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North Texas' rushers face Lafayette's defensive challenge


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DENTON -- As part of his job rebuilding the North Texas football program, coach Dan McCarney and his staff have witnessed firsthand the growing pains that go along with raising a young football team, one of the 10 youngest in the FBS.

So it's no wonder if one continually hears the coach exclaim, speaking about any particular unit of his team, "We got to get better."

One of the most difficult jobs coming into 2012 was replacing running back Lance Dunbar, who has now graduated to the NFL.

Though there's certainly room for improvement, McCarney's by-committee coalition of junior Brandin Byrd, redshirt freshman Antoinne Jimmerson and senior Jeremy Brown -- a former walk-on -- has done its job behind the holes opened by an offensive line that includes three sophomores.

"It's really come to fruition, what I said last spring," McCarney said last week. "We liked all three of those guys. You're seeing they all complement each other well.

"There's no drop off when any of them come into the game."

The runners faced one of their stiffest tests on Tuesday against Louisiana-Lafayette's stingy run defense.

The Ragin' Cajuns were ranked 18th nationally in rush defense, allowing 107.2 yards per game, including fewer than 70 yards in each of their four victories entering the game against North Texas.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/10/16/4340930/north-texas-rushers-face-la

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