Depth Chart |
There's an old adage when it comes to coaches that it's a short trip
to make a halo a noose, and North Texas found out just how far it
is. 22 points.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, ifs and buts, however, the Mean Green were
22 points away from being the Sun Belt champs losing to Troy by
three, UL Lafayette by three, Florida Atlantic by three,
UL Monroe by five, and Arkansas State by seven. Had former PK Nick
Bazaldua been slightly consistent and been not missed field goals in
three of those games, who knows?
Considering the team was at or near the bottom in just about every
major statistical category and loses only nine lettermen off of last
year's team, there's reason to believe a turnaround can be just as
quick as a fall from grace.
Head coach: Darrell Dickey
9th year: 39-55
Off. 22, Def. 26, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 9
Best UNT Players
1. RB Jamario Thomas, Jr.
2. OG Dylan Lineberry, Sr.
3. SS Aaron Weathers, Jr.
WR Johnny Quinn, Sr.
5. LB Maurice Holman, Jr.
6. FS Steve Warren, Soph.
7. DE Jeremiah Chapman, Jr.
8. LB Phillip Graves, Sr.
9. OT Josh Alexander, Jr.
10. C Chad Rose, Soph.
at Arkansas State
at UL Lafayette
at UL Monroe
2005 Record: 2-9
2005 predicted wins
Tulsa L 54-2
at Kansas State L 54-7
at Florida Intl
at La Tech L 40-14
UL Monroe L 24-19
The offense can't be any
worse, and won't be now that the quarterbacks have the experience and
reps from last year under their belts. Jamario Thomas will once again be
one of the nation's leading rushers thanks to a veteran line with four
returning starters to work behind, and the receiving corps is one of the
best in the Darrell Dickey era.
The defense can't be any worse, and won't be with a switch to a 3-4 to
play to the strength, the linebacking corps. Aaron Weathers and Steve
Warren are all-conference caliber safeties, and Jeremiah Chapman will be
one of the league's best pass rushers. The corners are raw, but no one
in the Sun Belt can throw, anyway.
It might have been a one year blip on the map for the North Texas
program. The rest of the Sun Belt hopes last year was the start of more
mediocrity to come, but that's wishful thinking.
Forgetting about the sure blowout loss to Texas, it'll be important
to not get obliterated by SMU and Tulsa early. Four of the seven Sun
Belt games are on the road with a horrible break getting Arkansas
State, Troy, UL Lafayette and UL Monroe, the league's four best
teams outside of North Texas, away from Denton. That means there's
no margin for error in the home dates against MTSU, FIU and Florida
Atlantic. The Mean Green will have to go 3-1 on the road against the
big four to be in the hunt, or 2-2 and hope for help.
Offensive Player: Junior RB Jamario Thomas. He didn't get much
work last year thanks to a hamstring problem and the return of
Patrick Cobbs, but the speedy junior should regain the form that got
him 1,801 yards and 17 scores in 2004.
Defensive Player: Junior SS Aaron Weathers. There are several
rising stars on the defense from safety Steve Warren to end Jeremiah
Chapman to linebacker Maurice Holman, but Weathers is the glue who
makes everything happen. At least he was last year making way too
many plays than he should've had to against the run and leading the
team in interceptions.
player to a successful season: Sophomore QBs Daniel Meager and
Matt Phillips. Throw JUCO transfer Woody Wilson in the mix, too. The
Mean Green would've won at least seven games last year had the
quarterback play been merely mediocre. A starter has to emerge early
on in summer ball and has to be able to keep the chains moving and
use the veteran receiving corps to make more big plays.
season will be a success if ... North Texas wins the Sun Belt
title. It'll be a major, major accomplishment considering the
conference road schedule, but after the past success, nothing else
but a trip to the New Orleans Bowl will do.
game: Oct. 21 at Arkansas State. A loss to the defending Sun Belt
champs on the road would make the rest of the year an uphill climb
and the following week's trip to Troy a must win. A win over the
Indians would go a long way to helping the Mean Green's confidence.
The Last Time North Texas…
- First quarter scoring: Opponents 69 - North Texas 5
- Rushing touchdowns: Opponents 26 - North Texas 8
- Penalties: North Texas 90 for 817 yards - Opponents 70 for 591
…played in a bowl game…2004 (New Orleans Bowl vs. Southern Miss)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Troy)
…was shutout…2004 (Texas)
…scored 50 points…2004 (Idaho)
…won a conference title…2004 (Sun Belt)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1994 (Mitch Maher)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Patrick Cobbs)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…1994 (David Brown)
…had a first-round draft choice…1971 (DB Leonard Dunlap)