I was going to post some thoughts on UNT’s loss to Kansas State last night, but stayed in the one hotel left on the planet without wireless.
UNT really did turn out a remarkable performance.
The Mean Green hung with one of the top teams in the country until the Wildcats superior talent took over.
UNT’s offensive line is everything it was billed to be heading into the season. The Mean Green’s top two running backs — Brandin Byrd and Antoinne Jimmerson — picked up 129 yards between them.
Derek Thompson had his best night throwing the ball since last season, connecting on a remarkable 25 of his 28 attempts for 208 yards and a touchdown.
That was by far the most overlooked aspect of the game. Ivan Delgado caught nine passes for 86 yards after being MIA for most of the first two games of the season.
UNT’s defense also showed up. Marcus Trice’s strip and fumble recovery after Kansas State moved inside the Mean Green’s 10-yard line was a great play.
Laramie Lee continues to be a tackle machine. He finished with 11 against Kansas State.
I said before UNT’s opener that the season would really begin in Week 4 when the Mean Green will host Troy.
I didn’t think UNT would beat Kansas State or LSU and the Mean Green would have been in a position where it would have been easy to slap a stamp on the season and mail it in if it had lost to Texas Southern.
Like a famous football coach once said, “THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE.”
Well, maybe they are not who we thought they were — at least outside of that 1-2 record.
UNT does look like it has improved since last season.
Linebacker Jeremy Phillips and defensive end Brandon McCoy could be back this week for that key game against the Trojans. That should help matters.
The Sun Belt season won’t be easy and UNT won’t be the favorite, not with the way Louisiana-Monroe is playing, not with the talent Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State have on hand. Not after Western Kentucky beat Kentucky.
There are a lot of solid teams in the Sun Belt this year.
UNT has shown a lot in losses to LSU and Kansas State, but the bottom line is the only win on the board is the one everyone knew it would have against TSU.
The games start becoming really important next week. UNT won’t catch a team coming out flat like Kansas State’s coaches and players said they did yesterday.
UNT is going to have to go out and win games that look like they will be dogfights from the start.
I was really optimistic and picked UNT to go 6-6. The Mean Green could still get there.
Just don’t start counting up wins at this point. Everyone had Western Kentucky down as a W last year. Same with Louisiana-Lafayette.
You just never know when it comes to the Sun Belt.
Come to think of it, when it comes to UNT’s prospects that might not be a bad thing for UNT.