve needed from that position. McNulty’s 93-yard TD to Carlos Harris aside, what other plays can we point to from that position beside DaMarcus Smith plays?

I’ll stop there because I don’t want to have a QB debate. Instead I want to talk about Jeffery Wilson. He continued his dominance of CUSA foes by slashing through UTSA’s 48th ranked rush defense for 127 yards on 22 carries. Were it not for a couple of 1-yard dives in the final drive, he would have been near his season average of 6.4. He finished at 5.8. His longest on the day was 27, but quoting stats at you won’t do his night justice. He ran through way more UTSA tackles than he had any right to and was essentially the only offense UNT had. The run that put him over 100 in the 4th quarter was incredible. He reversed field on the entire defense, got a block from D. Smith and turned it up field. It was on this same drive earlier that he made some ridiculous cuts that made defenders look silly. His explosive yardage — basically yardage after the first 4 yards (those belong to the lineman) are ridiculous. He makes people miss in the open field, has incredible speed, and hard to tackle easily. He’s special.

The offense was doing what I hoped it would — 1. Wilson 2. DaMarcus Keepers 3. PA passes. When they did any of the combination above, they did well. When they didn’t — it didn’t go so well. UTSA’s defense isn’t very good, and we shouldn’t be overly excited. These last three week’s have seen the team score 28, 13, and 30. That’s a real improvement, you guys. Improvement is all we can ask for at this point.

One note about DaMarcus Smith. He was inaccurate again, completing only 50% of his passes but they were experience problems. We cannot complain about him missing practice this week while attending the funeral for his best friend. He’ll be better next week.

Defense

I expected the defensive line to get sacks against the Roadrunner front line. Jarrian Roberts, Malik Dilonga, and Chad Polk all tallied sacks when UTSA dropped back to pass. There were numerous QB hurries. The problem was that UTSA got smart and began to throw only on PA passes. They took a looong time to make that change, much to the chagrin of UTSA’s twitter fans. Every member of the secondary did a great job of tackling in the open field, something that UTSA really makes difficult. Nate Brooks in particular made a great tackle on the first of UTSA’s final two drives on 3rd and 12. UTSA’s Kerry Thomas took a short pass and was headed for a first down were it not for Brooks’ drive-saving tackle. Zac Whitfield knocked the fourth down pass away to earn the ball back for NT.

Chad Davis made some really nice tackles, also. James Gray had some hit sticks. The real star was the man who has been dominating the defensive statistics charts all season — Kishawn McClain. He not only led the team in tackles again, he also scooped up the UTSA fumble and scored the first defensive TD of the season. Late in the second quarter he made a hell of a play defending UTSA’s best receiver David Morgan in the corner of the endzone that was the difference between going down 14-7 and going down 10-7. That was the drive where Sturm should have been called for a grounding penalty.

The defense is making improvements. They aren’t the 2013 squad but they aren’t the team that was gashed by Portland State either. UTSA, one of the worst offensive teams in football, was able to move the ball easily at times — especially running straight ahead. In the 4th quarter drive that briefly put UTSA ahead 23-21, they spread out our defense, picked us apart with some throws, then ran straight at us with Dalton Sturm on a couple of play action runs. Then they went heavy and ran, then play actioned for the TD.

Next week the defense face Louisiana Tech, a really good offense. That is followed by Tennessee. We’ll likely allow way more points and yards but look for the good things we saw today — the defensive line penetration and the solid tackling by the secondary.

Right now let’s enjoy the fact that they made game-winning stops, scored points, and generally made plays when they were dominated in time of possession 37min to 22min.

Special Teams

Trevor Moore shanked a would-be tying field goal right before the half. Outside of that we dominated special teams. James Gray had a nice kick return, Tre’ Johnson had one amazing return, Austin Orr blocked the extra point that Chad Davis returned for 2 points. That turned a 3-point deficit into a tied game. UTSA wasn’t able to get anything on returns, averaging only 3 on punt returns and 19.8 on kick returns. Our guys generally hustled on special teams and that was evident in every chance they got.

Coaching

This team came out ready to play. They out hustled UTSA 1. Still if we know anything about Mike Canales it is that he’ll coach with passion. You can see that in the team. After the game the team posed with the chain, the chain of “Lock the Gate” fame. That’s quality motivating 2.

Other

That inverted veer I complained about? Well DaMarcus Smith gashed UTSA on that a couple of times. Upon second viewing that fist D.Smith fumble was so ridiculous. A guaranteed TD. The following play UNT tried the fumblerooski play but there was a procedure penalty. The following play was a bad read from Smith — he should have given on the read — but he made the read defender — a DE — miss badly and then eventually fumbled. Both fumble plays were 100% DaMarcus Smith good and bad. The dude is incredible.


I don’t have video of it, but Jeff Wilson’s TD was on a sweep. I had thought they’d have success on that — they did — but the run was all Wilson. He should have been tackled short but powered through. He’s special.


UTSA really tried pressuring Smith and he was able to only have two sacks. He would have really burned them if he were able to hit some of the deep stuff. He and Thaddeus Thompson are absolutely not on the same page.


North Texas really wasted that Carlos Harris incredible catch along the sideline. UTSA had just went up 10-7, did that awful onside kick and Smith found Harris on the right sideline. After a couple of runs, Smith missed badly on a throw to Harris in which Carlos had absolutely BURNT Bennett Okotcha, their star cornerback. That drive should have come way with 7 points instead of the 0 that it did. I suppose the miss was karma from the football gods for not going again toward the endzone with 10 seconds remaining on second-freaking-down.


Dalton Sturm can run and he’s okay when he sets his feet and throws. I bet Jeff Driskel will be a bigger handful next week. LaTech only managed 34 and allowed 31 against this UTSA squad so that should give you hope.


UTSA did a lot to beat themselves. They had two huge fumbles — one to begin the third quarter drive on 4th and 1. The second was the big scoop and score that McClain had. Our defense did great to get them in 4th down sure, but it could have been different if UTSA had scored on that drive. I’d rather be lucky than good, obviously. Their final drive was essentially killed on a holding call. That turned 2nd and 5 into 2nd and 20, of course plenty of credit should go our defesnive line’s way as they nearly sacked Sturm, forcing him to scramble and causing the offensive line to hold.


Some of my favorite tweets that came across the TL.


  1. Which may be more of an Larry Coker problem than our quality coaching but whatever. 
  2. If not strange. But hey, it’s not me that needs to be convinced. 
Categories
Football Football Recaps

Still No Offense: SMU 31 NT 13

I really could just get last season’s recap of the Texas game and swap out the ‘Texas’ words for ‘SMU’ words.

Let’s try the first couple of grafs.

North Texas and the fans and students thereof came to Austin Dallas expecting to give Texas SMU a run for their money in DKR-Texas Memorial Gerry Ford Stadium. The defense did just that. The special teams was equal to their Longhorn Pony counterpart. The offense completely disappointed.

These are facts. They are not in dispute.

Both of the quarterbacks The same guy seeking to replace outgoing Derek Thompson underwhelmed. They combined for fifteen yards He managed 128 passing. Combined. For fifteen One-hundred-twenty-eight. Yards. 15 128

This is in an era where passing yards come in bulk. A weekend where three different quarterbacks put up 500+ yards passing. This is the only thing that’s different. Although WKU’s Doughty had 441

Our guys? 15. 128

It isn’t very much different. The offense scored points this time, which was nice. In the previews (and long before) I have been reminding anyone who would listen that the historic, great, amazing 2013 season was filled with Special Teams and Defensive touchdowns. While this one didn’t have those, the other two groups not called offense were huge in this game. Sure, Trevor Moore shanked a field goal, but overall that didn’t lose the game.

Before we continue let’s look at something else I didn’t like.

Awful Analysis of The Week

From our Vito:

Even when one takes that all into account, UNT was just not very effective. UNT had 240 yards all night after putting up 43 points against SMU last season.

Sorry. I’ll accept UNT had 13 points after 43 last year. Or UNT had only 240 yards after 353 last year. Or UNT only converted 6-16 3rd downs after converting 6-16 last — wait what?

That’s right.

Let’s compare offenses from the last two SMU games:

This Last
Passing 128 108
Pass Att 34 17
Rushing 112 245
1st Downs 17 17
3rd eff 6-16 6-16
4th eff 0-0 1-1
YPRush 3.4 4.5
YPPass 3.6 6
Penalties 15-139 15-139

Another dirty little secret that was hidden under the rug of a complete blowout was the fact that the offense was boring. Now, the more discerning among you remember that Josh Greer could have made more of his attempts early and the run game and defense largely carried the day against a toothless SMU squad.

Offense

Let’s begin where we are most concerned. The QB play was terrible. Andrew McNulty put up 47% passing 128 yards and 2INTs. That’s the worst we’ve had since … November of last season.

Wait, what?

Worst passing games in UNT recent history

Date Opponent Att Comp Pct Yds Y/Att
9/22/15 @ SMU 34 16 47.1 128 3.6
11/22/14 FIU 20 9 45.0 105 5.3
10/25/14 @Rice 34 16 47.1 190 5.9
8/30/14 @Texas 17 3 17.6 15 0.9

Yes. We have four (!!!) games with sub-50% passing in the last year. We know what happened against Texas, and the FIU game was followed up with a solid outing against a good UTSA defense. With an entire offseason, a QB competition, and a QB friendly offense, we had reason to expect a more efficient pass game to take pressure off a talented running back stable.

Instead we got more of the same. The outrage is palpable. The groans after Canales called three straight runs after the initial turnover deep in SMU territory were loud.

