2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 109 North Texas Mean Green
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the No. 109 North Texas Mean Green
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No. 109 North Texas Mean Green
North Texas Mean Green Prespring Status
Head coach Seth Littrell turned things around – at least a little bit – getting the Mean Green to a bowl game and made the team far, far more competitive following a disastrous 1-11 season. There’s still a long way to go before the program battles for the Conference USA title, it was a great first step back to respectability. Now the real work has to begin. Part of the positive for Littrell was the experience coming in last year, helped by an improved defense full of upperclassmen and enough veterans on both sides of the ball to improve. It’s not just about finding replacements now; it’s about improving and taking yet another step forward after finally tasting a little bit of success again.
North Texas Mean Green Biggest Issue
The defense needs to find more tacklers. Leading stopper Kishawn McClain is back at one safety spot, but running mate James Gray is done along with linebackers Cortney Finney and Fred Scott. Three of the top five tacklers are done, while two starters have to be replaced on the 3-4 losing Jareid Combs and Malik Dilonga along with a few of the key backups. While it wasn’t a brick wall of a defense last season, considering the massive improvements in pass D, and going from allowing 503 yards per game overall to giving up 440, the losses will hurt.
North Texas Mean Green Biggest Positive
The running game is full of productive veterans – it can’t help but be far stronger. It wasn’t anything stellar last year – finishing with just 1,736 yards as a team – but all the yardage from the offensive players are back, led by Jeffery Wilson and his 936 yards and 14 scores, along with all the key backups and the mobility of QB Mason Fine, who’ll be the main man for the entire season going forward. There’s work to be done on the O line, but the ground game will be more effective.
Really, Why Are The North Texas Mean Green Ranked Here?
Yeah, North Texas came up with an improved season, but was it a mirage? Not really, but the team wasn’t all that great, and it still has a long, long way to go to improve several areas like the run defense, the ground attack, and the D overall that gave up 31 points or more in five of the last six games. Littrell looks like a keeper, and enough good players are back to avoid a big step back, but in terms of talent and schemes, give it another year or so.