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  1. MURFREESBORO MTSU athletics director Chris Massaro admits the expansive football television package this season is a double-edged sword. Always a battle to put people in the seats at Floyd Stadium, the Blue Raiders have become somewhat of their own competition, considering fans can sit at home in front of high-definition TV sets with little effort and catch the games. It's not just the constant battle of MTSU and Conference USA, which provides its members one, if not the, best television packages for mid-major conferences. From the NFL to the SEC, teams are fighting diminishing home attendance, vowing to battle the swoon with an upgrade of game-day and in-stadium experiences and opportunities. With 11 of 12 games on national or regional or local television, MTSU football enters the season Saturday against visiting Savannah State with its best TV package yet. Five games will be on national sports networks, four are headed for regional telecasts via the C-USA package, the Memphis road game is on the American Conference network and the Western Kentucky home game is on local television. But at what cost? There has to be a balance between home attendance against the exposure to hopefully grow new fans through television. Read more: http://www.dnj.com/story/sports/2014/08/23/pogue-mtsu-balances-tv-viewership-home-attendance/14509887/
  2. Jeffery Wilson, a running back from Elkhart, left for home from Denton following his official visit this morning, and while I have yet to get him on the line, it appears that he has committed to UNT. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/02/breaking-news-looks-like-wilson-is-a-go.html/
  3. UNT fans will be talking about the Mean Green’s win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl for years. The win — and the Mean Green’s breakout season in general — changed the course of the program. We will share our thoughts on how over the next few weeks/months. Before we do, we ought to stop to consider the legacy of UNT’s senior class. We wrote about it quite a bit in the days leading up to the Heart of Dallas Bowl and in the wake of UNT’s win in the paper. What we haven’t done is talk about it much on the blog — a place where we can be a little more opinionated. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/01/the-biggest-winners-in-unts-bowl-game-unts-seniors.html/
  4. 3. Underdogs making noise Baylor and Duke followed a Stanford-like path from nothingness to national relevance, with Baylor taking its first Big 12 title with an 11-1 finish and Duke cracking the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll on the road to the ACC Coastal Division title. Along with this pair, another handful of overlooked FBS programs had banner seasons. Ball State coach Pete Lembo led the Cardinals to 10 wins for the third time in program history. Missouri went from the SEC's forgotten team to the conference title game. Buffalo went 8-4, coming within a win of a spot in the MAC championship game. Also on the list: Rice, North Texas, Iowa, Minnesota and Tulane. Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/12/25/top-five-college-football-surprises/4198367/
  5. I stopped by practice to talk to Dan McCarney and his players a couple of days ago and picked up a tidbit that has been talked about briefly and made its rounds a bit on Twitter. I hung on to it for a dead day — and this would qualify — to talk about it on the blog a little bit more. UNT had 51 players who finished with a 3.0 GPA or better and everyone on the Mean Green’s roster is eligible for the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/12/unt-shines-academically-under-mccarney.html/
  6. University of North Texas leaders say they've long toyed with the idea of adding beer vendors to Apogee Stadium and other campus venues. Like many college sports venues across the country, no alcohol is allowed in the Mean Green's football stadium. But Athletic Director Rick Villarreal said it's been an ongoing discussion. He said he has watched closely as other venues tackle the topic. "It's a trend that we've watched across country," he said. "We've seen that increasingly happen in stadium settings." Villarreal said there are some real benefits to beer sales, such as new profits. But he also said beer sales could actually have a positive effect on safety. Right now, tailgating and drinking is allowed in several parking lots around the stadium. While the activities are monitored by safety officials, the lack of alcohol inside can lead people to over-indulge before games, Villarreal said. UNT specifically has a no-reentry policy at Apogee to keep people from coming and going to consume alcohol during games. Read more: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/sports/UNT-Says-Beer-Sales-at-Football-Games-Are-Ongoing-Discussion-225582072.html
  7. With a promising football team that is not built on balsa wood; a long needed baseball program nearing launch; outstanding facilities and a new conference that offers us in state and regional rivalries I really think we may be there. I realize that as Coach Mac will say the 24-hours since the Rice win has past but it's hard not to sense the momentum building around athletics and specifically this Mean Green football program. Look at the Goose article, comments from Dewey Scruggs and Babe Laufenberg...the media seems ready to join us at the altar. Yes the early 2000's were great years but the investment in the infrastructure was not there. Now it is. Just a very exciting time to be a fan. If you are lurking out there come and enjoy the ride! GMG!
