North Texas Daily

Football team starts fresh

Football team starts fresh

September 02
21:31 2009

Eric Johnson / Senior Staff Writer –

After a disappointing 2008 campaign, the UNT football team gets its chance for redemption starting tonight against the Ball State University Cardinals at Scheumann Stadium in Munice, Ind.

The Cardinals were 12-game winners a season ago and will be an instant test for the Mean Green when the game begins at 6:30 p.m. Students can catch all the action at the campus watch party at Clark Park on the corner of Maple Street and Avenue C.

“Last year was obviously a disappointment,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “There is really only one way to get over it, and that is to get a new opponent in front of us and show that we really have improved from last season.”

UNT’s team returns 17 of 24 starters, including all five offensive linemen and all three linebackers. These two units are the most experienced on the team with more than 120 starts combined.

The seasoned offensive line will help the transition for redshirt freshmen quarterback Riley Dodge, who will be making his first career college start. Offensive coordinator Todd Ford expects him to succeed in the offensive scheme he has been in since seventh grade.

“What he does with his feet and with his arm, it is hard to defend against. He limits his mistakes and is a great leader on this team,” Ford said.

The Cardinals return only 12 starters, and the departure of quarterback Nate Davis to the National Football League means the team will go with unexperienced true freshman Kelly Page.

The Cardinals do return the entire defensive line and senior running back MiQuale Lewis, who ran for 1,736 yards last season, which was third most in the Football Championship Subdivision.

That will be an early measuring stick for the Mean Green defense that gave up more than 200 yards rushing and more than 48 points a game in 2008.

“We are hoping to be improved everywhere defensively, but I think you will see the biggest improvement on the defensive line,” Todd Dodge said. “Our secondary was young last year and those guys are all a year older and much more comfortable back there also. We think we finally have the type of athletes to put on the field that can make our defense very good. Now they just have to execute.”

Senior running back Cam Montgomery is coming off a near 1,000-yard season of his own.

The big question will be if UNT can replace receiver Casey Fitzgerald, who leaves the team as its all-time leading receiver. Riley Dodge expects this receiving corps to be successful with a more balanced attack.

“We have a ton more depth and talent this season, and five or six guys who can be number one receivers,” undeclared sophomore Riley Dodge said. “We are going to run the spread like it is meant to be run and get everyone involved, which I think makes us a more dangerous team.”

About Author




No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Football drops C-USA title game versus Texas-San Antonio📝: @justanotherijcRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
OPINION: You don't have to finish a book you don't enjoy📝: @jackmoraglia 🖼️: Isabella IsquieradoRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
SPORTS: On point: Huntsberry's influence felt on and off court📝: @jillian_ntd 📸: Marco BarreraRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
NEWS: North Texas judge blocks student loan forgiveness plan📝: @RealGioDel 📸: Coralynn ColeRead more:
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
THE DOSE: 'Weird: The Al Yankovic Story' is a perfect parody of musical biopic genre📝: @FernaJustoo 🖼️: @jazminesg_Read more:
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad