North Texas Daily

Football team tries to avoid third straight loss

Football team tries to avoid third straight loss

October 16
19:59 2014

Akshay Mirchandani / Sports Editor

The Mean Green football team will try to avoid a three game losing streak this Saturday against the University of Southern Mississippi. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Apogee Stadium, and the game can be seen on TXA-21.

“I sense a real dedication from all of our guys, coaches and players alike, that we want to get back to doing some real positive things,” head coach Dan McCarney said.

Both North Texas and Southern Miss come into the game at 2-4 overall and 0-2 in Conference USA. The Mean Green can only lose two more games if it hopes to be bowl eligible for a second straight season.

“It’s not the outcome we wanted but you got to put it behind you,” senior offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo said. “We got another half of the season to go, and we can’t get hung up just because it hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to. We know we can still get on a roll and still achieve our mission of hitting six.”

McCarney said that the team has reopened its quarterback competition again. Last week in the team’s 56-21 loss to the University of Alabama – Birmingham, redshirt freshman quarterback Dajon Williams threw for 124 yards and a touchdown, but also accounted for two lost fumbles and two interceptions.

Junior quarterback Andrew McNulty entered the game for Williams late in the game, and completed nine passes for 167 yards, and a touchdown. McCarney said both quarterbacks would practice with the starters this week, and a decision will be made by him and offensive coordinator Mike Canales on who to start Saturday.

“We’ll figure it out as practice goes on this week which guy will start, but whoever we put out there better take a hell of a lot better care of the ball than we’ve had over the last two weeks,” McCarney said.

The Mean Green turned the ball over five times last week, and Y’Barbo said that needs to be corrected.

“We’re not okay with turnovers,” Y’Barbo said. “We don’t like it. It’s not something we’re content with. We’re just going to have to really harp on it all week with just discipline and taking care of the football all week.”

The Mean Green defense also struggled over the past two weeks, giving up 1,041 total yards of offense to both UAB and the University of Indiana combined.

“We’re not tackling as well as we can. We need to be tackling to play our Mean Green style of defense. I think it’s something that’s really getting focused on this week in practice.”

This will be North Texas’ first home game in almost a month, which is something that Akunne said can help the team get back on track.

“I think we always seem to play better at home since we’re trying to protect our house, so I think that will really help.”

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