On the Game Day podcast I mentioned needing special teams to make plays to overcome the Chad Morris / SMU offensive talent disparity. The opening fumbled snap by SMU’s punter Josh Williams was a gift that we squandered. Sure, Trevor Moore is automatic1, but we don’t play offense to score field goals do we?

Do we?

I don’t know.

The play-calling and the decision making from the coaching staff suggests that we are actually playing to score field goals. Carlos Harris and Antoinne Jimmerson are playmakers but surely someone can catch a 15-yard pass in the end zone? Last season against SMU, I complained that we didn’t try to exploit Darius Terrell’s size in the end zone. This year that size advantage is Marcus Smith against anyone. He was missing from the first series but that’s no excuse to not even attempt something going toward six points.

Even more puzzling was that later Canales and company called three straight deep passes from the SMU 40 when down a point.

This sprout of aggressiveness was surrounded by an infuriatingly predictable series of run-run-pass sequences. Keeping the defense honest would go a long way toward maximizing the QB’s abilities and certainly put the players in a better position to succeed.

Really, isn’t that the entire purpose of the coaching staff? The players win and lose the games, but their coaches are supposed to put them in the best position to do the former and avoid the latter.

What Now?

Carlos Harris defended his quarterback — as well he should. Sed Ellis trashed everyone who was calling UNT trash after the game. These are reasonable reactions to feeling like your fans are not supporting you when you are feeling bad. The fans aren’t turning on the team. Just the coaching staff. And with good reason.

This mess of an offense is squarely on Dan McCarney and Mike Canales. North Texas has weapons to score points. Did you see Antoinne Jimmerson rushing for yet another 25+ yard touchdown? Yes. Imagine if the defense wasn’t stacking the box and sitting on short throws.

This is one calendar year of disappointing offense that is handcuffing a pretty solid defense.

Harris also (rightly) complained about some questionable no-calls by the ref on some deep passes in the second quarter. However, if we are relying on these kinds of things for offense, we are in trouble.

Turner Smiley was second in receiving. He looked good. The reciving corps as a whole were solid but dropped a couple of passes.

Here is the drive chart. NT averaged a starting position on their own 41 for the first half and came away with two FG, 1 Missed FG, and 1 fumble. That’s not winning football on the road.

Start Plays Yards Result
SMU 16 4 8 FG
UNT 15 6 25 PUNT
UNT 46 6 14 PUNT
UNT 20 5 26 PUNT
SMU 30 7 22 FG
UNT 42 1 -11 FUMBLE
UNT 13 11 56 Missed FG
UNT 25 2 0 INT
UNT 1 3 0 PUNT
UNT 25 9 75 TD
UNT 25 10 41 FUMBLE
UNT 22 3 5 PUNT
UNT 25 3 4 INT

Defense

The heroes of the game. Ladies and gentleman, the defense deserved better than what their offensive teammates gave them. Two goal line stands, a couple of forced turnovers, short fields and solid tackling against good playmakers early.

Yes. Matt Davis and that Malone kid had themselves a helluva time running through the teeth of the defense in the fourth quarter.

Still, SMU had the defense on the field for 35:50.

SMU’s drive results for the 9 possessions prior to scoring 24 on their final four (meaningful) drives: Downs, TD, Punt, Fumble, Fumble, Punt, Fumble, Half, Downs.

Remember SMU scared half the fanbase with their first quarter performance against Baylor last week. Everyone, including this blog thought we were going to struggle with Courtland Sutton and Matt Davis. In the end Davis was the player of the game but only after being corralled successfully for the best part of 45 minutes.

The defensive line did a great job stepping up to the challenge of shutting down the inside run game on which the entire Morris offense is based. They did a slightly poorer job tackling him, Malone, or anyone in the open field with consistency. He is shifty, so it’s hard to blame them.

Blake Bean led the team with 10 tackles and forced a fumble. Kishawn McClain was second in tackles and also forced a fumble. James Gray, Cedric Fernades, Zac Whitfield (welcome back!) were all very solid in pass coverage. Whitfield has always had a problem with double-moves and got burned on one but overall he was very solid.

Of course, the defense was without Kenny Buyers, who will miss significant time with a bad back. Chad Davis and company performed admirably in his stead.

Sack Watch

3.0

Leaders:

  1. Rod Young, Chad Davis, 1.0
  2. Andy Flusche, Sir Calvin Wallace 0.5

Very Early Look Ahead

Rice can run and they are very good. The mood of the fans after what was essentially a home game will be interesting to watch. Lots of message boarders and online people were suggesting they weren’t going got show up. That likely is a lot of immediate frustration talking.

Still, Greg mentioned that the students were complaining about having had taken the bus and having to watch a disappointing ending.

Three weeks into the college football season is a difficult time to play your first true home game. I’ll be there. This game with Rice was always going to be more important that the one with SMU, rivalry aside. Rice is a private school that looks down their noses, also, and they are in the conference. A win at home against a solid Rice team will go a long way to soothing the hurt everyone feels.

