Here are five quick thoughts following UNT’s loss to Texas on Saturday at T DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.
1. UNT is going to miss Derek Thompson
There was a school of thought out there that UNT would not miss Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP Derek Thompson, a three-year starter at quarterback. UNT turned to Josh Greer and also played Andrew McNulty and didn’t have any success with either player. Greer started 1-for-7 with two interceptions. McNulty’s first pass was also picked off. By the end of the night Greer was 2-for-11 for 8 yards with two interceptions. McNulty was 1-for-6 for 7 yards with two interceptions. Would Thompson have done better? There is no way to know for sure, but I firmly believe he would have. Thompson went 21-for-31 for 202 yards and a touchdown in a loss to a nationally ranked Georgia team last season.
2. UNT will be capable defensively
The Mean Green looked capable on defense against a powerful Texas offense. The Mean Green made a few key plays and stops and got to quarterback David Ash, sacking him twice. Texas still scored 38 points, but there were some bright spots. There is enough talent there to make UNT capable defensively.
3. UNT needs to find a way to be more explosive
UNT’s struggles had more to do with its opponent than anything else, but the Mean Green never managed to make the big plays like it did a year ago. The loss of wide receiver Brelan Chancellor looms large. The Mean Green’s longest play of the night covered 8 yards. Carl Caldwell led UNT with two catches for 11 yards.
4. UNT has some regrouping to do
UNT has arguably the biggest game of its season coming up next week against Dallas-area rival SMU at Apogee Stadium. If UNT wins that game, its struggles against Texas will be nothing but a memory. A loss to the Mustangs and an 0-2 start would be tough to come back from as the Mean Green prepares for Conference USA play. The good news is UNT at least came out of the game healthy. Defensive end Daryl Mason didn’t play against Texas due to an injury he suffered in practice, but is expected back this week.
5. The hopes of an upset were bigger than the chance for that to actually happen
UNT came into Saturday’s game with high hopes for what would have been a big upset in program history. The Mean Green never really threatened to make that upset happen. That was tough for UNT to take. The Mean Green had hopes of building on its bowl season of a year ago. Those hopes are still there, but UNT’s dreams of a big upset vanished in a flash.