By Craig Fields
North Texas struggled to produce offense and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs beat the Mean Green 42-21. The theme of this game for the Mean Green can be summed up in two words: Missed opportunities. There were at least half a dozen missed opportunities and chances to make this game competitive. Allow me to explain what I mean.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Greer of the Mean Green had more than a couple of opportunities to make passes down the field to wide open receivers. He missed every single chance presented to him. Not just a few, but every chance. Louisiana Tech felt so strongly that Greer could not make the passes that they played 10 in the box with one lone safety over the top of the defense.
That defense is normally reserved for small high school programs that are playing other small programs that do not really have a quarterback. The amount of respect the Bulldogs had for the Mean Green passing attack was as close to zero as you could get.
There were seam routes and post routes open all night long. Greer just could not make the pass. Even when the Bulldogs played a more conventional defense with seven in the box, the running game still could not get going. The Mean Green were not able to secure a first down until the second quarter. By then the Bulldogs offense figured out how to move the ball and score with some proficiency.
Senior quarterback Cody Sokol of the Bulldogs, finally found his form to the tune of 20-31 for 243 yards and five touchdowns. Once the offensive coordinator made the adjustment in play calling to have his receivers run plays that allowed them to sit down on the routes, at that point it was simply pitch and catch for Sokol and his receivers.
One person who was kept relatively in check was the dynamic running back, Kenneth Dixon of the Bulldogs. He only had 19 attempts for 75 yards and one touchdown. He broke lose on one play for 19-yards but other than that the Mean Green defense did a good job of keeping him under wraps.
Once the game was a foregone conclusion, Coach McCarney of the Mean Green decided to make a change at the quarterback position. He brought in the dynamic and athletically gifted Dajon Williams. In case you are wondering why he did not bring in McNulty, the answer is that he is pretty much the same type of quarterback as Greer. They are primarily pocket passers that do not really have the ability or propensity to scramble and extend plays.
Williams does have that ability and in the fourth quarter he moved the ball with ease and marched the Mean Green down the field twice and scored two quick touchdowns. His ability to scramble came in handy during both drives as he was able to keep plays alive by escaping pressure and deliver passes on a rope to the open receiver.
Mean Green’s next opponent is Nicholls State, whose coach has just resigned because of “health reasons”. I do not want to speculate, but I am sure that the 73-7 loss handed to them by the Arkansas Razorbacks might have something to do with it as well. However, the story that might be just as important here, is that Williams will be starting at quarterback against this team. The Bulldogs game was a disaster, but if Dajon Williams gets the opportunity he deserves to lead this team because of it, maybe that is a silver lining that any UNT football fan can get behind.