Random

This guy was very annoying.

face_of_smu


  1. Yep. He did miss one. 
Categories
General

The (Half-Ass) 2014 North Texas Sports Media Awards

2014 started with so much promise. We traveled deep into the Heart of Dallas, felt its rhythmic, tribal beating, and took what was rightfully ours. I remember when the game started and UNLV marched right down and scored early, that familiar “ol’ North Texas can’t have nothin’” dread quickly washed over and started numbing my extremities in a way only this fan base understands. Then, the team just beat the crap out of them and there was joy and a sense that anything was possible.

Now, we’re a year out and all of those happy thoughts have been replaced by anything ranging from this

http://memegenerator.net/instance/57599916

to this

http://memegenerator.net/instance/57599959

depending on a number of factors ranging from world view, age to political preferences. On the plus side, the last sports match of the year featured our Hoops Benfords on the road holding Texas Tech to 43% shooting (and still losing by 15.)

Wait — was that last sentence a compliment?

I’m glad you asked, because the only thing that seemingly evolved this season was the media coverage around the program, including how things were reported out, spun and otherwise covered. That is why I am proud to present the first Mean Green Nation media year in review. This is by no means comprehensive or coherent, so please direct any and all hate mail to your personal twitter account and hashtag appropriately to fully capture your outrage.

The Quoner Memorial “Hey – Remember When Johnny Quinn Was Everywhere?” Award: Johnny Quinn, for being everywhere
Who else but Olympic hero Johnny Quinn. Now that he broke down the walls to everyone’s hearts, we surely won’t hear the end of him, right? See, he’s right there between the TCU/Baylor controversy and Donald Sterling forever!

The George Dunham Bravado Award: SMU speech at the coach’s show
George usually finds ways to show how little he cares for the message board/blog crowd on his show, but that didn’t stop him from firing up his own YouTube comment section-worthy “HOT TAKE” on SMU before the game:

“I am a North Texas grad,” Dunham said on the radio show. “That is our rivalry. I hate SMU and always have. If they were playing Russia State, I would root for Russia State to beat them by four touchdowns.”

Two theories here – he’s been watching Red Dawn between film study and show prep, or he just hadn’t fired up the old Taketronic 6000 since the Reagan years. Don’t worry, those sea legs come back quick.

“I Bet Coach Wants This One Back” Award: Dan McCarney on how hard it is to win at North Texas
Of all the Dan McCarney decisions that can be second guessed this year, I think the one to complain about his situation is the worst one – because if he doesn’t win next year, you’re going to read it endlessly from every angry internet hot take artist with a pulse.

Weirdest Twitter Feud Award: The SID and Student Body President
It all started with an attempt by the North Texan to explain why people aren’t attending basketball games anymore (probably a major mystery we should put out best men on), and ended with a very weak quote to come out of a student representative’s mouth. That said, I think most of us would have missed it if not for some hot Twitter action a few days later. It looks like they hashed it all out and even came to an understanding, but it just seemed weird to do it publically. Thanks internet.

Best Rehash of an Untrue Origin Story Award: Each CUSA Broadcast team who recited the Mean Joe Greene story.
We didn’t name the team after the player. It is a fun story but untrue. Do we want it to be the origin story? Doesn’t matter. Do we think it would be easier to just let the announcers run with it and keep up the fun? Doesn’t matter. Is it laziness on the part of the announcing crew, who are either inexperienced weatherman doing a gig where they get to be Pat Summerall and John Madden; or a couple of pros who actually wish they got the TCU/Baylor game on FSSW? Doesn’t matter. Is it on the SID’s plate o’ facts that are always ignored? Doesn’t matter. Where is Snopes when you need them?

I Hope That Guy Does Well Award: The kid that did the sideline reporting during the CUSA broadcasts that writes for NT Dailyit turns out he doesn’t write for the Daily. Where did I get that from? — and also does the Green Guys show. Green Guys isn’t particularly great, but it is a show about MG and I love them for it. Three cheers for good ol’ Evan Nemec, who was miles ahead of any of the other school’s sideline kids. A special shoutout to UAB’s sideline reporter lady, whose less-than-awesome dispatches spawned a bit on the Deranged Pengwin Podcast that no one understands. Woot!

Most Random/Optimistic Tweet in the Face of Sorrow Award: Mean Green Sports Social Media
Running the official social media feed is a thankless task – so why start thanking anyone now? They knew what they signed up for. Sometimes, when things are going poorly or the situation is a little odd, you got to just dive in and make the best of it. [You can totally pick which one here]


https://twitter.com/FSSWGirls/status/456892448854114304

SID Intern Working OT Fun Fact of the Year Award: (Tie) November Record vs. Four Year Record
We won November, which is more than Indians can say. Also, it was pointed out we have 22 wins in fours years in some game notes. Don’t be depressed about that – just the number make you feel like you just got 4 Dodges worth of wins.

