Jump to content

Football team changing format of spring game and won't divide into green and white teams


GMGEagle
 Share

Recommended Posts

Football team changing format for annual spring game this weekend

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceWaddell15

As the month of April winds down, many college football programs across the country begin to prepare for their annual spring game – an intra-squad scrimmage that pits members of the same team against one another.

In the past, North Texas has split its roster into two teams, green and white, and played the game like any regular contest by keeping score, having a clock, and even having referees throwing flags for penalties.

That will not be the case in 2016.

First-year head coach Seth Littrell has different plans for the Mean Green’s spring game, which will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. inside Apogee Stadium. Instead of the traditional format, Littrell intends on dividing his roster into first and second strings and scrimmaging for around 100 snaps. There will be no running clock, except for time-sensitive situational work.

“Right now we don’t have enough depth to truly play a game,” Littrell said. “It will be a good scrimmage, a lot of live work obviously. We’re not going to thin out our team. The last thing I want to do is wear them down enough to where they get injury prone. It’s not worth it to me to have a true spring game.”

With 80 players on its roster, North Texas does not have the manpower needed to fill out a green and white team. Just down the road at Southern Methodist University, the Mustangs have over 110 players on its roster for its spring game last Saturday.

But Littrell is far from concerned with North Texas not playing a run-of-the-mill spring game. Rather, Littrell wants his team get beneficial practice time that will carry the Mean Green into the summer.

“[The spring game] has the same value as any spring practice,” Littrell said. “I think spring games are –they’re fun for the fans to get out and kind of get to see everybody and what you’re doing. But for me, and I think for all coaches around the country, we’d rather do away from the spring game and have a spring practice.”

Some UNT students are not echoing Littrell’s sentiment, though. With an almost entirely new coaching staff and many new faces, there has been an anticipation around campus to see what the new-look Mean Green has to offer.

One of those students is media arts sophomore Andrew Rolf, who frequents both UNT football and basketball games. Usually donning some shade of green, Rolf is an avid athletics supporter despite the recent struggles in football and basketball. Rolf was surprised when he learned North Texas did not have the necessary depth to make up the usual green and white teams.

“It’s a little embarrassing with how big our school is,” Rolf said. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous. It seems like college football tradition to have spring games.”

Despite Littrell and the coaching staff planning for an unconventional scrimmage, North Texas players are anxious to get back on the field after a dismal 1-11 mark last year that tied for the worst record in school history.

“I’m super stoked,” senior offensive lineman Sam Rice said. “That’s why I play the game – to hit people. We’re all good friends, and best friends hurt each other. It will be a good time.”

After nearly a month of practice that included implementing a brand-new offense and getting acclimated to a new head coach, the Mean Green is excited to get back inside Apogee and play in front of fans – even if it won’t be an actual game.

“It’s fun having a little grudge match at the end, because you’re a little ticked off after four weeks of hitting the same person,” Rice said. “The spring game is kind of the finale where everyone can get their desserts.”

Desserts, however, may be off the table for Rice. With the new up-tempo, high-octane offense, Rice said he’s had to make a few changes to his diet this spring to accommodate the team’s new style of play.

“I don’t get to be as fat, which isn’t fun,” Rice said. “But that’s alright. It’s a good time. I think we’ll gash some good defenses with [our offense].”

One of the players hoping to do the gashing is junior quarterback Quinn Shanbour. For the past four weeks, Shanbour has competed alongside graduate Alec Morris and others for the starting quarterback job.

Although Littrell has yet to name a de-facto starter, Shanbour said one quarterback in particular has been getting the most looks with the starters.

“Alec has kind of taken the reins,” Shanbour said. “He’s been running with the ones more.”

Even though Morris appears to be the favorite to win the job, he has made some mistakes along the way. As the team lined up for its end-of-practice scrimmage last week, Morris threw a pick-six on the offense’s first play, prompting Shanbour to say one side of the ball is currently ahead of the other.

“I think defense is a little in front of [the offense],” Shanbour said. “It’s more instinctual, more natural to be doing downhill.”

