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Ten Takeaways from the smuT Game


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7 hours ago, UNTLifer said:

11.  Looking back at his recruiting classes, I think we forget that he had to change years and years of neglect in this area.  His first three classes were rated #102, #115 and #101.  Players like Fine, Bussey, Hamilton, Novil, the Mose brothers, etc... turned out to be real finds but too many in these classes have not panned out.  Again, I give SL some leeway here because of our disasterous relationships with area high schools that he had to overcome.  Due to this, it took a couple of years to build relationships.  His fourth class jumped up to #75 in the nation and the current class sits at #68 being half way full, so the majority of our higher rated players are young, SO and FR.

This is a copout.  He's had plenty of time to recuild.  he's been here 5 years now!

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8 hours ago, UNTLifer said:

Good article.

https://247sports.com/college/north-texas/LongFormArticle/Ten-takeaways-from-North-Texas-Mean-Green-footballs-loss-to-SMU-Mustangs-151748989/#151748989_9

I have been hesitant to comment other than a post in another thread, but here are my thoughts if anyone cares.

1.  Our 20 starters, not including the kicking game, included 1 RFr, 9 So or RSo, 4 Jr or RJ and 8 Sr or RSr.  Included in the Sr. class was Torrey who played less than Adaway (RFr), Pirtle who was less productive than Roberts (Fr), and Howell who was a converted HB and started at LB considering the majority of our depth are So/Fr.

2.  Outsided of Darden, Novil and Torrey, our Sr. class, no disrespect intended, is not strong.  Cam Johnson didn't play terribly and was robbed on the PI call.  I felt our DB's covered well but our DL gave Buechele way too much time.  They can't cover forever. 

3.  When we did blitz to get pressure, it was not well disguised and they would run or pass at the spot vacated by the player blitzing.  When we did flush Buechele, our poor tackling killed us.  This can be fixed.

4.  Gray got called for multiple false starts.  I replayed a couple and couldn't really tell what he was doing.  Either way, I think many of these were the result of us trying to play fast.  Outside of these calls, I felt like our OL played relatively well.  Bean has happy feet and instead of stepping up he tends to scramble to the outside.  Same with Aune and neither is terribly accurate on the run.  They need to grow to trust the OL and step up and make throws..

5.  Shorter is a beast, yet he disappeared as did Simpson.  Those two are too good to not make a difference.  Shorter's body language shows frustration too much.  He needs to suck it up and go make plays.

6.  Darden is incredible even with the D focusing on him.  He did have one glaring drop, but other than that he was his usual greatness.  The younger players really need to follow his lead.

7.  Pirtle is a feel good kid, but Roberts or Alberding need to be starting.

8.  Poor tackling, poor tackling, poor tackling.  Gibbs played fast and aggressive, but I am tired of watching people try to knock their opponent over.  Wrap up and make the sure tackle and stop trying to create a highlight hit at every opportunity.

9.  DL: Why not move to a 4 man front and play Novil and LeBlanc together at DT?  That would take some pressure off of Novil and make us stronger against the run.  Colvin is a stop gap until the younger players mature, which needs to be sped up and McCrae needs to adjust from JUCO to FBS in a hurry.

10.  Littrell: I am not ready to give up on him but he has to fix our issue of coming out in big games flat and looking overwhelmed.  Confidence comes with success and experience and we are playing a lot of young players.  We all expected this to be a rebuilding year and that is what it is.  We can still win CUSA West and the conference title.  We have to see this team grow all year and I will give him next, but he has to be on a short rope in 2021. His seat should be blazing.

11.  Looking back at his recruiting classes, I think we forget that he had to change years and years of neglect in this area.  His first three classes were rated #102, #115 and #101.  Players like Fine, Bussey, Hamilton, Novil, the Mose brothers, etc... turned out to be real finds but too many in these classes have not panned out.  Again, I give SL some leeway here because of our disasterous relationships with area high schools that he had to overcome.  Due to this, it took a couple of years to build relationships.  His fourth class jumped up to #75 in the nation and the current class sits at #68 being half way full, so the majority of our higher rated players are young, SO and FR.

12.  RB: With Siggers still not 100%, it appears Torrey has taken a step back.  Our two best backs are RFr. Adaway, by far, and  true FR I. Johnson.  Adaway needs to be our #1 back and Siggers needs to heal up so that we can RS Johnson.

13.  Injuries/Missing Players: Losing K.D. and Tyreke was a huge blow as was losing Crosby early.  Moving Howell from HB to LB and starting him over the others reflects how our depth, while talented, is very young and inexperienced.  I thought Howell played really well considering the circumstances.

14.  Bowen:  the lack of time with our D is showing.  I am not a fan of the 3-3-5, as someone stated it is basically a prevent that will give up yards but not points.  It is doing neither right now.  I am not sure if he intends to continue with this or shift to the 4-3, but whatever it is, we need to speed up the process.  The "softness" that many commented on comes from thinking too much.  This kids need to be turned loose, because I don't think they are soft players.

