Spring game preview (thoughts and links)

UNT’s annual spring game is coming up in a few hours. I’m here at the Hall of Fame Luncheon, which is going to be well-attended again this year.

As far as the main event goes, here are a few notes and thoughts on what to watch:

– The key battle of the day will be between Andrew McNulty and Josh Greer for the starting quarterback job. We wrote about where things stand in today’s paper. A number of people have asked about what my gut feeling is. To be honest, I just don’t know. Every time one guy seems to take the lead, he fails to push away. Greer might have the higher ceiling. McNulty has far more experience. I don’t think UNT’s coaches are sure who will win the job, either.

– One of the big concerns heading into spring practice was the state of UNT’s front seven. That hasn’t changed heading into the spring game and won’t change before UNT kicks off against Texas. Derek Akunne is rock solid at linebacker. Alexander Lincoln is among a few players who has experience on UNT’s defensive front returning. Will that front seven hold up next year? Today’s game could provide a glimpse.

– Who will be that fifth offensive lineman? UNT knows what it has in Mason Y’Barbo, Cyril Lemon and Antonio Johnson, who will be seniors in the fall. Center Kaydon Kirby has come on quickly to be a solid player and will start again at center. The question is who will be that fifth guy. Tackle Ryan Rentfro and guard Shawn McKinney are battling for that fifth spot. Today’s game could help put one of those two guys over the top.

– UNT lost a lot of key playmakers off last season’s team on both sides of the ball from running back Brandin Byrd and wide receiver Brelan Chancellor to safety Marcus Trice. Who will fill those guys’ spots? We already know who some of those players are from wide receiver Carlos Harris to Akunne. We could have a better idea who some of the other guys who will fill those roles are after today.

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