  8. They have us sandwiched between Tcu and Smu.... 8. North Texas (4-3, 2-1, next game Saturday @ Southern Miss) — The Mean Green are playing like a bowl-bound squad after claiming a comeback victory at Louisiana Tech. It was UNT’s first streak of winning back-to-back games since the 2004 New Orleans Bowl, a streak of 0-26 following previous victories. Coach Dan McCarney’s team snapped a seven-game road losing streak with a strong defensive effort with four turnovers produced. And 0-6 Southern Miss looms after the Golden Eagles’ 55-14 loss at East Carolina on Saturday. read more: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/big12/2013/10/baylor-soars-to-top-slot-in-this-weeks-dirty-dozen/
  9. UNT rallies from 18 down to beat Ball State By Brett Vito / Staff Writer Published: 14 September 2013 11:49 PM Derek Thompson came up holding his right hand after a push from a Ball State player sent him sailing over the North Texas bench and out of the game Saturday at Apogee Stadium. Fortunately for the Mean Green, the senior quarterback was able to get up off the deck and help UNT do the same in a 34-27 come-from-behind win over the Cardinals. The Mean Green had a grand opportunity in its second home game of the season to reach a host of milestones and take a big step toward the six-win mark that is its stated baseline goal for this season. That opportunity appeared to be slipping away after UNT got off to a horrible start and trailed 27-9 in the second quarter. There were several players who helped the Mean Green recover, from hard-hitting safety Marcus Trice to Zach Orr, the anchor of UNT’s defense. Just don’t forget Thompson, who scored the game-winning touchdown to cap a run of 25 UNT points to close the game after his ill-fated flop over the bench. The resolve Thompson and the Mean Green showed while recovering from some down times gave UNT a 2-1 start — its best since it resumed playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 1995. “This is a great win for our program,” UNT coach Dan McCarney said. “We showed great resolve, heart and courage. When you dig a hole like we did for ourselves, it’s hard. But we were able to make enough big plays.” Thompson made several while throwing for 274 yards against the Cardinals (2-1). The former Glen Rose standout isn’t known for his speed but scored the winning touchdown on a 26-yard run. Thompson made that play after safety Martez Hester shoved him out of bounds on the UNT sideline, sending him over the Mean Green’s bench. “My thumb locked up on me and started cramping,” Thompson said. “I wasn’t sure what was wrong. I couldn’t move my thumb, which scared me a little.” Thompson quickly recovered and returned to finish a solid performance, one UNT needed after falling behind. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130914-football-resolve-heart-and-courage.ece
  10. http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/09/unt-players-talk-ball-state.html/
  11. First off - tip of the hat to the players, coaches everyone from the game last night. They never gave up and despite the mistakes kept fighting and gave us a chance to win in the 4th quarter against a good team. It's never easy to win on the road and against a team like Ohio it's even tougher. There is no denying the effort is there. This is not meant as criticism more as just an observation after 2 weeks. Here's the problem we have as I see it. DT has a lot of positive aspects to his game and he's a hard worker and leader but he is NOT a running threat. We have a good offensive line and running backs and our receiver position is clearly improved. We are not dominant in these areas. In a perfect world we would run the ball on everyone and dink and dunk in the passing game up and down the field. Works against Idaho doesn't work against the better programs. Our defense isn't stellar but it is sure good enough to win against teams like Ohio and C-USA if they aren't required to be on the field for a long periods of time. In this offense if you do not have any running threat from the quarterback position the odds are stacked against you. And I'm not talking about needing Johnny football -- just a guy that can hit you for 3-5 yards if you ignore him and forces the defense to pay attention. A guy that can get away from the rush if the pocket happens to collapse. Mac is trying to smashmouth all of our opponents and we just don't have the horses to consistently do that against the better teams. IF we had any semblance of running threat at the QB position it would prevent these teams from loading up on our running backs as they did last night, essentially shadowing them with a good athlete who can run... The issue is Mac and company believe after careful consideration that Dajon, Brock, McNulty aren't ready.... or that their errors, lack of experience etc will erase any advantages that having a more mobile quarterback will provide the team. They need to win now, they can't have another 4-3 win season and expect to recruit players, sell season tickets or be around for a long time with three consecutive losing seasons... Until we are able to place a more mobile quarterback into this offense we will allow teams to have an upper hand against us defensively. They can go into every game knowing that DT is more often