Despite not playing its annual green/white game, Littrell is still eager to coach in front of students and fans for the first time in Denton. But when it’s all said and done, Littrell is really only focused on one thing.

“I’m excited for these guys to get out in front of fans. It’s an exciting time,” Littrell said. “But at the same time, we have a lot of work to do and we have to make sure we’re smart with how we do it.”

  • Upvote 6
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I figured this 'news' was going to be a joke. Oh well I guess nothing should be a surprise after Portland State.  How we can get some QBs to NT who are both (1) good enough to help NT win games, and (2) crazy enough risk takers to bet their future on NT; is an absolute mystery to me. For such person(s) though, there would sure be a big opportunity.  90 was right we had great defense during bowl wins, but regardless we aren't going anywhere without outstanding QB play.  This spring game thing though points out why it would be so unlikely for us to get any. It's %#@^&* hard out here for an NT fan.

  • Upvote 5
  • Downvote 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really don't like this, treating the spring game as just another scrimiage may be great for the coaching staff; but not so for the fans and probably most of the players.  

New coach and hopefully a new era in NT football, and its seems that NT wants to curb any excess enthusiasm.   

Edited by GrandGreen
  • Upvote 5
  • Downvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have watched a few Spring games since I began following NT football. And I have watched a few other teams Spring games. They are like State of the Union speeches. Within a few days (maybe hours), I would be hard pressed to remember a single play (or promise, as regards the SOTU).

Every success is tempered with the reality that whoever did something great, it was against OUR team.

One exception I can vaguely recall from a few years back. Some running back did something like a flip over one of our defenders as he was getting near the goal line to score. 

Don't sweat the small stuff.

GMG

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, GrandGreen said:

I really don't like this, treating the spring game as just another scrimiage may be great for the coaching staff; but not so for the fans and probably most of the players.  

New coach and hopefully a new era in NT football, and its seems that NT wants to curb any excess enthusiasm.   

Coaches try to put expectations and themselves at a good arm's reach at all times. Even if a year looks to be promising, a coach is going to utter some BS to try to slow down momentum/anticipation. I'm witnessing it in Florida with McElwain and now apparently at UNT with Littrell. Ball up and just tell it how it is. Embrace the expectations or deflect them. But if you're going to deflect momentum better have a damn good excuse. Oh, I'm sorry you only have 80 (EIGHTY) freaking players for a scrimmage that you're not really going to hold. This has chicken shit written all over it. 

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 12
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

I really don't like this, treating the spring game as just another scrimiage may be great for the coaching staff; but not so for the fans and probably most of the players.  

New coach and hopefully a new era in NT football, and its seems that NT wants to curb any excess enthusiasm.   

People need to listen to what Littrell is telling you. This is going to be a VERY tough year. Littrell just told you he doesn't have the depth to run a Spring game.

A Spring game!

Get the Kool aid out yo ears and listen to what the man is telling you. This is going to be hard sledding this year.

7 hours ago, DeepGreen said:

Remember 5,000 fans showed up for Dodge's first Spring game.  Fans were pumped.

Maybe 500 this time around.

Maybe.

Edited by UNT90
  • Upvote 5
  • Downvote 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, UNT90 said:

People need to listen to what Littrell is telling you. This is going to be a VERY tough year. Littrell just told you he doesn't have the depth to run a Spring game.

A Spring game!

Get the Kool aid out yo ears and listen to what the man is telling you. This is going to be hard sledding this year.

On this point, I actually agree with you.  80 players on the roster is a frightening prospect.  We're playing FCS level ball out there with an FCS level roster.  

In trying to keep a more positive mindset, I'm going to try to remind myself that Litrell inherited this mess after McCarney set a dumpster fire to the recruiting machine.  It's gonna take a while, if ever, for Littrell to get out there and start selling this program again.

