Post Mortem: 2013 North Texas

D. Thompson251390289616
D. Williams56550
B. Byrd20210755.311
A. Jimmerson1074464.27
B. Chancellor5379214.94
D. Smith7079111.34

They were this close to a historic season. THIS CLOSE! The Mean Green had the Conference USA Western Division title on a platter, but then they ran into UTSA. Don't take it so hard UNT, it wasn't historic but it was pretty good.

Let's get UNT up on the table and pour their guts out to see how 2013 went.

He wears his sunglasses at night.

He wears his sunglasses at night.

After a 2-3 start that included a loss to Ohio and a "closer than the score indicated" loss to Georgia the Mean Green went on a mean run, 7-1 to finish the season. The Halloween tilt against Rice was the signature moment. Apogee stadium was almost 3/4 full on a FS1 televised Thursday night that saw UNT firmly grasp the reigns in the Western Division.

All that momentum was lost in a flash with UTSA's donkey kicking trip into Denton three weeks later. Still, the Screemin' Eagles secured a birth in the Heart of Dallas  Bowl, got a a win there, and ended the season at 9-4, and ended the nations longest bowl drought. That patch'll look good on the old letter jacket.

Dan McCarney's rebuild is nearing completion as better and better talent finds it way to Denton. Why not? UNT plays in a great facility with other great support facilities either already in use or fast on the way.

2013 North Texas Mean Green Football Schedule

Final Record: 9-4, 6-2 (C-USA)
Date   Opponent Results
Aug. 31
Vandals Idaho Vandals
Apogee Stadium
Won 40-6
Sept. 7
Bobcats at Ohio Bobcats
Peden Stadium
Lost 27-21
Sept. 14
Cardinals Ball State Cardinals
Apogee Stadium
Won 34-27
Sept. 21
Bulldogs at Georgia Bulldogs
Sanford Stadium
Lost 45-21
Sept. 28
Open Date
Oct. 5
Green Wave at Tulane Green Wave
Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Lost 24-21
Oct. 12
Blue Raiders Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Apogee Stadium
Won 34-7
Oct. 19
Bulldogs at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Joe Aillet Stadium
Won 28-13
Oct. 26
Golden Eagles at Southern Miss Golden Eagles
M.M. Roberts Stadium
Won 55-14
Oct. 31
Owls Rice Owls
Apogee Stadium
Won 28-16
Nov. 9
Miners UTEP Miners
Apogee Stadium
Won 41-7
Nov. 16
Open Date
Nov. 23
Roadrunners UTSA Roadrunners
Apogee Stadium
Lost 21-13
Nov. 30
Hurricanes at Tulsa Golden Hurricane
H.A. Chapman Stadium
Won 42-10
2014 Heart of Dallas Bowl
Jan. 1
Rebels UNLV Rebels
Cotton Bowl
Won 36-14

What went right...

Derek Thompson tree'd out.

We didn't know you had it in you Derek.

We didn't know you had it in you Derek.

We called for his head in the fall preview edition of the Round-Up and Derek Thompson wouldn't give it over. Not only that, but he had a career season leading the Mean Green. Thompson set careers highs in almost every statistical category, but most importantly his completion percentage finally got north of 60%.

Breelan Chancellor and Darnell Smith will be hard to replace.

Chancellor and Smith combined for more than 120 catches and 8 touchdowns. (By the way, Gator Hoskins from Marshall had 15 receiving touchdowns and his name is Gator. Win, win, win.) Chancellor was a Swiss army knife catching passes, getting around the end on jet sweeps and forcing coaches to take their heart meds when he returned kicks. Smith was responsible for 70 catches all by his lonesome.

Big Improvement on Defense

Zach Orr led the best defense in C-USA and wore these sweet throwbacks.

Zach Orr led the best defense in C-USA and wore these sweet throwbacks.

The Mean Green upgraded in competition level from the Sun Belt to C-USA and also improved on defense. UNT shaved a yard per play of in total defense and went from allowing 414 yards a game to 348. They also caused 15 more turnovers in 2013 than in 2012. The Mean Green led C-USA in sacks with 39, red zone defense and points per game with 17.8.

The O-line maintained excellence. 

The UNT offensive line has been stellar for several seasons now, 2013 was no exception. The Mean Green allowed 11 sacks in 13 games. North Texas ball carriers averaged over 4 yards a pop as well.

What went wrong...

Not much...but...

Too many turnovers.