15.  QB:  I am a fan of the potential Bean can bring to the position, but I think Aune is the best option right now.  I am tired of the shuffling.

Anyway, sorry for the long post.  I hate losing to smuT more than anyone, but wanted to calm down before posting.

I agree with your assessment of how we lost the game, But not your assessment of Littrell. I no longer have faith in Littrell's ability to fix our problems. Not based on my personal opinions, but the actual facts.

We have known for years that both our offense and defensive lines were weak, yet he has not actually address those positions yet. Sure we have better young talent, but it isn't ready yet. 

I can't give him a pass on recruiting either. Just because we have had a history of bad recruiting dosn't mean we shouldn't expect him to fix that problem. Other programs have recruiting challenges too. SMU will always have the "Death Penalty" hanging around their neck, but yet they still manage to talk parents into letting them care for their children. Also, Dykes stepped into the SMU job and built their talented roster a year after Littrell got to UNT. So Littrell had a head start of one year.

Since November 25th of 2017, a Littrell team has beaten exactly one FBS program that went on to finish their season with a winning record (Southern Miss finished the 2018 season with a 6-5 record, and UNT beat them on October 13, 2018). Yes, in our great 9-4 2018 season, Littrell only managed to beat 1 FBS team that finished the season with a winning record. Wow. We basically beat a bunch of bums that season. No wonder Utah State stomped a 52-13 mud hole in us at the New Mexico Bowl. I wish it were different, but the numbers just don't lie. Littrell's seat should be blazing already. It is time for North Texas to find a new coach. Is money an issue? Probably, but that is a challenge we have to accept if we want to have chance at stopping SMU from pounding us for the remainder of this series.

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People can down vote the facts all they want, but it doesn't change the truth... A Littrell team has not beaten a bowl eligible team in over 2 years.

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46 minutes ago, Side Show Joe said:

People can down vote the facts all they want, but it doesn't change the truth... A Littrell team has not beaten a bowl eligible team in over 2 years.

You’ve been getting pretty upset about your downvotes and eye rolls the last couple of days.  Don’t worry about it. 

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32 minutes ago, tmjerm said:

You’ve been getting pretty upset about your downvotes and eye rolls the last couple of days.  Don’t worry about it. 

I have no interest in rep points. This issue is about the direction of our program. I just want to read a logical fact based explanation for why some people are still willing to defend this level of failure. Sadly, no one has answered the call.

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10 hours ago, UNTLifer said:

3.  When we did blitz to get pressure, it was not well disguised and they would run or pass at the spot vacated by the player blitzing.  When we did flush Buechele, our poor tackling killed us.  

Lot of good stuff here and I agree with just about all of it. As for the the blitzing, I hate how reliant on blitzing we are. You talk about the 4-man fronts later, but man it would be nice to have two good ends putting pressure on the tackles every time the other team passes, rather than hoping a blitz hits home when it hasn’t been. When I played offensive line I would prefer a blitzing linebacker to a good passing rushing defensive lineman almost every time. 

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11.  Looking back at his recruiting classes, I think we forget that he had to change years and years of neglect in this area.  His first three classes were rated #102, #115 and #101.  Players like Fine, Bussey, Hamilton, Novil, the Mose brothers, etc... turned out to be real finds but too many in these classes have not panned out.  Again, I give SL some leeway here because of our disasterous relationships with area high schools that he had to overcome.  Due to this, it took a couple of years to build relationships.  His fourth class jumped up to #75 in the nation and the current class sits at #68 being half way full, so the majority of our higher rated players are young, SO and FR.

I don’t know if it’s that Littrell is very big on playing older players or if it’s that the older guys truly are better, but I was hoping to see more young guys beat out older players for starting spots. Like with Roberts, Alberding, and even Lyles over Pirtle. Is Pirtle really the best player of that group or does he get to start because he is the senior?

We still have a lot of young players playing, but that’s mainly because of how small our senior class is. I was hoping improved recruiting meant we’d have more cases of young guys hopping older guys who are less talented. Not having to rely on young guys is great and all, but if you have real NFL/all-CUSA talent on a CUSA roster, that talent typically forces its way into the field earlier than later.

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12.  RB: With Siggers still not 100%, it appears Torrey has taken a step back.  Our two best backs are RFr. Adaway, by far, and  true FR I. Johnson.  Adaway needs to be our #1 back and Siggers needs to heal up so that we can RS Johnson.

Reminder that everyone will still have the exact same eligibility next year that they do now. Think that’s why we’re going to see the coaches continuing to play true freshmen and not worry about preserving redshirts because they are preserved regardless.

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13.  Injuries/Missing Players: Losing K.D. and Tyreke was a huge blow as was losing Crosby early.  Moving Howell from HB to LB and starting him over the others reflects how our depth, while talented, is very young and inexperienced.  I thought Howell played really well considering the circumstances.