than not going to hurt you with his wheels. And that takes away any advantages that we may hold with our offensive line and running backs. Instead of 4 yards a run we will get 2; on passing downs they will blitz knowing that the price they will pay with a quarterback scramble is fairly minimal. The reality is Mac and Chico have put their chips all in on DT. Sure they'll throw in a wildcat with Chancellor here and again, which frankly any team is going to recognize and defend against pretty well unless they are blind. The Beyond the Green documentary made it very clear that they are putting this season in DT's hands. There were several moments last night where they chose to stick with DT despite another pick six and some very poor decisions. UTSA recognizes the importance of having mobility at the QB position. Soza is not the most accurate passer in the world, and he doesn't have sprinter speed -- but they know that his mobility forces opponents to keep an eye on him because he will hurt you if you ignore him. And having a more mobile QB loosens things up for the running backs and receivers allowing the offense to have more sustained drives which keeps the defense off of the field. A mobile quarterback gives you a chance to come back in games if you are behind. I think Mac and Chico know this issue very well -- that's probably why Scotty Young is playing for La. Tech instead of us right now. They are doing an honorable thing by standing by their man. We all want DT to succeed but I fear that it will be very difficult for him to do so unless he plays nearly perfect every game. Ball State has a good team and I fear the outcome of this game will be very similar to the one we played last night unless we change things up...
  12. North Texas football coach Dan McCarney couldn’t remember a night quite like the one the Mean Green put together Saturday in a win over Idaho — at least not when it comes to special teams performance. UNT came up with its best outing in more than a year returning punts and was solid in every other special teams facet except for kicking extra points. The Mean Green missed two, but even that major concern couldn’t completely spoil a performance that marked a step forward for UNT heading into a game Saturday at Ohio. “Our kicking game was better on Saturday than it has been the first 22 games I was here,” McCarney said. “A lot of things were much better.” The performance of wide receiver Brelan Chancellor in the return game topped the list. The senior finished with 111 yards on three punt returns and exceeded UNT’s punt return yardage total from all of last season on his first attempt, when he picked up 48 yards. UNT finished 117th out of 120 teams nationally last season with an average of 2.13 yards per return. The Mean Green posted just 17 punt return yards on the year. Chancellor recorded 283 all-purpose yards on the night and took back the only kickoff he returned 28 yards. Read more: http://www.dentonrc.com/sports/colleges/north-texas-headlines/20130903-notebook-unt-special-teams-play-solid-across-many-areas.ece
  13. DENTON, Texas - Derek Thompson has spent two years fending off challengers for the Mean Green starting quarterback position, but his performance in Saturday night's 40-6 season-opening win over Idaho did nothing to diminish his grip on the job. On a blisteringly hot night at Apogee Stadium, Thompson was efficient and accurate, completing his first seven passes, 12 of 15 in the first half, and 23 of 27 for the game for a career-high 349 yards and two touchdowns. He connected with eight different receivers, did not suffer an interception, and directed the North Texas offense to 40 unanswered points. "What a great job of leading he did," North Texas coach Dan McCarney said. "You expect your senior quarterback to perform, and, boy, he did tonight." Idaho got off to a quick start with a pair of big plays and a well-executed onside kick, and held a 6-0 lead. But North Texas began to take control when it stuffed a Vandal fourth-down run at the Mean Green 19. From there, a balanced North Texas offense overwhelmed the Vandals. The Mean Green offensive line paved the way for the ground game, led by Brandin Byrd, Reggie Pegram and Antoinne Jimmersonto pile up 180 yards while allowing no sacks for the fourth-straight game, dating back to last season. After surrendering the two early big plays, the North Texas defense clamped down on Idaho. Aaron Bellazin led a Mean Green pass rush that kept Vandals QB Chad Chalich on the run, and Zach Orr, Marcus Trice, and Laramie Lee combined for 21 tackles and three forced fumbles. What They Said "It does mean a lot to me and the players. The least we could do was play real, real hard, and we got a good win for them." --Mean Green coach Dan McCarney, about the North Texas All-Century Team members in attendance Saturday night. "It was really neat to see forced fumbles. It's something we took pride in this spring to work on. That's making plays on defense." --North Texas linebacker Zach Orr, about the three turnovers the defense forced "It felt great to be back. You can't take anything for granted. One play and it can be done." --North Texas receiver Brelan Chancellor, about his first game back from last year's season-ending injury. Quick Hits • Game-time temperature was