By Craig Fields
And just like that the season is over for the University of North Texas Mean Green football team. Yep over. Finito. Finished. Done. The Mean Green have not only stumbled out the gate, but have fallen flat on their face with an 0-4 start.
This is the first time that they have lost their first four games since 2008. Head Coach Dan McCarney knows that times like these can be especially trying for teams and organization.
“We have a lot of work to do,” UNT coach Dan McCarney said. “This is when you find out about the resolve and character and the pride of a football family — when the tough times hit. You find out about the leadership of your coaches, head coach, captains and seniors.”
One thing that is true is that the resolve of this team will definitely be tested for weeks to come, starting with their homecoming game against the Portland State Vikings.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. You know what time it is. Time to break down what went wrong for the guys in green in this week’s Three Things to take away from…
First and foremost… Defense, Defense, Defense. (or lack thereof)
The Mean Green defense was bad yet again and could not seem to stop the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles racked up 573 yards and did not really experience any pressure throughout the entire game.
Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens completed 27-36 passes for 325-yards and four touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Michael Thomas caught three of those. The Mean Green secondary had no answer for him or running back Ito Smith who had over 160-yards combined from the line of scrimmage.
Even when the defensive coordinator for the Mean Green tried to dial up pressure with a blitz or two, the effect tended to be negative. This game, along with the other three prior really showed the weakness of this defense.
There is a disconnect between the coaching staff and the personnel on the field. As a result the Mean Green rank 120th in the nation in total defense.
Secondly… A bad offense
The Mean Green offense is currently ranked 96th in the nation. Of course, when you don’t have a quarterback or a consistent running game to speak of, then the offense will struggle.
Head coach McCarney can talk about improving or playing with character all he wants, but the fact of the matter is that this team is just not that good. They do have a couple of weapons like senior wide receiver Carlos Harris and sophomore running back Jeffrey Wilson, but other than them, this team is deficient of playmakers.
At this point in the season, a third of the way through it, this team looks as though it might not even reach its win total of last season of four games.
Lastly… What does UNT have to do to change their season?
Well to be honest I do not know where they really go from here. They were thoroughly dominated by the Golden Eagles. They have been pretty much dominated by every team that they have played this season and that includes the SMU Mustangs who have the 127th(last) ranked defense in college football.
This season may already be a lost cause but if McCarney and the coaching staff want to give any kind of hope to the players or the fans, then there has to be a concept change, a game plan change if you will.
The ability to adapt is what makes an organization a good organization. So far UNT has failed to do that.