Monday, August 30, 2010
Sun Belt 2010-North Texas Mean Green
2009 Record: 2-10 (1-7)
Head Coach: Todd Dodge (4th season, 5-31)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Canales (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Gary DeLoach (3rd season)
2009 Bowl Game: Not unless you count the dust bowl
Offense: Riley Dodge's arm finally fell off, so the QB job will be a battle between Nathan Tune and Derek Thompson. Dodge moves to WR, where he is not listed as a starter. That's probably becasue all 4 receivers return to start in the spread set with Jamaal Jackson, Darius Carey, Michael Outlaw, and BJ Lewis rounding out the group. The true star of the offense should be RB Lance Dunbar, who rushed for 1378 yards in 2009. UNT has always been better when they ran the ball well, so I say pound it with Dunbar out of multiple sets every chance you can. He shouldn't have any trouble running behind a line that returns 4 starters.
Defense: Here is the bad news. North Texas couldn't keep teams from finding the end zone at will last year. 10 teams scored 30 or more points on UNT last season. Brandon Akpunko and Sam Owusu-Hemeng both return at DE, but Akpunko only weighes 226 lbs. Some high schools have bigger DEs. Shavod Atkinson returns at DT, and he fits the bill. The LB group is very thin, with Craig Robertson being the only returning starter. UNT actually had a very decent pass defense last season, and safeties DaWaylon Cook and Ira Smith both return, as does CB Royce Hill.
Special Teams: Freshman Zach Olen will battle Trent Deans for the PK job. Olen was a high school super recruit during the off season. Will Atterberry returns at punter, but nobody is fearing this fact.
Wins: 10/30 Western Kentucky
Toss Up games: 9/11 Rice, 10/2 Louisiana-Lafayette, 10/16 Florida International
Losses: 9/4 @ Clemson, 9/18 @ Army, 9/25 @ Florida Atlantic, 10/9 Arkansas State, 11/6 Troy, 11/13 @ Middle Tennessee, 11/20 @ Louisiana-Monroe, 11/27 Kansas State
3 out of the first 4 are on the road. That's not a good sign. The best you could possibly hope for is 4 wins this season. That's not going to be enough to save Todd Dodge.
Outlook: A change is gonna come. Dodge has acknowledged that he likely needs 6 wins to have a job after this season, and I don't see how that will be possible. The pass happy spread has never taken in Denton, and UNT had some very nice football teams when they featured the run under Darrell Dickey. In 6 months, we'll be talking about who will replace Dodge, and they had better not go the route of a high school coach again.