Bad Beats: Portland State 66 North Texas 7

We're dredging up the kind of history no one wants to remember. We owe it you, our valued readers, to give a thorough and complete accounting of such history, the good, the bad, and most certainly the ugly. Welcome to our new series, Bad Beats, the epic beatdowns in the history of Texas College football. Relax, everyone gets a turn. 


66 to 7. If you ever lost a sporting event by 59 points, keep those details to yourself. If you ever lost a sporting event by 59 points to an opponent in a lower classification to you, congratulations, you're the 2015 North Texas Mean Green. 

We take no joy in chronicling the worst loss in North Texas history. By 59. To an FCS team. On Homecoming. But our readership expects us to keeps it real and so here we are, writing about a 59 point beat down. At home. By the second best team in the Big Sky. Giving up 670  yards. Again, no joy. 

One Hour Later

Let's skip to the end. Or perhaps the beginning for real Mean Green fans. An hour after the final gun sounded. North Texas' Athletic Director Rick Villareal put a cap into Dan McCarney's Mean Green tenure. Seven awful games later, North Texas hired Seth Littrell, the Lord, and Savior. 

When you lose at homecoming by 59 to an FCS team, getting fired is probably a relief. It reminds me of 2014 when June Jones lost to North Texas 43-6 and basically screamed "come sweet death" so he wouldn't have to watch his SMU team stretch their damn hamstrings again. 

In many ways, McCarney got off easy. Those that were left behind really suffered. They had to pull themselves up off the canvas and play Western Kentucky a week later in front of 10,000 fans. By the way, if there were 10,000 fans in attendance, then they counted most folks twice. 

By the way, North Texas' only win in 2015? They beat UTSA three weeks later. 

Portland State Wasn't Bad

The Pilots came into the contest 3-1 having already beaten Mike Leach's Washington State squad. They boasted a top defense in the FCS. 

Barnum and McCarney meet. We hope Barney apologized. 

Barnum and McCarney meet. We hope Barney apologized. 

Their first-year coach Bruce Barnum had the Pilots playing at a high level, and poised to win the Big Sky. By way of superfluous knowledge, PSU sanctioned Barnum for an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member in 2017. We don't know the details of that incident, but the North Texas fans would like him sanctioned for the ass kicking he gave the Mean Green at homecoming. 

Barnum guided the Pilots in something known as "Barney Ball," a self-described blue-collar approach. After kicking the hell out of North Texas, Portland State gave him a five-year extension. 

The Pilots won nine games in 2015 and made the FCS playoffs. They also beat two FBS teams. One by 59 points. On the road. At homecoming. 

North Texas Wasn't Good

The 2015 Mean Green were just two years removed from a magical Heart of Dallas Bowl season. Dan McCarney was riding a gravy train with milk bone wheels. A year later most picked the Mean Green to win CUSA West but they finished 4-8. By 2015, the Mean Green were back to the pack in Conference USA. Picked 5th in CUSA West and with significant quarterback issues whatever momentum came off of the Heart of Dallas win was now gone. 

The Mean Green lost to SMU, Rice, Iowa, and Southern Miss to start the year. The SMU and Rice games weren't bad, competitive, but a trip to Iowa resulted in a bludgeoning and a trip to USM ended in a 42 point thrashing. 

By homecoming, hope had left town as Portland State pulled in. Over 19,000 fans showed up, we're not sure how many asked for a refund, but those checks should've been forthcoming. 

59 Points

Any hope of a competitive game went out the window quickly. Midway through the first, following a thirteen-yard punt, Alex Kuresa his Darnell Adams for 82 yards and a score. Three and out for the Mean Green and an eight-play drive by the Pilots made it 14-0. Three and out for the Mean Green and another touchdown drive by the Pilots. Do you see a trend?

And another score. And another one. And another.

And another score. And another one. And another.

After another three and out, Portland State's David Jones rushed 70 yards for another score. Four straight drives, four consecutive touchdowns. The Pilots made it five straight after a 56-yard touchdown pass and six straight on an another Jones touchdown run. 

After six straight touchdowns, the Pilots kicked a field goal to end the first half. 

45 points allowed in thirty minutes, to an FCS opponent. Why didn't Villareal fire McCarney at halftime?

The first half crowd wisely decided to leave before Portland State started pillaging the rest of Denton. 

In the locker room, we can only imagine the inspirational speech McCarney made. No quit in the Mean Green. Win every down. 

Maybe he just walked in took a look around and went to the urinals for a leek. He knew what was coming in the second half. 

Either way, Portland State picked right up with a 60-yard touchdown pass to Jones. Seven straight scoring drives. The Mean Green defense wouldn't' allow an eighth straight score and made a stop, perhaps prompting the band to play the fight song. Suck on that Portland State. 

Eventually, the lead would widen to 59-0 by the end of the third quarter. A 68-yard rush for a score made it 66-0 on the first series of the fourth. 

Carlos Harris caught a nine-yard touchdown with 1:02 to get the Mean Green on the board. 66-7. 

Portland State outgained the Mean Green 368 to 76 on the ground; 302 to 122 through the air.

In the aftermath, as Apogee burned and Portland State got dressed back into their flannels and lumberjack jeans, Villareal informed McCarney that he'd done quite enough for the North Texas football program. By Sunday he went to the bullpen and brought in Mike Canales as interim coach. 

Soon enough Villareal would be gone as well but not before he placed a call the North Carolina to poach Seth Littrell off Larry Fedora's staff. The rest, as they say, is history. 

If you want to watch a three hour curb stomping. It's on YouTube. You've been warned. 

More Bad Beats

Posted on April 6, 2018 .