Best North Texas State Reference: All of Them!

I didn’t get a chance to see the LHN coverage of the first game from the crowd, but dammit I know one of them called us North Texas State. Damn you 1961-1988! Damn you SCOTT BAKULA!!

Craig Miller Memorial Allegiance Award: Mike Taylor of the Ticket in San Antonio
Imagine if Randy Galloway’s less talented clone from another dimension was trying to do Ticket (Dallas) bits and you have imagined Taylor. In his defense, he is the best San Antonio has on the air and when his bosses let him be fun he was fun. He went to NT (for a while) , but insists on rooting for TCU (he’s from FW) and throwing shade this-a-way. Like purposefully calling us NT State in the lead-up to the UTSA-UNT game (it’s as genius as calling a guy named Chuck Charles until he politely asks you to stop for the 50th time.)  Its grating after a while and when you are in San Antonio and the only bit of Fortune 500-funded-media (iHeart Radio, neé Clear Channel) that is talking UNTvUTSA is Taylor, it is relatively inescapable.

Citizenship Award for Classiest Opponent Play-by-Play: Rice Owls Soccer Announcer Calls Our Soccer Coach a Prick on the Air
Watching women’s college soccer is an interesting activity when placed in the context of larger college sportsball watching activities. One of the things you realize is that the broadcasts are unrestrained, un-good, and sometimes unhinged.

Here is the audio!

Categories
Football

THE BREAKDOWN

North Texas Mean Green vs. SMU Mustangs

 

Date: September 6th, 2014

Time: 11:00 am CT

Location: Denton, TX

Line: UNT -2.5

TV: Fox Sports Southwest

Weather: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 90. North northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.

Stats

 

O Starters

D Starters

ST Starters

Game Notes

North Texas

SMU


 

 

What They’re Saying

Adam – North Texas 27 SMU 24

Greg – North Texas 14 SMU 9

TEAMRANKINGS –  North Texas 27 SMU 24

numberFire – North Texas 33 SMU 24

Bleacher Report – North Texas 23 SMU 17

Sports Chat – SMU to cover -3.5

Dallas Morning News – SMU 20 North Texas 16

Brett Vito – North Texas 24 SMU 21

GMG.com 

Ponyfans.com


 

 

Match-Ups

Mean Green Run Offense vs. Mustang Run Defense

Last week the UNT run game was practically smothered and bullied around by a very good defense. Still though the ground game was able to rush for 123 yards with virtually no threat from the pass game to help it. This week UNT’s run game should be able to find success and lanes that weren’t open last week. Reggie Pegram will get his second start of this year. Pegram didn’t look rusty at all, coming off that ACL injury. He ran with toughness and good vision. Jimmerson wasn’t patient last week and instead of dancing to get to an open lane, he was just dancing. He needs to plant and get up the field and then do his dancing in open space. Freshman Jeffery Wilson played very well for his 1st game in a big time environment. It will be interesting to see what he can do with a little bit more space this week. UNT is going to rely on the power run game, and we may see it more this week due to the uncertainty at the QB position. Expect to see lots of pre snap shifts and motions from the Mean Green to get the SMU defense out of place or at least to identify what the defense is giving UNT. Again expect to see the zone runs out of the gun. Expect to see a ton of 11 and 12 personnel. I especially believe that UNT will attack this 3 man front with 2 TE’s out of the gun. I believe that a lot of what UNT will do will be based on where the WLB lines up. If Coach Canles believes he is shading inside he will use bubble and WR screens. Once Coach Canales gets that WLB to shade a bit outside he will be attacking with the zone runs that weren’t too successful last week. This week UNT really wants to attack the alley between the NT and the E.

SMU struggled to corral the Baylor run game last week giving up 261 yards. They struggled with alignment and the tempo that Baylor played at. They also struggled getting off blocks. Still though this remains the strength of the SMU defense. They have a solid group of LB’s led by play-makers Jonathan Yenga and Stephon Sanders. UNT fans know SMU is going to stack the line of scrimmage and close up running lanes. SMU know’s that UNT is physical. This is where the game will be won or lost. If UNT is able to stay on their blocks and open up holes for the talented backfield, well then its going to be a long day for the Mustangs.

