It’s the Fourth of July, a day for cookouts, family time and — most notably — fireworks.
Everyone likes fireworks.
And that brings us to UNT, which had a notable lack of them last season. The Mean Green scored 21 or fewer points in seven games and lost six of them on their way to a 4-8 finish.
UNT still averaged 27.2 points a game, although that total was inflated by a 77-point game in a win over an over matched Nicholls State team.
The Mean Green were a whole lot more productive in 2013, when they averaged 31.8 points a game and finished 9-4. UNT was held to 21 or fewer points four times in one of its best seasons in program history and lost them all.
You get the point.
If UNT is going to get to where it wants to be this fall, it’s going to have to find a way to make some fireworks offensively.
So, who are the players who could help UNT reach that goal? Quarterback play will be the key, but it will take more than just a solid season from Andrew McNulty, DaMarcus Smith or a player to be named later for the Mean Green to reach that goal.
Today, we focus on the rest of UNT’s skill position players and the guys who could end up being key weapons.
Carlos Harris, WR — The senior has been consistently productive during his career and led UNT in both receptions (70) and receiving yards (863). There wasn’t much of a secret as to where UNT was trying to go with the ball in the passing game last season. Harris was still productive. UNT will need him to have another big season this fall.
Jeffrey Wilson, RB — UNT’s coaches are convinced Wilson is a star in the making. His season-ending performance in a loss to UTSA that saw him rush for 105 yards only increased the expectations that Wilson could be in for a big year in 2015. He could be a key playmaker for UNT this fall.
Marcus Smith, TE — Smith caught six touchdown passes last season, twice as many as any other player on the Mean Green’s roster. Considering how much UNT employs tight ends in its offense, the senior could be a star for UNT this fall.
Antoinne Jimmerson, RB — Jimmerson led UNT in rushing last season with 589 yards and has rushed for at least 400 yards in all three of his seasons playing for the Mean Green. There is no reason to think he isn’t in line to add another season with at least that many yards while helping bolster UNT’s offense.
Turner Smiley, WR — The sophomore caught 14 passes last season, including a 44-yard touchdown strike in a loss to UAB. The experience Smiley gained as a freshman could pay dividends this fall.
Tee Goree, WR — UNT redshirted Goree last season and expects one of its most highly regarded recruits of recent years to play a key role this fall.
Willy Ivery, RB — Ivery has elite-level speed and could be ready to take on a larger role this fall. UNT likes to rotate running backs, which will leave him plenty of opportunities. Ivery played only sparingly in 2014.