Wednesday, May 28, 2008
UNT football needs to bring the “mean” back to Mean Green
They'll have to force more turnovers and develop more depth at the defensive line.
When Todd Dodge became the new head football coach at The University of North Texas, few people doubted that he would put up big offensive numbers. Some even believed he would be successful leading the Mean Green to be a top program in the Sun Belt Conference. Others, however, doubted his ability to be successful at the college level. Dodge’s previous stop was at the high school level, head coach at Southlake Carroll High School in Southlake, TX.
Dodge proved both sides right, and wrong. Dodge’s offense was good. Freshman Giovanni Vizza was Freshman of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference. He threw for over 2300 yards with 17 touchdowns as a starter in 8 games. Wide Receiver Casey Fitzgerald was a 1,000 yard receiver for UNT, including a game against SMU where he caught 18 passes for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Mean Green moved the ball well, but struggled to score a lot of touchdowns in the red zone. The big problem was their defense. Dodge and his defensive coordinator, Ron Mendoza, seemed to be overmatched at the college level.
At the end of the season, Dodge made a defensive coaching change. Dodge brought former UNT Defensive Coordinator Gary DeLoach. DeLoach’s defenses at UNT were spectacular. During the spring practices, it seemed as if the UNT defense is already making progress. This move may have been a college level move by Dodge. If DeLoach can make the UNT defense significantly better, then UNT will be a dangerous team in the Sun Belt Conference.
For the Mean Green to be successful, Dodge, DeLoach, and UNT has to put the mean back into the Mean Green. They have to force turnovers like they did against UL Monroe, their lone conference win in 2007. They will need more depth at the defensive line. There is enough talent in the DFW area to recruit and find the defensive skill players, therefore, it is the defensive line they have to find talent to help make the front 7 better. If we remember Terry Bowden’s characteristics of a champion, we will recognize the need to stop the run. A good, a better, defensive line is key to stopping the run. The highlight of UNT’s ineptness against the run was against Navy when the Mean Green gave up 572 yards on the ground.
Keep an eye on UNT this fall to see if they put the Mean back into the Mean Green.
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