If you're a fan of the Mean Green, it's time to feel giddy. Your coach is back, so are both of your coordinators, you've got an Air Raid savant in Mason Fine, a ton of receiving talent back, and your defense can't be worse. Ok, well maybe it could, but it was pretty bad last year, and you still won nine games. In the spirit of getting off on the right foot let's take a look at North Texas' September slate.
SMU, September 1
Please sell this game out. Please. The new-ish looking Mustangs head up 35 to contest the Hippogriff Trophy once again. The Mean Green have lost their last three to the Ponies, but 2018 gives North Texas their best chance to get a W since they chased June Jones out of Denton and out of his office. Bill Connelly gives North Texas a 50% chance of beating the Ponies and if they can hang on for a fun ride.
Incarnate Word, September 8
North Texas OC Graham Harrell's teammate, Eric Morris, brings Incarnate Word to Denton for week two. The Cardinals will be installing a new pass-friendly scheme. Expect significant numbers from Fine and company.
at Arkansas, September 15
We're not what to think of this one. On paper, Arkansas is undoubtedly better, but they're also wholly changing course from Bret Bielema who wanted to play eleven guards on offense to spread fun time Chad Morris. If you're going to have shot at Arkansas, it's in year one his rebuild.
at Liberty, September 22
Scheduling this game doesn't make much sense, but here it is. Liberty, an FBS so unpopular even the Sun Belt won't touch it, welcomes the Mean Green. This is the same Liberty program that beat Baylor in Waco and lost to St. Francis (PA) at home. The evangelicals will be fired up for this one, and you can't look ahead to a showdown at Louisiana Tech a week later. Liberty's quarterback is a guy who goes by Buckshot Calvert. He may or may not trap beaver pelts in the offseason.
Predicting 2-2 seems too easy for the Mean Green's out of conference schedule. The SMU game is the hinge. If North Texas beat the Mustangs to start the season, it's a tremendous program achievement and a chance to climb to a higher rung on the pecking order in the state. That game with the Flames in Virginia is a little scary though.