Fortunately, it really does look to me like he's pounding that recruiting pavement pretty hard.  I just don't think it's going to do much for the 2016 season.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, oldguystudent said:

On this point, I actually agree with you.  80 players on the roster is a frightening prospect.  We're playing FCS level ball out there with an FCS level roster.  

In trying to keep a more positive mindset, I'm going to try to remind myself that Litrell inherited this mess after McCarney set a dumpster fire to the recruiting machine.  It's gonna take a while, if ever, for Littrell to get out there and start selling this program again.

Fortunately, it really does look to me like he's pounding that recruiting pavement pretty hard.  I just don't think it's going to do much for the 2016 season.

Substitute Dodge for Mac and Mac for Litrell in your post then rewind to Spring 2011.

This isn't a single coach problem, it's a terrible cultural problem throughout the AD. A culture that is allowed to continue to exist.

  • Upvote 4
  • Downvote 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the best way to get a good look at the new offense and defense. We should want to mainly see the 1s and 2s go at each other.  

The depth issue comes when you mix in the 3s and 4s. With mac's scrimmages, there were too many players out on the field that were never going to play.  And not just play that year.  They were never going to play a down of D1 football.

I know, most schools have bench players play in the spring game.  At least some of those schools have young talent that will eventually play in the future seasons.

I remember ome spring game where we constantly threw at #29.  That is not a good way to judge a QB or offense and going against that type of talent leads to what happened with greer.  Young players can give a unit a decent look if they still possess D1 athleticism, but in our case, it's best to only have the 1s and 2s go at it to make sure we get a good look at both sides.

Even though I am disappointed, it makes the most sense.  This staff continues to impress me with the way they go about business.(when compared to the previous staff)

  • Upvote 4
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, GMGEagle said:

Football team changing format for annual spring game this weekend

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceWaddell15

As the month of April winds down, many college football programs across the country begin to prepare for their annual spring game – an intra-squad scrimmage that pits members of the same team against one another.

In the past, North Texas has split its roster into two teams, green and white, and played the game like any regular contest by keeping score, having a clock, and even having referees throwing flags for penalties.

That will not be the case in 2016.

First-year head coach Seth Littrell has different plans for the Mean Green’s spring game, which will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. inside Apogee Stadium. Instead of the traditional format, Littrell intends on dividing his roster into first and second strings and scrimmaging for around 100 snaps. There will be no running clock, except for time-sensitive situational work.

“Right now we don’t have enough depth to truly play a game,” Littrell said. “It will be a good scrimmage, a lot of live work obviously. We’re not going to thin out our team. The last thing I want to do is wear them down enough to where they get injury prone. It’s not worth it to me to have a true spring game.”

With 80 players on its roster, North Texas does not have the manpower needed to fill out a green and white team. Just down the road at Southern Methodist University, the Mustangs have over 110 players on its roster for its spring game last Saturday.

But Littrell is far from concerned with North Texas not playing a run-of-the-mill spring game. Rather, Littrell wants his team get beneficial practice time that will carry the Mean Green into the summer.

“[The spring game] has the same value as any spring practice,” Littrell said. “I think spring games are –they’re fun for the fans to get out and kind of get to see everybody and what you’re doing. But for me, and I think for all coaches around the country, we’d rather do away from the spring game and have a spring practice.”

Some UNT students are not echoing Littrell’s sentiment, though. With an almost entirely new coaching staff and many new faces, there has been an anticipation around campus to see what the new-look Mean Green has to offer.

One of those students is media arts sophomore Andrew Rolf, who frequents both UNT football and basketball games. Usually donning some shade of green, Rolf is an avid athletics supporter despite the recent struggles in football and basketball. Rolf was surprised when he learned North Texas did not have the necessary depth to make up the usual green and white teams.

“It’s a little embarrassing with how big our school is,” Rolf said. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous. It seems like college football tradition to have spring games.”

Despite Littrell and the coaching staff planning for an unconventional scrimmage, North Texas players are anxious to get back on the field after a dismal 1-11 mark last year that tied for the worst record in school history.

