North Texas Daily

Football learns lessons from nonconference

Football learns lessons from nonconference

Football learns lessons from nonconference
October 02
00:19 2014


Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Mean Green football team will face its final nonconference opponent, Indiana University, this Saturday. The team members have learned a lot about themselves from this portion of their schedule.

The team has compiled a 2-2 overall record, and is 2-1 with the nonconference teams they have played. A win this week would give the team its best nonconference record since 1968, though North Texas was an independent school from 1975-1982, meaning games weren’t listed as conference or nonconference during that period.

Head coach Dan McCarney said that the results have been mixed so far through the team’s nonconference schedule, pointing out the bad and the good from the early games.

“Anytime you lose games in nonconference, you sure aren’t pleased and we lost the Texas game, obviously,” McCarney said. “We won the other two nonconference games. That is a good thing, but we have a long way to go.”

McCarney said the team has now had a month of practices and games, and this is a crucial point of the season for the Mean Green.

“Right now, teams clearly get better or they don’t. Nobody stays the same. You just don’t plateau this time of year,” McCarney said. “So what direction do you want to go, keep getting better and keep improving or the other direction?”

McCarney said he has seen a lot of positives from the team even though it has a .500 record. He told the players that all parts of the team can improve as the season goes on.

“That is exciting for me as a head coach, because we can clearly improve and we are going to have to and should,” McCarney said. “If we do that, we can go out there and have a good season.”

During the team’s two nonconference wins, the Mean Green outscored Southern Methodist University and Nicholls State University by a combined score of 120-9. The only nonconference loss was the season opener to the University of Texas, which the team lost 38-7. The team did play one conference game against Louisiana Tech University, in which it lost 42-21.

At this point, the players have realized that the season has been up-and-down.

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The Mean Green football team runs onto the field before the game against Nicholls State.

 

“It has been really kind of a roller coaster,” senior offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo said. “We got to get on track and be consistent in what we are doing each week and I think we got a real good chance to do that.”

Though it was a loss, Y’Barbo said the team can learn lessons from the loss to Texas and apply them to Indiana, another test against a power-five conference school.

“If adversity hits and you do get down early, you don’t need to get wide-eyed looking around for an answer. Stay disciplined, stick to your game plan. It is a long four quarters,” Y’Barbo said. “We just have to rely on each other.”

Though conference games are important, the team isn’t trying to overlook this final game.

“It is always exciting to go into the conference play, but you have to get these games in as well to show that you can compete with opponents outside your conference to show what we built in this program,” junior receiver Carlos Harris said.

Harris said the team has learned to keep fighting in every game this season and it has responded to any adversity that it faced.

“We have bounced back from some tough losses and came back with some great victories,” Harris said. “We just have to put together a chain and a series of good wins to keep this going.”

Featured Image: The Mean Green defense overpower the Nicholls State University offensive line and sack the quarterback during the last home game on Sept. 20. Photos by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

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