Key Player Match-up – Mason Y’Barbo vs. Jonathan Yenga

Stats to Consider – 1.8 YPC vs UT, SMU gave up 5.2 YPC vs Baylor

 

Mean Green Pass Offense vs. Mustang Pass Defense

Not much can be made of what was the North Texas passing game this past Saturday. I’m not sure you accurately assess what UNT was trying to accomplish. The North Texas QB’s Josh Greer and Andrew McNulty looked like high school QB’s. They were not prepared for the type of pressure that Texas applied. A lot of times they had their eyes on the rush rather than down the field. They will need to make quicker decisions this week if the UNT pass game is going to rebound. The UNT OL did the QB’s no favor’s either. They missed assignments which is not something that happens often.  I expect the OL to play much better vs. SMU. The WR group never really got a chance to show what they can do. I still fill like there are playmakers amongst this group, it’s just a matter of if the UNT QB can get them the ball. I really expect there to be a huge jump in production from this group. As I mentioned early I believe that UNT is going attack the DB’s with WR screens early on to open up the running lanes. Doing this may also instill some confidence into the QB. A strong run game may also lead to more play action success then we saw last week. Again all this dependent on the UNT QB playing at a much higher level.

 SMU’s secondary is not very experienced and it showed against Baylor. With virtually no pass rush the Mustangs had trouble getting stops. Their secondary wasnt great, but it was okay vs. the Bears. They are probably breathing a sigh of relief after seeing the UNT game film. I think they will be challenged more this week, but they should still be able to hold the UNT pass game in check. If UNT’s run game is clicking and then the SMU DB’s may have trouble with a play action. A couple of times last week they got burned over the top by the speedy Baylor WR’s. UNT doesn’t have that kind of speed at WR, but it does have enough to get behind the SMU secondary.

Key Player Match-up – Josh Greer vs. Horace Richardson

Stats to Consider – Combined UNT QB efficiency rating -22

Mean Green OL vs.  Mustang DL

The UNT OL was flat out embarrassed last week against UT. They are aware of it, so you and I know that there will be a certain level of determination this week. It seemed like last year every time the OL had a game where they struggled it the next game they came back and killed it. Mason Y’Barbo and Shawn McKinney really got dominated on the interior. Antonio Johnson and Cyril Lemon struggled with the speed of the UT DL. This is a proud group who will bounce back this week.

SMU’s DL failed to really get any pressure on Baylor at all. SMU will attack the UNT OL with 3 down linemen. Baylor did a great job of attacking the bubbles in that 3 man front. This group in not huge for a 3 man group of DL. They are not very good at keeping OL off their LB’s.

Key Player Match-up – Kaydon Kirby vs. Darrian Wright

Stat to Consider – 4 sacks given up by UNT; 0 sacks registered by SMU

Mean Green Run Defense vs. Mustang Run Offense

UNT’s defense last week was the high point. Many analyst expected the Texas Longhorns to dominate the UNT D on the ground. Well UT had its moments, but for the most part the Mean Green held UT in check. I expect them to have good success this week against a team that is not going to threaten with the run. Last week UNT rotated a ton of guys. UNT got good performances out of Dutton Watson, walkon Andy Flusche, and Jarrian Roberts. This week they welcome back the most experienced DL of the group Daryl Mason. Other guys who will see time are Alexander Lincoln, Chad Polk, Sid Moore, Malik Dilonga, Sir Calvin Wallace and DT Austin Orr. The LB core  was exciting to watch. They played fast and aggressive against UT. MLB Anthony Wallace got a chance to show off his talents, and really laid the wood to some players. This game sets up real nice for the Mean Green LB’s. They should be able to show case their speed and athleticism against a team that likes to spread you out. 

SMU’s run game isnt much to talk of. They run the ball to keep you honest. Look for them to run your basic draws, dives, and zone read plays. RB Kevin Pope is a big back, but athletic. Prescott Line is the other big back that SMU with throw at the UNT defense. Don’t be surprised if Matt Davis comes into the game to run some zone reads or QB draws. He is a really athletic QB who could hurt the UNT defense with his legs.  I fully expect the UNT defense to keep the SMU run game under control.

Key Player Match-up – Derek Akunne vs. Kevin Pope

Stats to Consider – -24 yards rushing last week for SMU including sacks. Without the sacks 50 yards rushing

Mean Green Pass Defense vs. Mustang Pass Offense

Last week the UNT pass defense fared okay vs. the UT passing game. They were never really burned on a play and never beat over the top. That is what we have come to expect from this pass defense. Kenny Buyers and James Jones were solid. Lee what is hit stick self. The nice surprise of the night was to see Sheldon Wade play good. He looked like he belonged out their and I expect his play to only get better as the season goes on. This week against SMU the UNT DB’s face a pretty good test. They will need to be on top of their fundamental game. SMU wants those yards after catch. The LB’s will be forced to defend in space, which is something I expect them to do well. The fun part should be watching the DL pin its ears back and rush the passer. Jarrian Roberts, Chad Polk, and Daryl Mason should all have big games this week.