a scorching 103 degrees. But by halftime, it had cooled down to 100. • The Mean Green's 591 yards of total offense was the third most in school history. • After giving up no sacks Saturday night, North Texas has allowed just six sacks in its last 13 games. • Marcus Triceblocked Idaho's only PAT, the first kick block of his career. • The 85-yard first-quarter touchdown pass from Derek Thompson to Brelan Chancellorwas a career long for both quarterback and receiver. It was the longest Mean Green pass play since 2007, and the longest in Apogee Stadium's brief history. • Thompson completed his first seven passes of the game, and was good on 12 of his first 15 attempts in leading North Texas to a 26-6 halftime lead. • Chancellor's return from last year's season-ending injury was a welcome addition not only to the passing game but also to special teams. He had 283 all-purpose yards, including a 48-yard punt return, the second-best total in his career and the ninth highest in school history. • Idaho tried an onside kick and a fake punt in the first half, recovering the former but failing to gain a first down on the latter. • The Mean Green defense has had a renew emphasis on takeaways since defensive coordinator John Skladanyarrived last season, and North Texas forced three fumbles in the first half, recovering two. • Junior defensive back Laramie Lee forced one fumble and had two recovers - including of the ball he jarred loose. They were the first fumble recoveries of his career. • Reggie Pegram, a transfer from Purdue and cousin of former North Texas players Erric Pegram and Brandon Kennedy, scored the first touchdown of his Mean Green career in the third quarter. • This is the first time since 2006 and third time since 1996 that North Texas has started a season 1-0. • True freshman quarterback Dajon Williamstook the first snaps of his collegiate career, taking over with 8:57 left in the game and North Texas up, 40-6. Williams completed five of six passes for 55 yards. • North Texas wore their centennial helmets and uniforms Saturday in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the program's start. The centennial helmet was white, as were the North Texas helmets from the 1950s until 1967, emblazoned with the North Texas logo from 1973 to 1982, the iconic image known as "The Flying Worm." The jersey was in the style and shade of green of those worn in the 1960s, and the pants were white with a double green stripe down the sides. Click here to purchase the helmets and uniforms from the game via an online auction. • North Texas will travel to Athens, Ohio, next week to face the Ohio Bobcats. Ohio plays its season opener on Sunday against Louisville. Read more: http://www.meangreensports.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/090113aaf.html
  14. It's interesting to see the comments on the board after a big opener win against Idaho. The emotions range from elation to uncomfortable to even paranoia. You can tell we're not used to winning games like this. It's like this great suit that we never wore before that everyone loves but we aren't used to wearing. It was interesting on Mac's radio show, Jub asked him about the improvement at defensive end hoping for players to be named and he wouldn't or couldn't give a specific player response. He sort of made some general statements and reiterated that John Skladany was doing a great job and there had been stability etc... Mentioned that Sarge was still out and might play against Ohio. I thought our defensive ends looked super at times in the game especially Aaron Bellazin, Jarrian Roberts (2 sacks) and Chad Polk. Is it just me or does it sometimes seem like Sarge misses more games than he plays in? He made a clear point to say that kickoffs were still Zach Olen but did not say that about PAT's and short field goals. It appears they may platoon Olen with Paul and that worries me a bit.. On another special teams note, really didn't get to see Macek much at punter and again his performance could be HUGE against Ohio... Ohio has a short week and probably will be pretty banged up after locking horns with a very physical Lousiville team. Mean Rob pointed out the line was -8 but I could see that get below 5 by gametime...the Ohio game was one most of us penciled in as a loss so I see this as more a big game for Mac AND the program. Mac's teams just don't usually win on the road and it's a trend he/we really needs to change. Gotta give my due to UTSA on winning a road game against a Mountain West team. think of the exuberance we might have had beating a team like New Mexico on the road in say 1995 or 1996... That game against them @Apogee is building momentum. Anytime you can beat a team on the road it's big. Hat's off to our good fans who weathered some major heat all day. Tony's tailgate was terrific as usual and we did the best we could given the heat. A good time was had by all. Thanks to everyone who came by and said hello. Zach Orr -- the only difference that I see from last year is that he is bigger and stronger and instead of just making tackles he is truly punishing an opponent every single time. He is a joy to watch and his family will be so missed at our tailgate next season...what a joy they are to be with..just like part of our family. I congratulate Derek for an