Mean Green Unveil Throwbacks; Look Forward to Opener

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 I was at Apogee Stadium on Monday, home of the North Texas Mean Green, for UNT’s annual football media day where coach Dan McCarney and his players addressed the upcoming season.  Aside from the normal talk about what’s happening on the field, a lot of buzz surrounded the unveiling of a throwback uniform that will be worn during the home opener against Idaho.  This season marks the 100th anniversary of North Texas football; the new uniform incorporates many different of the different era’s of the program stretching from the 1950’s to early 2000’s.  The crowd seemed impressed with the new uniforms. I wouldn’t mind seeing them around throughout the season, but these are a one-time thing and will be auctioned off to fans after the opener.

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Of course the uniforms weren’t the only thing being talked about, head coach Dan McCarney spoke at length about how excited he was about this season and the team that has been assembled here. McCarney, now in his 3rd season as head coach at UNT, said he finally felt like he has a team of his players and the kind of guys that he wants on this football team. At many points in his first two seasons here as the coach of the Mean Green, he spoke about not having depth at positions all over the field because of the roster he inherited, but now he has the team he wants.  Last season the team finished 4-8, but it looks like they have improved at almost every unit. On defense the linebacking core is still very good, but the Mean Green added depth to the defensive line and secondary, so that should boost an already strong defense to a very good one.

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The Mean Green offense had trouble moving the ball last season when they weren’t  running. The passing attack may still be an issue, but it is improved. The running game should be even better with new additions and added experience. The receivers and TE’s should be better, especially if Brelan Chancellor can stay healthy.  The offensive line could be 8-10 players deep, which is a huge upgrade over the past few seasons where coach McCarney said they had to play the only 5 guys they had that could play.

That leaves one big question mark to this team: who’s going to be the QB?  Senior Derek Thompson has been fighting to keep his job from Brock Berglund, Andrew McNulty, and surprising freshman Dajon Williams.  Coach McCarney said while there has been a lot of competition for the position, no one has stepped up and taken the job and.  He also announced, to the surprise of many, that Dajon Williams wasn’t going to be redshirted, so he will compete for some sort of playing time. While a QB controversy can be a good thing for competition, it normally ends up with fans and players questioning who should be on the field; it can get really messy really fast.  Coach McCarney and his staff have done a good job of improving this team every year, and it looks like it will happen again, but they will have a big decision to make soon on who will lead this team at QB.

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