SMU’s coach June Jones is famous for his Run & Shoot offense. Its a vertical passing attack. When the OL cant block the DL well, they will throw a lot of WR screens and RB screens. SMU will almost always be in some 4 wide set. Most of the time its going to be 2 wide on each side. SMU will go trips to the right or left as well. In the Jones offense its all about the WR’s reading the defense and finding the correct gaps. The run and shoot passing attack really struggles against teams with good DB’s who are athletic enough to stay with those WR’s and close down the passing lanes. Baylor had good enough athletes and DB’s to really hinder the SMU passing attack. Of coarse Baylor also was helped by the pass rush. If UNT is able to get similar pressure from their front four, well its going to be a long day for the Mustangs.

Key Player Match-up – Kenny Buyers vs. Der’rikk Thompson

Stats to Consider – 2.3 yards per pass for SMU

Mean Green DL vs. Mustang OL

UNT’s DL stood its ground last week against a bigger OL from Texas. This unit is undersized, but they are tenacious. Each guy that rotates in their gets after it. This is the type of game where they could really do some damage. SMU struggles with speed rushes, something I believe that this UNT DL cant excel at. Texas tried to run at the edges of this UNT DL which was sort of intresting. SMU wont do that. Anything they try running wise will be directly at the middle of the DL. It will be interesting to watch if the UNT DL can get off their blocks and shut down the run game. Once UNT gets SMU in those passing situations I fully believe we will see some really good pressure.

SMU’s offensive line was even worse than the UNT OL. They looked like a high school group against Baylor. In their defense they are one of the most inexperienced DL’s in the country. The Bears were able to accumulate  9 sacks against this group. Many times Baylor defenders just blew right by the Mustang OL. They’ve shuffled a few guys around up front and should perform better this week. I still think they will struggle with the speed of the UNT DL.

Key Player Match-up – Daryl Mason vs. Seaver Meyers

Stats to Consider –9 sacks for negative 70 yards.

 

 

Matchups O

Matchups D

Matchups ST

 


 

Five Factors

These five factors – explosiveness, efficiency, field position, finishing drives, and turnovers go a long way in determining who wins a game. If you go back and look at each team last week they were out classed. Just based on the explosiveness factor alone Texas had a 98.9% chance of winning with an average score margin of 32.2. Pretty close to the actual margin of 31. I’m giving North Texas a 54% chance of winning vs SMU with a 2 point advantage based on these factors. You can tell both teams were equally bad last week.

Five Factors

 

Scouting Dashboard

Scout 1

Scout 2

Scout 3

Scout 4

 


 

Game Plan for Victory

OFFENSE

  1. Build the confidence of the QB early with easy throws
  2. Limit 3rd and long’s. Need 3 and 4 or shorter
  3. Have a run to pass ratio of  at least 60% to 40%
  4. Hit at least 46 rushing attempts
  5. Average 4 yards per 1st down play
  6. Average 5 yards per play through the game
  7. Get close to 150 yards passing
  8. Get close to 212 yards rushing
  9. Convert over 40% of 3rd downs
  10. Score over 24 points

DEFENSE

  1. Force SMU into a passing down at least 65% of the time on 3rd downs
  2. Limit SMU to under 60 yards rushing
  3. Limit SMU to under 220 yards passing
  4. Limit SMU to under 5 yards per play
  5. Limit SMU to under 40% 3rd down conversation rate
  6. Force 3 SMU turnovers
  7. Win up the battle in the trenches forcing the QB’s to make quick decisions
  8. Limit the run after catch yardage
  9. Dont let the QB scramble convert 3rd downs
  10. Limit SMU to under 17 points
Categories
Football

Thoughts on the Budding Rivalry With UTSA

Ever since the possibility of UTSA playing some football came up I talked up how similar the two programs are (despite what people on both sides think). When both got tossed into the same conference I was ecstatic. We haven’t had a true conference rival for as long as I can remember. North vs South, Dallas’ “elitism” vs San Antonio’s “small city charm”, etc.

Still, most Mean Green fans felt little more than annoyance for the Roadrunners until they ruined the undefeated home record. Bastards. You can hear it in Justin Brumit’s voice as he declares that he actually, really and truly hates UTSA now on MGN 24.

CUSA has seemingly recognized the rivalry as such and scheduled it during Rivalry Weekend. All is as it should be . . . except for the name.

Some stupid suggestions have been bandied about. The one I like? #TexasCivilWar.

Now we just need a trophy. I’d be perfectly happy to pitch in cash money to get one made. I’m sure the UTSA die-hards are down for it too. Going to post the ideas for a design as they come to me in this thread.

UPDATE:

Forgot to include this from James Jones:

Categories
Football Football Recaps

North Texas 13 UTSA 21: Post Mortem

Let us all give due praise to the new UTSA football program. They came into Apogee and put up 450+ yards against a good defensive unit, on a cold day in Denton. The didn’t look scared, they didn’t get rattled, they played their game and won.