outstanding game. He really threaded the needle all day long and seemed to be a step quicker. He deserves a lot of kudos for giving us a MUCH needed win to start a season. However, I still remain amazed at how comfortable and good Dajon Williams looked. I mean like REALLY good. I don't think any of us realized what a tremendous catch he was for this program. How much fun it will be to watch him for the next four years. The wide receivers played like gamers and look like a completely different unit. If I were to give a coaching game ball it would go to Mike Grant. He has those guys fighting and scrapping like we haven't seen in a long long time. Mac praised guard Cyril Lemon for an outstanding and dominating game. I would agree 100% but also feel the RS Freshman center Kaydon Kirby really played well for it being just his first game. James Jones elevates the entire secondary. This kid is electric and has great speed. They won't be able to keep him off the field for long. I saw some nice things from Austin Orr at defensive tackle for him being a sophomore. He's gotten a lot bigger (thanks Coach Wentrich). I also wanted to single out linebacker Will Wright. He sort of gets overshadowed by Orr and some of the others at his position but let me just say this kid played magnificently against Idaho. His speed really caused problems for them both in the run and the pass. There were still some tell tale signs of that team that disappointed us last season. Not being able to grind out a short 4th down against a weary Idaho defense sort of stuck with me driving home and still today. I hated the slow start, I mean that game started out like Houston last year...had we let that happen against Ohio we would perhaps never recover. Not trying to rain on the parade but I think these are valid concerns. How can you come out as fired up as we were and let a team like Idaho march it down your throat for a touchdown? Note to Brock Berglund - don't get too down about how things have played out thus far. We all know that crazy things can happen in a season. McNulty didn't do himself any favors with that INT and it is absolutely possible that you will see the field this season so you can prove yourself. Keep your chin up and keep working hard. I see you working hard with your teammates on the sidelines and sending in signals for the coaches. Keep it up. Last hot sports opinion... to echo a sentiment that Gray Eagle pointed out so accurately -- we need to hope and pray that Brelan can stay healthy. If he does we could be a very dangerous team in C-USA. The problem is there is no dimmer on his light switch. He plays 150 percent every single time he steps on the field. He is just one of those amazing athletes whose determination matched with his athleticism is so exceptional. Finally how about some kudos to RV and the administration for coughing up the bucks to get us this game. Many of us spent all summer worrying about the ramifications of laying an egg in this game and the first five minutes were a nightmare. Still, it turned out great and turned out to be money that was very well spent. No Idaho may not be that good but I thought their QB was pretty good and they had some pretty big physical players. It was a great win, a much needed win for this program at this particular time. Let's breathe in the air of victory and optimism even if only for a couple days. It is deserved. GMG
  15. The University of North Texas Mean Green have flipped the script of previous seasons. Heading in to its matchup against the University of Ohio, UNT is coming off one of the biggest victories margins since head coach Dan McCarney took over two years ago. McCarney has taken on big events and celebrations since joining the Mean Green including the opening of Apogee Stadium, entrance into Conference USA and the 100-year celebration of the UNT football program all in his short stay with the team. A 40-6 victory over the University of Idaho Vandals this past Saturday is an indication that the team is moving in the right direction, but hopefully the confidence isn’t over flowing because when teams get cocky mistakes are made. The last couple of years UNT has had a problem with playing down to its opponent. With the Vandals taking refuge at the bottom of the Division I cellar this year, is nice to see a team like the Mean Green defeat a team that is supposed to be easily defeated. Before the game, I figured that McCarney made a mistake starting quarterback Derek Thompson over the freshman sensation Dajon Williams. Around the UNT fan base, Thompson is not their favorite quarterback to wear the Mean Green colors. Too many bonehead plays and failed comebacks over the last couple of years didn’t get him in the good graces of the student body and loyal fans. To be fair, he has had to play second fiddle on the offense to now current Dallas Cowboy Lance Dunbar and the shifty senior receiver Brelan Chancellor since he first win the starting job in 2011. Read more: http://www.dallassportsrant.com/mean-green-football-reaction-big-win/
