One of the more impressive performances UNT has put together in a loss the last few years came back in 2010 against Kansas State.
UNT had nothing to play for at the end of that season.
The school had finally decided to rid itself of Todd Dodge, but was still sitting at 3-7 heading into its regular season finale. Kansas State was trying to build a little momentum in Bill Snyder’s second year back as the Wildcats’ head coach.
That game had all the makings of a blowout, but UNT pulled together under interim head coach Mike Canales and jumped out to a 20-7 lead before the predictable happened. The team with the superior talent (and talent almost always wins out) took over as K-State pulled away for a 49-41 win.
It was an impressive performance by UNT.
The question is whether or not UNT can take anything from it heading into a rematch tomorrow.
The key players on both teams from that game are almost all gone. Lance Dunbar is with the Cowboys, Craig Robertson with the Browns. Riley Dodge is gone, so is Darius Carey. Most of UNT’s coaching staff is new as well. Drew Coffman, the quarterback who passed on a scholarship offer from UNT to play for Kansas State started against the Mean Green, is gone as well. Running back Daniel Thomas is with the Miami Dolphins.
Still, UNT’s players believe there will be some carry-over.
“It doesn’t matter much two years later, but we know we can play with a team like that,” UNT quarterback Derek Thompson said. “We know we can compete.”
UNT will depend largely on a new batch of players to show that is the case. Coleman Feeley, Aaron Fortenberry and K.C. Obi are among the few players who served in major roles in that game who will be on the field tomorrow.
Those players will face a huge challenge against a Kansas State team that has improved to the point that it is ranked in the Top 25 yet again under Snyder.
It’s a new game tomorrow. UNT is just hoping some of the old mettle it showed against the Wildcats in a game that seems like it was played so long ago will be evident again.