Sunday, March 27, 2011

North Texas Mean Green 2010 Review

2010 Record: 3-9 (3-5), Tied 6th Sun Belt
2010 Bowl Game: None
2010 Schedule/Result: @ Clemson, L 35-10, Rice, L 32-31, @ Army, L 24-0, @ FAU, W 21-17, UL-Lafayette, L 28-27, Arkansas State, L 24-19, FIU, L 34-10, @ Western Kentucky, W 33-6, Troy, L 41-35, @ Middle Tennessee, W 23-17, @ UL-Monroe, L 49-37, Kansas State, L 49-41


     If anything can be said for the 2010 Eagles, it's that the high school coach experiment failed...miserably. Todd Dodge, who came to UNT fom Southlake Carroll,  never could find a groove in Denton, and the program has been stuck in a miserable backwards slide. Darryl Dickey wasn't that bad, people. Dickey understood one common principle in North Texas football, and that was when UNT runs, they are succesful, which is something that UNT found out after they fired Dodge. The wins may not have come, but they were much more competitive.
     Riley Dodge, the coach's son of course, for better or for worse, was the starting QB. He was nothing special, and finished the season passing for 1212 yards and 11 TDs. TO his creidt, he did only toss 4 picks. It's hard to fault Riley, as this was really a lame duck season to begin with. Dodge will not likely be back at UNT as a junior next season.
     When all else failed, one thing could be counted on. If you give the ball to Lance Dunbar, you will move the football. Dunbar had a huge season for UNT, and considering that he was truly the only offensive weapon on the team, it made the performance that much better. Dunbar really became a focal point after Dodge was fired, and he responded by rushing for 1553 yards and 13 TDs. Under Dan McCarney's system, Dunbar will be the focal point of attack, and that's as it should be.
     There was very little to be excited about in the receiving corps in 2010. The less than average QB play was a real debilitating mess for this group, and Darius Carey was the leader with a mere 38 grabs for 524 yards and 5 TDs. Carey will be back as a junior in 2011, but there is very little solid talent to build on for next season. Hit the reset button.
     UNT could not stop the run on defense. Oppsong teams ripped UNT at a rate of 184.9 yards rushing per game in 2010. Craig Robertson built a season on making stops after the line of scrimmage, as the LB rolled up 133 tackles in 2010. Nobody else on the team had half as many tackles as Robinson, which is really terrible, because Robinson was a senior and will not be back. Someone will have to be found to make some plays, and it had better happen soon.
     Robertson was also the leader in TFLs with 10 on the season, and nobody came close to matching him, which makes me wonder if the defense can actually get worse before it gets better. Nobody had more than 3 sacks on the team.
     The secondary could do little better, as there were simply no playmkaers to be found. Royce Hill was the leader in passes defended with a horrible 6 all season. You can't be happy about that number. Nobody had more than 2 picks all seaosn, either.
     In essence, the entire defense needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. There is so little talent to be found here, that it will likely take a few years before McCarney even comes close to tasting success with the mess on the defensive side of the ball.
     There was one area of promise other then at RB. Freshman PK Zach Olen was Mr. Automatic, as he nailed 13 of his 15 FG attempts in 2010. If the offense can get him close, they'll score in 2011. He barely misses, and still has time to get better. Will Atterberry was solid at Punter as well, as he averaged 41.84 yards per punt in 2010 as a sophomore.


Allowing Dodge to coach into 2010 was just negligence on the part of the UNT administration. It was money best spent on an other coach, and if you had to buy him out of a year, so what? This program was on a go nowhere track, and the AD knew it. By demanding 6 to 8 wins and a bowl bid was just stupid, as it was painfully obvious that the talent was not on hand, and Dodge was in way over his head here. Dan McCarney helped to build a moderate winner at Iowa State, but it took him many years to make it happen there, and it's going to be a bitch of a rebuilding effort to get it right at UNT. More of the same, I'm afraid. For awhile anyway.

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