Schedule and Odds
North Texas took a step back last year finishing at 4-8, but that was to be expected with a new quarterback. Now with even more starters gone entering 2015, the Mean Green have some work to do, although will have some experience at QB. Their over/under is still only at 5 wins (sportsbook.ag), with the under at -185.
Andrew McNulty won the QB job last year, but he still has a long way to go before getting this team to a bowl Game. McNulty completed 54.7% of his passes for 6 TDs and 7 INTs in 10 Games last season. He will at least be joined by returning players at running back and wide receiver. Antoinne Jimmerson (589 yards, 5 TDs) and Jeffrey Wilson will likely split time out of the backfield, with Wilson aiming for the starting spot as a sophomore. At receiver, Carlos Harris (869 yards, 3 TDs) will lead the group again, but he’s also joined by Turney Smiley, Darvin Kidsy and tight end Marcus Smith (6 TDs).
The issue will be up front where North Texas lost Four long-tenured offensive linemen. Kaydon Kirby is a solid center, but surrounding him are new faces, even if some of them are seniors. That said, there are reports that the offensive line isn’t all that far behind where last year’s group was. If that’s the case, the pressure is on McNulty to improve on last year’s 27.2 points per Game.
The defensive side is a little more of a mess with only three starters coming back. In addition, the Mean Green have a new coordinator in Chris Cosh, who comes over from Buffalo’s defensive line, but has tons of coordinating experience around the country. The middle of the defense will be a problem, with most of the experience in this group coming on the edges.
Chad Polk is back after injury and he’s helped by Jarrian Roberts at end. Tackle Austin Orr and linebacker Fred SCott both need to build off last season. The secondary has a similar issue with corner Kenny Buyers being the only returning starter. Safety Kishawn McClain started a few Games last year, but is only a sophomore. The defense brought in some transfers and a couple of them should be starters out of the gate like safety James Gray, who comes over from a Community College.
North Texas doesn’t get any favors in its Schedule, most notably in Conference play. Even in non-Conference Games, the Mean Green have to travel to Iowa and Tennessee. However, they should still match 2014’s mark of 2-2 in those Games. Surpassing five total wins is unlikely though with possibly the toughest Schedule in Conference USA. In crossover play, the Mean Green have to deal with Western Kentucky as well as road Games at Marshall and Middle Tennessee. Those Games are in addition to already facing Rice and Louisiana Tech in the West division. To get more wins, this team has to win Games that they are favored in, meaning home matchups against UTSA and UTEP. Otherwise, North Texas could be in for a worse record than last season due to a tougher Schedule.
2015 North Texas Football Schedule
Sept. 12 at SMU
Sept. 19 vs. Rice
Sept. 26 at Iowa
Oct. 3 at Southern Miss
Oct. 10 vs. Portland State
Oct. 15 vs. Western Kentucky
Oct. 24 at Marshall
Oct. 31 vs. UTSA
Nov. 7 at Louisiana Tech
Nov. 14 at Tennessee
Nov. 21 at Middle Tennessee
Nov. 28 vs. UTEP