  16. No more than two years ago, North Texas football coach Dan McCarney was tossed into an overwhelming mess. In many ways, its the same kind of mess that Idaho coach Paul Petrino finds himself in a day before his inaugural game as a collegiate head coach. McCarneys first season as coach of the Mean Green came after four seasons of utter disappointment, when UNT combined to go 8-40. Petrinos situation isnt nearly as desperate, yet the stakes are just as high. Read more: http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/hbo/2013/aug/30/petrino-leads-ui-against-north-texas/
  17. The 2013 football season is one of the biggest years in the University of North Texas football program’s history. This year, UNT is celebrating 100 years of football, starting its first year in Conference USA, opening the season at home for the first time in 12 years and playing four of its 12 games on national television. Not to mention, for the first time in head coach Dan McCarney’s three-year stint, the UNT program has 85 scholarship players. “We have to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there because nobody is going to hand you anything,” McCarney said. “It’s real easy to be average in football and in life so if you want to be an elite program you have to give more and be an even better team than we’ve been in the past.” Conference USA is connected to six different bowl games and with the addition of all the bowl game opportunities, the Mean Green will have to face its share of teams coming off bowl games at the end of last year’s campaign. On the Mean Green schedule are five teams that went to a bowl game last season: the University of Ohio, Ball State University, the University of Georgia, Rice University and the University of Tulsa. UNT will play Ball State, Tulsa and Rice in the friendly confines of Apogee Stadium. “We all know how to play with each other, we all know what coach expects from us and we all know what to expect from each other each time we hit the field,” senior linebacker Zach Orr said. For the second time in his career at UNT, senior Derek Thompson came out on top of a quarterback position battle and will start for the season opener against the University of Idaho. However, coach McCarney has made it clear that he will not be the only quarterback to take snaps throughout the games. True freshman Dajon Williams will see playing time in certain offensive packages and situations come game day. Read more: http://ntdaily.com/unt-football-heads-season-high-hopes/
  18. http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=205&f=2664&t=11808883
  19. North Texas When: Saturday, Oct. 12 (Time TBA). Where: Denton, Texas. TV: TBA. Radio: 100.5 FM, 102.5 FM, 89.5 FM. Series: UNT 7-5. Last meeting: MTSU 38-21 (2012). If theres a trap game on MTSUs schedule, this has the potential to be it. A week earlier, East Division power ECU comes to Murfreesboro for a highly anticipated game. And after this game, a bye week and an equally hyped home matchup with East Division contender Marshall awaits. North Texas likely will not jump off the page on anyones schedule, but the Mean Green should be solid and balanced. UNT will be coming off its first ever C-USA game versus Tulane, so it could be 1-0 in its new league with the Blue Raiders coming to town for its conference home opener. If the Blue Raiders look ahead, this game could bite them. Read more: http://www.vegas.com/gaming/sportsline/college-football/
  20. Brad Horton, a defensive end from Liberty Christian, has given up football due to lingering shoulder issues, head coach Dan McCarney confirmed after practice Friday. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2013/08/friday-afternoon-notes-dl-gives-up-football-video-coming.html/
  21. 2012 SEASON IN REVIEW: Since posting an 8-5 record in 2009 and making it to the postseason, the Vandals have been nowhere near as strong. In fact, Idaho has won a total of just nine games in the three seasons since earning that rare bowl bid which turned into a 43-42 victory over a pesky Bowling Green group. The squad closed out the 2011 campaign with three straight setbacks and the defeats just kept on coming in 2012 as well, with five more loses before the program logged a 26-18 win over a New Mexico State team that lost 11 in a row to finish out the season. Unfortunately for the Vandals, who were playing their final season as a member of the Western Athletic Conference, they were right back in the loss column a week later versus Texas State, 38-7, which means they were 1-6 just past the midway point. On Oct. 20, the Vandals were blown out of the water by Louisiana Tech, one of the top scoring teams in the country, by a ridiculous 70-28 final. Due to the team's struggles, head coach Robb Akey was relieved of his duties in the middle of October, with offensive coordinator Jason Gesser stepping in on an interim basis. Brought on in 2007, Akey was just 1-7 in 2012 as his overall record dropped to a disappointing 20-50. Unfortunately for Gesser, he too had to deal with more lopsided defeats as the team lost all four games under his direction, closing with a 45-9 setback at Utah State. Once the smoke cleared, the Vandals were hampered with a 1-11 record overall and were just 1-5 in conference play. Dealing with a six-game slide to finish up the campaign, Idaho turned to former assistant coach Paul Petrino to guide them into the immediate future. Hired as the new head coach in December Petrino, who was on staff in Moscow between 1992-94, has been mostly tied to his brother, Bobby, during his coaching career, but is now ready to branch out on his own after most recently being the offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2012. "I'm very excited," Petrino said when introduced the first week of December. "It's a dream come true. I've wanted to be a head coach my whole life. I had a chance to come back out to the Northwest." Read more: http://www.wzzm13.com/sports/article/265511/242/NCAA-Football-Preview---Idaho-Vandals
