Morning after thoughts

I’m back in town after a quick night and an early return flight from UNT’s loss to Ohio. Here are a few thoughts.

First a few quick-hitters:

– Ohio really shut down UNT’s running game, limiting the Mean Green to 104 yards on 38 carries, an average of 2.7 yards a pop. UNT’s longest run from a running back was 10 yards. Considering the running game is supposed to be a strength, that has to be a concern going forward.

– One has to wonder if the book isn’t out on UNT offensively, especially after Ohio limited Brelan Chancellor to one catch for 33 yards. Take Chancellor away, stack the line and make someone else beat you.

– Derek Thompson threw the ball really well against Idaho in the season-opener but took a step back in UNT’s loss to Ohio. He threw for 195 against the Bobcats. After the game, Dan McCarney said that the interception that Ohio returned for a touchdown was a play that could have been a 14-point swing. If Thompson got just a little more air under the ball, it could have gone for a touchdown. Instead it went back the other way. Thompson’s second interception was in desperation time. It wasn’t Thompson’s best night, but I don’t think the loss is one that can be pinned on one guy. UNT’s defense gave up two huge, long drives that resulted in the field goals that made the difference in the game after Thompson threw two touchdown passes to tie it up.

– There are times when UNT’s secondary is a bit scary still. Ohio hit on the home run ball to open the game and hit on another deep shot in one-on-one coverage in a key spot late.

– An overlooked performance was turned in by Marcus Trice, who finished with 14 tackles and the interception he fumbled away in Ohio’s red zone.

– Kenny Buyer’s interception was also overlooked. That pick really saved UNT’s bacon (for a while) late in the game.

– Ohio showed what kind of team it is late with those two field goal drives. I’m not sure if they mentioned it on the radio call or not, but I thought Ohio running back Ryan Boykin got a really, really favorable spot on third-and-1 at the UNT’s 46-yard line. It looked like Aaron Bellazin might have stopped him short of the first-down marker on that run up the middle. The 23-yard pass that Chase Cochran caught while falling to the ground on Ohio’s last drive on third-and-3 was a killer. That was another one-on-one situation where UNT didn’t come though in the secondary.

– UNT gave up two sacks after allowing six all of last season, although Derek Thompson was pulling the ball down to run on one of them.

What I wouldn’t do is over react.

Yeah, that was a game UNT could have won. A win over Ohio would have been a landmark and would have given UNT back-to-back wins for the first time since 2004.

It was a game that set up in UNT’s favor due to the fact that Ohio had a short week.

But is it really a game anyone had penciled in as a win at the beginning of the season? Ohio is now 20-5 at home since 2009.

Tulane lost to South Alabama yesterday. UTEP lost to New Mexico. UTSA is still out there.

Conference USA is not the SEC and UNT’s chance to get to six wins was not lost last night. The road just got a whole lot tougher, though.

And while we are at it, here are the links to today’s DRC coveage:

Game story: Ohio chews up fourth quarter, chokes life out of UNT

Smith posts big game to compensate for Ohio taking away Chancellor

Notebook: UNT struggles offensively one week after big outing

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