Thoughts on the 2015 UNT Football Schedule

Schedule

North Texas released its 2015 football schedule yesterday and lets just say its not to pleasing to the fans or players. Who can be happy about 5 home games, 1 game in November, and a bye week in right off the start? Oh well we are just going to have to deal with it. So instead of bashing the AD ( who deserves 99% of the blame for the atrocious schedule and who the BOR and President should be putting some serious heat on to do a better job) lets breakdown each opponent with some thoughts.

 

@SMU

2014 Record 1-11

Returning Starters– 15 ( 8 Offense; 7 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: SMU is going to be much improved under Chad Morris. Their offense should be able to manage more than 6 points against the UNT defense. Its a tough game to start the season on the road against a team with a new coach. Maybe Baylor will beat SMU up and make the task much easier for UNT.

Bottom Line: Its Winnable

 

Rice

2014 Record 8-5

Returning Starters– 10 ( 6 Offense; 4 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Rice always has a solid team. They will return QB Driphus Jackson, but lose 2 play makers in WR Jordan Taylor and Mario Hull. This game is the biggest game of the season. UNT has to start off conference play on the right foot this year.

Bottom Line: Its a Must WIN

 

@Iowa

2014 Record 7-6

Returning Starters– 13 ( 6 Offense; 7 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Iowa is historically a slow starting team. So realistically UNT has a chance for the upset. I say that with the assumption that DaMarcus Smith has established himself as a solid starting QB.

Bottom Line: Its a Game We SHOULD Be In

 

@Southern Miss

2014 Record 3-9

Returning Starters- 13 ( 6 Offense; 7 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Nick Mullens destroyed UNT last year as a SO. If he continues his progression as a player this is going to be a tough road game. There will also be some pressure on Todd Monken to win this year aswell. I think Southern Miss is one of those teams that could surprise in CUSA West this year.

Bottom Line: Its Winnable but a Road Game

 

Portland St.

2014 Record 3-9

Initial Thoughts: Not sure we can match the Nicholls production, but I foresee about 50 points on the score board for this one.

Bottom Line: We Will Win Book IT

 

Western Kentucky

2014 Record 8-5

Returning Starters– 16 ( 8 Offense; 8 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: The 2014 CUSA MVP Brandon Doughty roles into town with what will be the best offense in CUSA. The Hilltoppers are going to litter the field with play makers. Leon Allen doesnt get the respect he deserves, but that dude can ball. Going to be tough to beat this team unless UNT has a good offense and great defense.

Bottom Line: Its a Rivalry Game, but a Loss

 

@Marshall

2014 Record 13-1

Returning Starters– 11 ( 6 Offense; 5 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Doc Holiday can coach and even though he is losing Rakeem Cato he still will have a good team. This team is going to be led by RB Devon Johnson and WR Davonte Allen. Each year Marshall also signs top 5 recruiting classes in CUSA.

Bottom Line: Its a Road Game Loss

 

UTSA

2014 Record 4-8

Returning Starters– 5 ( 2 Offense; 3 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: UTSA is coming off a supremely disappointing season in which they were supposed to challenge for a CUSA crown. Instead they ran through tons of QBs and maxed out their potential. Now they must replace nearly all the starters, but Coaker has done a decent job recruiting. Will be interesting to see if they bounce back.

Bottom Line: Its Time to Beat These Guys

 

@Louisiana Tech

2014 Record 9-5

Returning Starters– 12 ( 7 Offense; 5 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: La Tech hit on all cylinders last year. They get Kenneth Dixon back and a good amount of the OL. The only question mark for them is QB. I’m not sold on Jeff Driskel. I think DaMarcus Smith is actually a better prospect than Driskel. Tech will probably be picked to win CUSA West.

Bottom Line: I Smell an Upset

 

@Tennessee

2014 Record 7-6

Returning Starters– 18 ( 10 Offense; 8 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Tennessee is going to be a trendy pic to win the SEC East this year. Butch Jones is maybe starting to turn a corner with that program. Tough for UNT to go onto the road and win. Can they compete, sure I dont think Tennessee is a top 10 team at that point in the season. They should be a top 25 team no doubt. Only way UNT sneaks up and grabs a victory is if Tennessee over  looks the Mean Green and looks forward to Mizzou.

Bottom Line: No Chance its a Loss

 

@Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

2014 Record 6-6

Returning Starters– 13 ( 6 Offense; 7 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Another tough road game for UNT. UNT doesn’t play well in Murfreesboro. Austin Grammer will be looking for pay back after that huge hit he took against the Mean Green in 2013.

Bottom Line: Its Winnable but a Road Game

 

UTEP

2014 Record 7-6

Returning Starters– 12 (6 Offense; 6 Defense )

Initial Thoughts: Its a great foe to end the season with. Last year UTEP just absolutely abused UNT physically. It will be interesting to see who UTEP has at QB. Both these teams are very similar in style. Its going to be a good old fashioned, Grade-A slobberknocker. 

Bottom Line: Its Winnable

 

Final Thought: Right now the way the schedule shakes out its going to be tough for UNT to make it to bowl eligible. Tough, but not impossible. On the low side I see UNT coming away with 4 wins. On the high side I see UNT coming away with 7 wins. QB DaMarcus Smith could be the difference between bowl eligible and not. UNT can’t expect to get about 4 wins with the same quality of QB play in 14 so Smith’s emergence in greatly needed. Remember though we are months away from really having any feeling on how UNT might look. Even then remember that UNT was picked to finish 1st in CUSA west last year. The west division in CUSA can be a tricky one to predict.