By Craig Fields
The North Texas Mean Green commit five turnovers, the Blazers defense manages to score three times and the UAB Blazers run away with this one, 56-21 in a game that wasn’t even close. The defense was not the only effective scoring side of the ball for the Blazers as junior quarterback Cody Clements dotted receivers all day long to the tune of 316 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a 77.3 completion percentage.
The Mean Green were simply outplayed and out executed in pretty much every aspect of the game. Even though they gained more overall yards than the Blazers (451-448) they simply could not execute when it really mattered. The turnovers hurt, obviously.
Young redshirt freshman Dajon Williams was not only responsible for three of the turnovers, but his turnovers led directly to defensive points for the Blazers. Williams, to this point of the season, had shown that he is the more talented of the three quarterbacks that North Texas has. He has speed, quickness, playmaking ability, and overall athletic gifts that the other two quarterbacks simply do not have.
With that being said, outside of the the Nicholls State game, his play has not been consistent and at times hard to watch. Sometimes he makes throws or decisions that, if they have the casual fan scratching their heads, then the coaching staff must be pulling their hair out. But losses like these are not all based on one person. Losses like these CAN’T all be based on one person.
I have always thought that blaming one person for the loss of a game or praising one person for a win in a TEAM sport is ridiculous and unwarranted. So how about we discuss why the Mean Green lost this one and perhaps some of the areas they need to improve in as a team.
The defense as a whole was poor. They were not making sure tackles. They could not really get that much pressure on the quarterback. They could not really stop the run game. In essence they looked about the same as they have in all four of the Mean Green losses this year.
I would love to say that this unit will improve and all of a sudden get “it”. But the seemingly the sad truth is that this group just does not possess the overall talent or ability to get better. I think that we have seen what they are. They dominate very weak teams, and fold up against moderate to OK teams. Chances are that this group will be exposed a lot in the remaining games to come.
The one bright spot for the Mean Green in this game was junior running back Antoinne Jimmerson. He had over 100 yards on the ground and a touchdown. For all the grief that I gave the Mean Green defense, the Blazers defense was not that much better. If not for the costly and careless turnovers by the Mean Green, UNT might have actually won this game.
The Blazer defense played a bend but don’t break style of defense. They gave up plenty of yards, but looked for the opportunistic turnover every step of the way. At the end of the day, they gave up more yards than the Mean Green defense but also came away with more turnovers, five to the Mean Green’s zero.
Dajon Williams was actually subbed out of the game in the third quarter, for senior Andrew McNulty. McNulty came into the game and got a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He did not really do anything in the fourth quarter to warrant a start for the next game. But with this team struggling so much in all facets of the game, a change may be coming. I personally think that this team needs some level of consistency at the quarterback position.
With the Mean Green playing at home this upcoming Saturday against an equally bad if not worse team in the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, that just might be the confidence booster that a freshman like Dajon Williams needs.