UNT will kick off its game against Southern Miss here at Apogee Stadium shortly.
The Mean Green come into this one riding a two-game losing streak and are on the verge of reaching a series of dubious milestones if they can’t snap their slide today. UNT hasn’t lost three straight games under Dan McCarney since the first three games of his tenure with the Mean Green.
UNT has never lost three straight conference games under McCarney.
We said earlier in the week that career backup Andrew McNulty could make his first start since his his freshman season back in 2011. McNulty started in place of his good friend Derek Thompson in a 41-24 loss after Thompson was injured in the days leading up to the game.
Now it’s official …
McNulty has been the guy UNT has brought off the bench in case of emergency ever since. McNulty threw for 167 yards after replacing Dajon Williams late in the second half of last week’s loss to UAB.
That performance was enough to earn him a shot to lead UNT out of its funk today.
McNulty is a dual-threat quarterback like Williams. He just isn’t as big and doesn’t have the big arm Williams does. He will be the third quarterback to start for UNT this year, following Josh Greer, who started the first three games, and Williams who started the last three.
The feeling is that McNulty is a player who won’t kill UNT with mistakes and turnovers. Williams made a ton of mistakes against UAB and had two interceptions and a fumble returned for a touchdown.
UNT will likely try to pound the ball up the middle and not ask McNulty to win the game.
Stay tuned, we will update the blog all day.
5:34 — UNT is pretty beaten up. I am waiting for official list of guys who will not play, but I can see Zac Whitfield down on the field in shorts. Safety Sheldon Wade is also out. Lairamie Lee is out there with UNT’s starting defense and looks like he will be back this week.
5:37 — There are a ton of recruits here for today’s game. They are making their way into the stands now.
5:47 — UNT will also be without backup defensive end Tillman Johnson. UNT is going to be a little shorthanded across the board defensively.
5:56 — I’m not the best judge of crowd size, but it does seem pretty empty in Apogee today. There are about three half full sections of the student section across the way. The hill where most students hang out before coming into the game also seems pretty empty.
5:58 — Here is a link to my advance for today’s game in case you missed it.
Kickoff — Southern Miss won the toss and deferred. UNT will have the ball to start the game. Here comes Mac and Mac — Dan McCarney (coach) and Andrew McNulty (quarterback).
13:35 — UNT moved the ball and picked up a couple of first downs on its first drive, but elected to punt on fourth-and-1 and just missed getting to the ball to down it. USM has the ball at the 20.
11:43 — USM is on the board. Michael Thomas caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Nick Mullens. The killer play on the drive was a face mask penalty on Sir Calvin Wallace on third down when UNT had made the stop.
10:46 — We are in a review of a pass play from Andrew McNulty to Darvin Kidsy that gave UNT a first down on third-and-3. It looked like a good catch to me.
11:00 — There is bad break there for UNT. Officials had a better look at the play and ruled that Darvin Kidsy dropped what would have been a 10-yard pass that would have given UNT a first down. USM has the ball at its 37-yard line.
6:45 — UNT came up with a huge play defensively on USM’s last possession. Kishawn McClain intercepted a ball after USM had driven to the Mean Green’s 35. The Golden Eagles looked like they were about to tag on to their lead. That was a huge play. UNT had to punt it away after the turnovers
1:24 — USM has tacked on a 38-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead. Derek Akunne made a great stop on a quarterback draw on third down to prevent the Golden Eagles from extending that drive.
End of the first quarter — UNT is down 10-0, but has the ball at the USM 20 after Carlos Harris caught a 45-yard pass from Andrew McNulty on a double move. McNulty had forever back there in the pocket.
14:29 — UNT is on the board. Antoinne Jimmerson pushed his way in from two yards out. McNulty hit Carlos Harris for a 45-yard gain to spark that drive. UNT has pulled to within 10-7.
10:23 — UNT has come up with another big turnover. Lairamie Lee intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone. That is the second turnover UNT has forced.
6:14 — UNT has tied the game at 10-10 on a 36-yard Trevor Moore field goal. The Mean Green were in a tough spot there after going down 10-0, but have righted the ship here a bit.
4:21 — UNT came up with a big stop there. Southern Miss went three-and-out. UNT will have the ball back at its 40-yard line with 4:02 left in the half.
1:50 — UNT has driven to the USM 7-yard line. It’s third-and-goal. USM just called a timeout.
Halftime — Catching up here. UNT and USM traded field goals late in the first half. UNT settled for a Trevor Moore 24-yard field goal on its last possession of the first half. USM answered with a 10-play drive that Corey Acosta capped with a 27-yard field goal on the final play of the half. It’s 13-13. The key to the first half was two turnovers UNT forced, both deep in its own end of the field. USM reached UNT’s 35 before Kishawn McClain intercepted a Nick Mullens pass. Lairamie Lee intercepted a second Mullens pass after USM reached the Mean Green’s 8-yard line on another possession.
14:55 — USM has the ball at its 23-yard line to start the second half.
12:17 — USM has regained the lead on a 5-yard George Payne run. The key play on that drive was a perfectly executed fake punt on fourth-and-9. The punter carried it right up the middle for 12 yards.
6:08 — UNT has tied it back up at 20-20 on a Reggie Pegram 27-yard run. UNT converted two key third downs on that drive on a passes that covered 27 and 12 yards to Carlos Harris. Southern Miss just doesn’t have an answer for Harris.
1:43 — USM has gone back up on a Nick Mullens pass. The Golden Eagles are up 27-20.
:45 — UNT had to punt it away. USM has the ball at the UNT 49-yard line. UNT needs a stop here.
Start of the fourth quarter — UNT is down 27-20 heading into the fourth quarter. USM has the ball at the UNT 41-yard line and is looking to open up a little breathing room.
12:01 — UNT is now down 30-20 after USM tacked on a field goal to go up two scores. USM had great field position at UNT’s 48-yard line to start that drive.
8:29 — UNT has driven down the field, but has stalled out at the USM 16-yard line. Carlos Harris is down. UNT will go for the field goal.
8:07 — That was a killer right there. A low snap seemed to throw Trevor Moore off. He pushed a 33-yard field goal wide left. UNT is down 30-20 and needs two scores. USM has the ball and is going to run it every chance it gets now.
I’m headed down. I will be back.