That said, it wasn’t as we haven’t seen this before. This was more a North Texas loss than it was a UTSA win. The offense struggled, and the defense — although it gave up 75% conversation rate on 3rd downs and got lit up for 450 yards — did what it was supposed to do: hold UTSA out of the end zone for a lot of the game. Giving up 21 points is not an automatic loss. On the flip side, the offense couldn’t move the ball because of drops, overthrows, and penalties, and even worse — couldn’t score once it got to the end zone. UTSA has a nice defense, and our offense isn’t very explosive. We know this. This shouldn’t have been such a dismal effort.

If it was the bye, the coaching, the mentality or the cold — I don’t much care. The fact remains that the offense was not good enough until late. The defense played poorly but wasn’t awful. Also, we were on the end of some terrible calls. That all adds up to a night where we finally caught a break — a gift of one second to run a play — and we throw an interception.

Let’s break it all down, in order of Outrage:

The Refs

I hate, HATE, to blame the refs for anything but they sure made it hard for me to stick to my own rule. The punt thing sure looked like UTSA’s Monroe touched it. That would have set up the offense in the red zone (which I mean, with the way we were playing offense means a field goal? Maybe?). They ruled the play ‘stands’ which means they couldn’t see it touching him. That is either bad luck, or terrible reffing. It was early, so this is forgivable. Everyone makes mistakes.

Later, there was another play right before the half where Soza hit Marcellus Mack — the ball bounced off the grass and into his hands. Clearly. I was sitting in the lower Wing Zone so I had a perfect view of this. Called a catch. WUT.

Most egregious was probably the terrible no-call on the pass interference along the West sideline on the pass to Darnell Smith.

All that said, the refereeing just made the game more difficult. These calls were and are very easy to overcome.

The Offense

Derek Thompson wasn’t his best again today. He made some very nice plays late, however. He is usually good for a couple of those per game, but in a game where we needed the offense to score touchdowns, they were kicking field goals. The run game wasn’t getting much traction today but this wasn’t UTEP so that was to be expected. The dirty little secret all year has been that the running game has been less-than-mediocre. The biggest games have been against the absolute worst teams defending the run. That made it harder for Derek and company to move the ball down the field. Still, it was the less-than-perfect accuracy on some of the throws that killed drives. When Eric Soza is hitting his guys on the hands, in stride, and Derek Thompson is throwing the ball high or slightly behind Darnell Smith, it is easy to get frustrated.

Derek made some very nice, very tough throws on the very last drive of the game. He was nimble, found space, and made two or three beauties to Darnell, Kidsy, and Darnell again. Kidsy dropped his, but it was still an excellent throw.

The offense only averaged 20 points a game last season. This year, the average is boosted by the defense and special teams helping the scoring. There is still a lot of room for improvement here. On games where the defense doesn’t absolutely dominate this is especially glaring

The Defense

We got a bit spoiled. The UNT Defense has not only been holding teams to practically zilch in this win streak, but also has been scoring themselves. This game, they faced an experienced, good QB who has played big games (and won) on the road before.

Things are a bit easier when you are playing a freshman in his first game ever.

That said, given that Skladany likes the bend-but-don’t break approach, the 450+ yards aren’t as terrible as they look. They only allowed 14 points going into the 4th quarter. That isn’t bad. The tackling wasn’t nearly as good as it has been. UTSA’s Seth Grubb beat Kenny Buyers on a quick catch and run and took it about 40 yards. Soza was able to get first downs because Marcus Trice went for blow-up hits and not squaring up. UTSA’s Okotcha was able to get a few extra yards after missed tackles down the middle. Worst of all was that some of those short wide receiver screens and throw backs went for 5,10, or 20 yards longer than they should have because of missed tackles by Will Wright and some others.

The thing is that the defense has played awesomely but is by no means Alabama out here.

Do I think they did enough to win today? Yes. They held UTSA from scoring 30 or 40. They got some stops late. They played hard.

Did they play well? No. They allowed 450+ yards and allowed 75% conversions on third down. 16 of 20. Ridiculous.

The Coaching

There were a ton of weird calls — the fake FG? The lack of urgency at the end of the third quarter? Completely abandoning the run game for a long stretch? We’ll talk more about this on the podcast.

The Opponent

UTSA did an amazing job of staying within themselves and playing hard. Larry Coker did a great job of preparing his charges and keeping them sharp. Eric Soza looked the part. He was tough, accurate, and decisive. He didn’t stretch the field but he didn’t have to. He hit his guys in stride and got rid of the ball before Bellazin and company could get a hand on him. When he did get sacked, he didn’t get rattled or let it ruin his game. He was the perfect answer to our tremendous defense.

Seth Grubb, Kam Jones, Marcellus Mack, and the other Runner wideouts did a great job avoiding or breaking tackles. That is a feat, considering the great job we do there. Kam Jones turned a Bellazin would be tackle for loss into a 15 yard gain by dancing around him. That was the story of the game, practically — in position to make a play but UTSA made one move better.

There is more to talk about. Let’s do it tomorrow on the podcast. Live at 10am or so from someplace in Lewisville.