Was disappointing to not see the Murphy brothers playing over a walk-on converted fullback. Do the coaches not see them as potential starter caliber players? Not like they are true freshmen.

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14.  Bowen:  the lack of time with our D is showing.  I am not a fan of the 3-3-5, as someone stated it is basically a prevent that will give up yards but not points.  It is doing neither right now.  I am not sure if he intends to continue with this or shift to the 4-3, but whatever it is, we need to speed up the process.  The "softness" that many commented on comes from thinking too much.  This kids need to be turned loose, because I don't think they are soft players.

Said it earlier, but I just don’t like how reliant we are on blitzes to get pressure. No sacks from our d-linemen this year and not really many instances where they have even come close. Also don’t like how easy it is for linemen to combo up to our linebackers on run plays. Just feels like we are constantly on our heels, not able to put enough pressure on the opposing offense.

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15.  QB:  I am a fan of the potential Bean can bring to the position, but I think Aune is the best option right now.  I am tired of the shuffling.

Yeah, let’s roll with Aune. He hit some impressive passes and he can make good passes downfield. He has plenty to work on, especially when that first read isn’t there, but that should come with experience so let’s give that experience to him.

Would like to see us mix in more of the high-percentage confidence building throws for Aune that Bean seems to get when he’s in. A lot on here are so pissed, understandly so, that they aren’t giving any credit for the offense but most of that was against SMU’s starters in the second half, and we almost put up 35 in the second half with Aune under center. If he starts gotta think he gets settled in sooner and the points come sooner too. Hopefully we can build off that momentum.

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I am not happy with the game results, but recruiting was nonexistent under McCarney and staff. They had zero relationships with high school coaches in the state. ZERO and it was well reported when SL arrived. They stopped at local high schools that hadn’t heard a word from us in years. We were out of sight, out of mind.  At least smuT had some kind of history and relationship with these coaches. Rebuilding relationships and trust took time, about three years from looking at the results. Like it or not, the JUCOs SL signed to bridge the gap didn’t pan out so now we have a lot of underclassmen along our O-Line and, outside of Novil, the same issue on the DL. 
 

As I stated earlier, we all knew this year would be one to rebuild. The problem is how we started against SMU. We looked bad and everyone is pissed.  You all talk about parents trusting SMU with their kids. Parents are doing the same with us, we are just a step behind the hated Broncos. 

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Hey - we lost to Portland state before Littrell came to this school - We are young with no spring ball - we are trying to see who should be starting and who can play this game - I promise we will be much better as the season progresses - if we go backwards then I agree maybe we need a new coach but I promise you that is not going to happen -. However , next week is going to be horrible - Houston has everyone back and we are still trying to figure out who can play . I think Aune has the better arm especially with the deep ball - Bean is faster - Aune has better presence and keeps his emotions under control - Bean must mature and not show his emotions so much when he makes a mistake . It seems the coaches favor Bean for possibly his intangibles but Aune seems to have a good presence on the field and seems to be a leader - I predict both get playing time but I will bet Aune has the better night against the bigger stronger athletes that Houston will put out there . 
Defense is in trouble -we will not be able to cover some of there receivers - this could and probably will get ugly early . We will fight and not quit - we didn’t quit against SMU but were just outmanned . 
recruiting is getting much better as the numbers show - I predict tough year but the future looks good . I believe coach has them going in the right direction - next year we will be so much better . Let’s be positive and back our boys - if our guys quit I will change my tune but I don’t see that happening like it did with the Portland state game . 

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Based on the SMU game, Aune should be the starter; no questions asked.

However, every team is going to need to nurture their backups this season.  So Bean needs to gets snaps and be ready to be behind the center. 

I do wonder if Bean can play wr, his speed would be great if he can catch the ball and block a little.  Still need him at QB, but using him as a receiver a couple of plays a game could be a good wrinkle for the offense. 

I think that NT was picked about fourth in their division in CUSA.  So no one should be surprised it is going to take a while for this team to jell. 

I still think they can be highly competitive in the league.  However, the defense is going to have to grow up.  Now, it looks entirely possible that NT could lead CUSA in offense and still not win a game. 

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10 hours ago, GrandGreen said:

Based on the SMU game, Aune should be the starter; no questions asked.

However, every team is going to need to nurture their backups this season.  So Bean needs to gets snaps and be ready to be behind the center. 

I do wonder if Bean can play wr, his speed would be great if he can catch the ball and block a little.  Still need him at QB, but using him as a receiver a couple of plays a game could be a good wrinkle for the offense. 

I think that NT was picked about fourth in their division in CUSA.  So no one should be surprised it is going to take a while for this team to jell. 

I still think they can be highly competitive in the league.  However, the defense is going to have to grow up.  Now, it looks entirely possible that NT could lead CUSA in offense and still not win a game. 

Yep and I was surprised when Aune had time in the pocket to throw, but then either under or over threw the receiver.

Still the better overall athlete 

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