Preseason rankings push football team to step up

Preseason rankings push football team to step up

Preseason rankings push football team to step up
August 10
21:19 2015
[df-subtitle]Players and coaches level the field on passive attitude toward North Texas. [/df-subtitle]

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

The Mean Green football team is not dead.

Head coach Dan McCarney made this his platform at the inaugural press conference of the 2015 season on Monday, better known as UNT’s Media Day.

A recent set of preseason polls seemed to fire up McCarney, seemingly bothered by the fact multiple media outlets placed North Texas near the bottom of not only Conference USA, but the entire realm of college football.

“Everybody is just shoveling dirt on top of us and honestly, it sounds like when I first got here,” McCarney said.

The Dallas Morning News predicted the Mean Green to finish 5-7, which would leave North Texas out of a bowl game for a second straight year. CBSSports.com has North Texas ranked 117th out of 128 teams in the FBS.

[blockquote author=””]“It’s a joke. It’s a complete joke,” McCarney said. “It isn’t real funny, but it’s almost laughable what they’re doing to our program. And I know part of that is the year we had last season.” [/blockquote]Sophomore linebacker Calvin Minor, echoing the words of his coach, said he doesn’t take what these sites say to heart.

“We can definitely use it as motivation,” Minor said. “And yeah, it does anger me a little bit that they put us so low. But we have to go out there and compete.”

After a 2014 campaign resulting in North Texas finishing 4-8 while struggling on the offensive side of the ball, McCarney is insistent there will be improvement this year.

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“The position everyone wants to talk about is quarterback, and we’re going to be better at quarterback because we have to be,” McCarney said. “But we need to be better all over the place. Our tight ends and offensive line weren’t good enough as a unit. Our wide receivers didn’t step up and make plays. We weren’t good enough at running back. But we’ve gotten better.”

The quarterback position headlined the offensive struggles as the team finished 2014 with the same amount of passing touchdowns as they did interceptions, 13. Additionally, the team picked up more first downs on the ground last year than they did passing the ball.

Despite the struggles, McCarney gave his signal callers, particularly senior quarterback Andrew McNulty, a vote of confidence.

“I’m really happy with the competition we have had at quarterback,” McCarney said. “Three quarterbacks stayed with us all summer and worked out, had great summers. But right now, there’s no question that our guy is Andrew McNulty.”

North Texas will have 33 days before it kicks off the season at Southern Methodist University in Dallas on September 12.

As far as negative perception from national outlets is concerned, junior offensive lineman Kaydon Kirby is hoping to shake things up.

“It really shows the disrespect they have for our program,” Kirby said. “We all believe we can go back to a bowl game and repeat the year we had two seasons ago. Seeing the rankings, it hurts. And we want to eliminate that image of North Texas not being a good program.”

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1 Comment

  1. UNT alumnus
    UNT alumnus August 11, 17:27

    If North Texas wants respect for its football program, they have to play well consistently; not have one good season and then follow it up with a bad one. There has been no consistent quality in the football program, and until there is, UNT will be ranked low; and the media and fans will have low expectations. Talk is cheap; success has to be earned on the field.

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