The North Texas Mean Green had a solid 9-4 season last year, which ended with a 22 point blowout win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas bowl. This looks like it could be a rebuilding year, as just 9 starts and 27 lettermen are back. Most will say rebuilding, but HC Dan McCarney says reloading. We will see. Preview & schedule below.
Gone is QB Derek Thomson, who threw for 2896 yards with 16 TDs and 13 INTs last year, while leading the Mean Green to a solid 31.8 ppg last year. JUCO Josh Greer looks to take over the QB duties, but who will he get the ball to, after their top 2 WRs have departed and just 1 player is back that caught more than 16 passes last year. Carlos Harris is the top returning WR, catching 47 passes for 553 yards last year. The running game loses 1000 yard back Brandin Boyd, but Antionne Jimmerson and Reggie Pegram are back after combining for 784 yards and 13 TDs last year. They will be running behind the top rated OL in the conference and the 26th best in the nation. The defense last year allowed just 17.8 ppg, which was 8th in the nation, but this year just 4 starters are back, including just 1 in the front 7, so they should take a step or two back this year. They did recruit the 15th best LB in the nation in Anthony Wallace, who transferred from Oregon, and that means that the LB Corp will be very solid, but the DL is still one of the weakest Conference USA. The secondary is the clear strength of this defense, with 3 starters back, including James Jones, who had & PBUs and 1 INT last year.
I know that some have this team picked higher but I really see a 3rd or 4th place finish in the West at best. They really have lost too much from this team, especially on an outstanding defense. The offense has a strong OL and a couple of decent RB’s but still no proven talent at QB and the WR corps has very little experience. They do have a fairly easy home slate, but road games vs Texas, Rice UTSA and UTEP will be tough. Just too much is lost for me to see them finishing higher than 3rd in the west Division of Conference USA. KEY TREND: 13-1 ATS off BB SU wins vs an opponent off a SU win.
2014 North Texas Football Schedule
Aug. 30 at Texas
Sep. 6 SMU
Sep. 13 Louisiana Tech
Sep. 20 Nicholls State
Sep. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 4 at Indiana
Oct. 11 at UAB
Oct. 18 Southern Miss
Oct. 25 at Rice
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 Florida Atlantic
Nov. 15 at UTEP
Nov. 22 FIU
Nov. 29 at UTSA
Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports
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Golden Nugget Games Of The Year
Steve Fezzik from Pregame.com takes a look at some the games of the year tat have been released by the Golden Nugget, along with some tips for handicapping them.