I’m about to head down to Austin for UNT’s season-opener, but before I do, it’s time for some Friday notes and thoughts.
One point we haven’t brought up this week is the fact that UNT was terrific last year when it came to special teams and turnovers.
UNT finished plus-11 in turnover margin and blocked seven kicks.
The players who helped cause those big plays will largely have to be replaced this season. Marcus Trice intercepted five passes, blocked three kicks and forced two fumbles last season. Zach Orr recovered four fumbles. Both are now trying to make the final cut with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, respectively.
UNT’s main return man Brelan Chancellor is also gone after averaging 27.6 yards a kickoff return. He took one back 99 yards against Georgia.
Fortunately for UNT, no one plucked special teams coordinator Tommy Perry off the staff, which was a bit of a surprise to me.
Perry will have to replace some key guys, but he’s still around to put the plan in place.
We could begin to see tomorrow who the players will be to step in and fill the voids left by so many key contributors on defense and special teams.
In other news …
The UNT women’s soccer team’s game at Houston was cancelled today due to lightning in the area. The Mean Green will take on Lamar on Sunday.
And finally, late picks for our contest to pick UNT’s record this season continue to roll in. Send your’s to firstname.lastname@example.org
14-0 — Adam Martinez
11-3 — John Lowe (Eagle83), Darren Foyt (EagleD)
10-4 — Casual fan (P. S.immons)
10-3 — Travis Scott, Katy Mayer
9-5 — Derrick Murray, Andrew Hinojosa (UNT Satchmo)
9-4 — James Stinson, Grant Hawley (Pastor Grant), BobFam (Bob Famigletti), Brandon Daniels, John Douthitte, Richard Steenson, Brian Martin
8-4 — MeanGreenTexan (Jonathan Davidson), Scott Davis (Cook County Kid)
8-5 — Ryan Munthe, Michael Tull, Chris VanCleave (UNTrocket09), Thor, Matthew Taylor (RealMeanGreenMatt), Jeremy Roden (JRock), Aldo Avina (Devin Axtman), Lee Hughes(3XUNTGrad), H-Town Green (Drew Curtis), Joe Eckstein (NC Mean Green), Keith Mazy (OXofUNT), Joe Letsche, Greg Wagner, John Curry, Adman
7-5 — Kevin Sardina
7-6 — Brett Vito, Kellen Jemeyson, Lee Moses, Bryan Graves (UNTGuy5), Greg Bognich, Travis Miller
6-6 — Rick Ashwander (Scratch1976), Adam Rosenfield, Philip Watson (PhilipCPA74), Jim Hull (LongJim)
5-7 — Thomas Van Dinter (Eppie96)
4-8 — Andrew Morris