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North Texas looks to rebound after loss to LSU


Harry
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North Texas returns to home base this week relatively unscathed from its excursion into the muck of LSU's swamp, other than a 27-point loss, of course, to the third-ranked team in the country.

Rather than the red carpet, awaiting the Mean Green for today's home opener is Texas Southern, a team from the ranks of FCS, and UNT's most distinguished football alum.

And coach Dan McCarney's continued scrutiny.

The coach's wish list of improvements for this week slipped off his tongue with the unrestrained style of an auctioneer.

Unacceptable, the coach said, were missed tackles and drives that went three-and-outs and a fumble and an interception.

Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/09/08/4240808/north-texas-looks-to-rebound-after.html

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      As the 2018 North Texas football season inches closer, there is no disputing the level of excitement and anticipation is reaching a fever pitch.  Optimism abounds and it’s not just from the die-hard fans who frequent the GoMeanGreen.com fan website.
      The Mean Green were picked to place first in the Conference USA Western division in the league’s 2018 preseason poll and junior quarterback Mason Fine was selected as the league’s most valuable offensive player.  UNT returns 17 starters, and pretty much it’s entire coaching staff including head coach Seth Littrell who led the program to bowl games in both of his first two seasons.  They also can boast the #1 ranked 2019 recruiting class in Conference USA according to 247 Sports.
      North Texas had struggled for most of the past decade prior to Littrell’s hiring in 2015, notching only one winning season in 2013 under then coach Dan McCarney.  In 2016, Littrell took a 1-11 team he inherited from McCarney to a bowl game in his first season as head coach.  Later, in the summer of 2016 UNT hired athletic director Wren Baker and after solid 2017 performances in all three major revenue sports the future could not look brighter.
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      I could not help but think back to a similar place we – as North Texas fans – found ourselves just four short years ago back in 2014, after an amazing Heart of Dallas bowl win on New Years day against UNLV.
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      Suddenly, the whispers of who would replace McCarney became a chorus of demands to renew his contract as quickly as possible although very few will admit this sin today.
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      The season started off roughly on the road at the University of Texas as hopes for a major step forward against a P5 program were dashed.  UNT would lose the game 38-7 despite a good defensive showing in the 1st half.  In week two, UNT bounced back in a big way, defeating arch rival SMU in Denton by a score of 43-6 and the bandwagon started back up.  Fans were bleeding green again.
      Then reality sunk in after a disastrous home loss against Louisiana Tech by a score of 42-21.  After a cupcake win against out-manned Nicholls State, the Mean Green would go on to lose four straight conference games.   McCarney would only manage two more conference wins that season against the bottom tier Florida C-USA schools and finished the season at 4-8.  

      Much of the issues UNT faced in 2014 revolved around the quarterback position.  They tried several options during the season, including Iowan Andrew McNulty, juco-transfer Josh Greer, and Dajon Williams.  None of them seemed to work, with junior, and McCarney favorite McNulty earning the most game reps.
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      One could argue that the North Texas program is under solid footing with Coach Littrell and his staff heading into the 2018 season.  The biggest difference appears to be the return of junior quarterback Mason Fine.  One cannot question the importance of the quarterback position and UNT appears miles ahead of where they were in 2014 both in terms of talent and depth.  
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