“I’m super stoked,” senior offensive lineman Sam Rice said. “That’s why I play the game – to hit people. We’re all good friends, and best friends hurt each other. It will be a good time.”

After nearly a month of practice that included implementing a brand-new offense and getting acclimated to a new head coach, the Mean Green is excited to get back inside Apogee and play in front of fans – even if it won’t be an actual game.

“It’s fun having a little grudge match at the end, because you’re a little ticked off after four weeks of hitting the same person,” Rice said. “The spring game is kind of the finale where everyone can get their desserts.”

Desserts, however, may be off the table for Rice. With the new up-tempo, high-octane offense, Rice said he’s had to make a few changes to his diet this spring to accommodate the team’s new style of play.

“I don’t get to be as fat, which isn’t fun,” Rice said. “But that’s alright. It’s a good time. I think we’ll gash some good defenses with [our offense].”

One of the players hoping to do the gashing is junior quarterback Quinn Shanbour. For the past four weeks, Shanbour has competed alongside graduate Alec Morris and others for the starting quarterback job.

Although Littrell has yet to name a de-facto starter, Shanbour said one quarterback in particular has been getting the most looks with the starters.

“Alec has kind of taken the reins,” Shanbour said. “He’s been running with the ones more.”

Even though Morris appears to be the favorite to win the job, he has made some mistakes along the way. As the team lined up for its end-of-practice scrimmage last week, Morris threw a pick-six on the offense’s first play, prompting Shanbour to say one side of the ball is currently ahead of the other.

“I think defense is a little in front of [the offense],” Shanbour said. “It’s more instinctual, more natural to be doing downhill.”

Despite not playing its annual green/white game, Littrell is still eager to coach in front of students and fans for the first time in Denton. But when it’s all said and done, Littrell is really only focused on one thing.

“I’m excited for these guys to get out in front of fans. It’s an exciting time,” Littrell said. “But at the same time, we have a lot of work to do and we have to make sure we’re smart with how we do it.”

FYI, it's a big no-no to copy and paste whole articles. You should just quote one or two paragraphs with a link to the article.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, UNTcrazy727 said:

FYI, it's a big no-no to copy and paste whole articles. You should just quote one or two paragraphs with a link to the article.

Only because they gotta have those clicks. 

Maybe doesn't apply to the NT Daily, but that was implemented for a reason and the reason is $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

He provided the link so meh. 

  • Upvote 3
  • Downvote 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find it funny that people are upset that Coach Littrell has changed the format to one that best fits the team, best fits the coaches from an evaluation point and will benefit the players the greatest.  This isn't about us, it is about the team getting better.  Also, regarding the size of the roster, remember, we will not be playing with an 80 man roster next year once our entire recruiting class, preferred walk-ons and walk-ons arrive in August.  Will the roster lack the preferred depth?  Sure, but we won't be rolling with only 80 next year.

  • Upvote 8
  • Downvote 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, UNTLifer said:

I find it funny that people are upset that Coach Littrell has changed the format to one that best fits the team, best fits the coaches from an evaluation point and will benefit the players the greatest.  This isn't about us, it is about the team getting better.  Also, regarding the size of the roster, remember, we will not be playing with an 80 man roster next year once our entire recruiting class, preferred walk-ons and walk-ons arrive in August.  Will the roster lack the preferred depth?  Sure, but we won't be rolling with only 80 next year.

Actually, spring games are all about drumming up excitement for the fans.  It's the college football equivalent of basketball's "midnight madness."  It (hopefully) gets the fans excited about next season and drums up season ticket sales.  If it were not about the fans, the team would be better off having an extra practice.

Not that I mind them doing what is best for the team, mind you, I'm just pointing out the purpose of the spring game.

  • Upvote 2
  • Downvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, FirefightnRick said:

Can we win 3 games this year?

 

Rick

I think it will depend on the defense.  Apparently, the changes on defense are just as significant as the changes on offense.   The offensive system is a proven one.
Ekeler-coordinated defenses have not done well in the past.  Reffert's have.  We'll see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Please review our full Privacy Policy before using our site.