You'll never find a coach happy about his giveaways unless those giveaways are none. Despite all Derek Thompson's improvements the one area where his improvement was not as significant was interceptions. Thompson threw 16 TDs but 13 Ints, so even though he's plus 3 in that category, it was still too much.

The flags were flying.

UNT was the third most penalized team Conference USA. Coach McCarney preaches discipline and the penalties and turnovers must drive him a lil bit crazy.

Support your local football team.

You're better than this UNT.

You're better than this UNT.

The Bud tuned into the Thursday night game against Rice hoping to see a packed Apogee Stadium. The Bud didn't see it. Not even close. Even with the most successful season in recent history the Mean Green averaged 21,000 per home date. This is a program on the rise, arguably the most competitive squad in the Metroplex in 2013. Attendance is the next step in better bowls, better exposure, better scheduling, better just about everything. The Bud isn't kidding when it says that UNT could be the next Boise, a "non-AQ" school with a commitment to football that takes off. Buy a ticket and support it.

Help Wanted...

Dan McCarney is doing at North Texas what any coach should do at North Texas, drawing a line around DFW, extend that circle east to take into account the I-10 east corridor and recruiting that area. The improvements in facility have also brought along an influx of transfers who like what they see.

School, Hometown
Video HT/ WT/ 40 Commit DateSigned LOI? Commit School
OLB JC Akii (A.J.) Smith
(Northeastern Oklahoma A&M)
Miami, OK
6-2/220 12/16/2013
North Texas
RB 116 Willy Ivery
(Sulphur Springs HS)
Sulphur Springs, TX
5-9/180 11/29/2013
North Texas
WR 235 Okeeron Rutherford
(Carthage HS)
Carthage, TX
6-5/180 11/26/2013
North Texas
WR 99 Terian Goree
(Carthage HS)
Carthage, TX
6-2/170 11/26/2013
North Texas
WR NR Jalen Adams
(Southmoore HS)
Moore, OK
5-10/160 11/14/2013
North Texas
CB NR Andrew Jones
(North Mesquite HS)
Mesquite, TX
6-0/170/4.58 10/02/2013
North Texas
OT NR Christopher Miles
(Flower Mound HS)
Flower Mound, TX
6-5/290 08/06/2013
North Texas
RB NR Kishawn McClain
(B F Terry HS)
Rosenberg, TX
5-10/185 08/06/2013
North Texas
OLB NR Brandon Garner
(Mansfield Timberview HS)
Arlington, TX
5-11/205 07/31/2013
North Texas
QB NR Connor Means
(Deer Park HS)
Deer Park, TX
6-3/200 07/26/2013
North Texas
DT NR Shaquel Jackson
(De Soto HS)
Desoto, TX
6-0/250 07/25/2013
North Texas
WR NR Fonzale Davis
(South Oak Cliff HS)
Dallas, TX
5-11/178 07/25/2013
North Texas
DT 116 Johnavhan Grahm
(De Soto HS)
Desoto, TX
6-1/255 07/23/2013
North Texas

We like the two Carthage kids a lot. Rutherford is a huge rangy target and Goree isn't exactly small.

UNT raids Carthage for Terian Goree and one of his buddies.

UNT raids Carthage for Terian Goree and one of his buddies.

It's also nice to create a little pipeline to places like DeSoto where the Eagles will have D1 talent and lots of it every year.

Josh Greer is a JC quarterback who's already enrolled in Denton out of Navarro by way of Arlington. He and Connor Means give UNT two good sized quarterbacks who are decent athletes and have plus arms.

Lots of skill guys so far and not a lot of offensive line beef.

Prognosis 2014:

The Mean Green will play a tough schedule in 2014, traveling to UT for Charlie Strong's first game at UT and then getting a home date with SMU. While we're at it, good on SMU for playing in Denton. The Stangs and Frogs have tried to duck their neighbors to the north but for now at least SMU is embracing that this might be a good thing.

UNT finishes their non-conference against Indiana in Bloomington the first weekend in October. If you can get a scalp off a Big 10 team on the road you could be 2-1 out of conference. (Sorry SMU we appreciate your playing UNT, we don't think you're winning that game.)

Circle the Mean Green's trips to Rice and UTSA as being pivotal in the C-USA standings. Right now we'd have to pick UNT at the top but then again we picked them near the bottom last year so...just bear that in mind. All three programs are breaking in new QBs for 2014.

Posted on January 9, 2014 and filed under Southwest Round-Up, Sports.