By Craig Fields
Going, Going, GONE!!! And that’s the season folks. North Texas lost to Southern Miss 30-20. The Southern Miss Golden Eagles get over 500 total yards of offense including more than 200 yards on the ground, and they successfully save their season while all but ending the Mean Green’s bid at a second bowl game in a row.
With that loss the Mean Green have a 2-5 record and have basically seen the hopes, dreams, and good expectations for this season go down the drain. It was a competitive and hard fought game, but at the end of the day the Mean Green just could not get the win.
The Golden Eagles offense pretty much had their way with a porous defense. Whether passing the ball or running it, both were effective. The only good thing that the Mean Green can take out of this game is that did not have one single turnover, and in fact caused two instead.
This is a big difference from the previous two games where the Mean Green found themselves -7 in the turnover department. The effort was not lost on Coach McCarney. “The best part about it was there weren’t many turnovers. We had seven turnovers the last two weeks so we’re not going to tolerate that.”
What Coach McCarney was referring to was the play of his redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams, who has been a big reason as to why the Mean Green can not hold onto the ball as of late. Between his decision making, throwing interceptions, and fumbling, he has been the main cog in the turnover machine that the Mean Green football team has become.
Andrew McNulty started for the Mean Green as a result of the turnover issues and the junior did not really disappoint. Except for not getting the win or throwing for a touchdown, he was able to protect the ball and be pretty efficient.
He completed 20 of 35 passes for 287 yards. Carlos Harris was his main target as the junior snagged 15 passes for an impressive total of 216 yards. The 5’8 wide receiver could not be stopped as he found pocket after pocket of open space against a suspect Golden Eagle defense. Coach McCarney couldn’t help but notice the production.
“What division 1 coach doesn’t want him on your team?”, Coach McCarney said. “Every short skill player in America should look at Carlos Harris and want to be him. It’s amazing. That little short, squatty wide receiver with over 200 yards.”
He may be short but the way he played was huge. It’s that kind of heart and determination that can get the Mean Green out of their current three game losing streak funk. They were only able to rush for 108 yards. Antoinne Jiimmerson who rushed 13 times for 57 yards, had pretty good success on the ground, but was not utilized enough.
Sophomore quarterback Nick Mullens of the Golden Eagles had a pretty decent day. Even though he threw two interceptions, he still completed 66 percent of his passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns. The most impressive part of the Golden Eagle offense was their ability to run with whoever had the ball. Four of their rushers had a yards per carry average of 4.7 or better, with the highest being 7.9.
The Mean Green will now need to win four of their next five games to become bowl eligible. If they are somehow able to fix their quarterback situation and become a better defense, that just may be possible. However unlikely it is, your better believe that Coach McCarney and that Mean Green intense coaching staff won’t allow those boys in that locker room to give up on the season. The next game will take place in Houston against the Rice Owls.