  22. 2012 SEASON IN REVIEW: Although it won four straight league titles upon entering, North Texas did not have a gracious exit from the Sun Belt Conference. The Mean Green played a very tough non-conference schedule and won one less game than in 2011. Coach Dan McCarney took the Cyclones to the bowl season in five of his final seven seasons at Iowa State. He has compiled a 9-15 record in two years with the Mean Green. North Texas began its season with a lopsided, 41-14 loss at LSU. It downed Texas State, 34-7, the following week to climb back to the .500 mark. The Mean Green then lost two in a row, to Kansas State (35-21) and Troy (14-7). They beat Florida Atlantic, 20-14, on the road, but could not repeat that success the following week at Houston (44-21). North Texas went 2-4 the rest of the way, with victories over Louisiana (30-23) and South Alabama (24-14), and losses to Middle Tennessee (38-21), Arkansas State (37-19), ULM (42-16) and Western Kentucky (25-24). North Texas's 4-8 record made it ineligible for a bowl bid. It has not played in a bowl game since 2004, which is also the last year it claimed a conference title. 2013 ANALYSIS: OFFENSE: North Texas was an average team offensively last season, finishing 51st in rushing (173.1 yards per game), 72nd in passing (219.1), but produced just the 103rd most points, at 20.9 points per contest. Senior Derek Thompson is the leading candidate the start under center for the third straight opener. He passed for 2,629 yards with 14 touchdowns last season. Offensive coordinator Mike Canales may consider other options at quarterback if Thompson struggles. He has a pair of intriguing backups in Andrew McNulty and Brock Berglund to consider. Whichever passer is dropping back will utilize senior wideout Brelan Chancellor, who racked up 450 yards and five touchdowns on 25 catches in 2012. Darnell Smith (379 yards, 28 catches) and Carlos Harris (253 yards, 19 catches) are a couple of additional options in the aerial attack. Senior tight end Drew Miller (131 yards, 18 catches) is an above average blocker for his position. He will be a help to the offensive line that returns Antonio Johnson (6-5, 311), Mason Y'Barbo (6-2, 309) and Cyril Lemon (6-3, 321), who all started last season as sophomores. The Mean Green led the nation in sacks allowed, giving up just a half-sack per game. "As a quarterback I always want to make sure the offensive line has some experience," said Canales. "The consistency and the continuity that we have offensive line wise provides a lot of strength for the quarterback game. They feel confident in the guys up front." Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sns-tsn-afn-ntexas-outlook-20130819,0,807292.story
  23. North Texas Walk-Ons Continue Making The Most Of Their Opportunities Inside the North Texas football offices, the hallways are decorated with pictures of big hits, big plays and special players. Zach Orr, Brandin Byrd, Derek Thompson and other highly-decorated players and highly-sought recruits. When you wind your way around the hallway before heading out, there is a wall with 18 mug shots in a line. This group of 18 players isn't your usual lineup. It's guys who were told out of high school they were not good enough to play FBS football. It's the 18 players that have earned scholarships at North Texas since Dan McCarney has been the head coach, and it's a source of immense pride for McCarney and for every player that has earned their way onto the roster the hard way. You're Too Slow Rivals.com is the clearinghouse for recruiting gurus and fans alike. If you looked up Darnell Smith in 2009, all you would have seen was a name and a hometown. He received little or no interest from FBS schools, so he went the junior college route, thinking it would boost his stock for the following years. However, that didn't go as planned at his first stop, Trinity Valley. "You're too slow," Smith said of what he heard from his coach at Trinity Valley in his freshman year. A year later, Smith and a friend decided to head to Iowa, with no promise of a scholarship. Smith tried out and walked on at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa. He made the team, ending the year with 34 catches and 507 yards. Through another friend, Smith got in contact with North Texas offensive line coach Mike Simmonds. The rest is walk-on history. "It's been an exciting journey, and I feel like I have a lot more to do to prove myself to people," Smith said. "I want to do my part and help this team, because this team is my family." Despite not making a start in 2012, he made a significant impact last season and enters 2013 as the Mean Green's leading returning receiver with 28 catches and 379 yards. Read more and watch videos: http://www.meangreensports.com/provingthemwrong.html
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