North Texas Daily

Green wins spring game, QB undecided

Green wins spring game, QB undecided

April 15
23:13 2013

Ryne Gannoe / Senior Staff Writer

The Green team overcame the White team’s 21-point lead in Saturday’s spring game, winning 33-26 at Apogee Stadium.

Senior running back Brandin Byrd moved the Green team, composed of first- and third-string players, ahead of the White team, made up of second- and fourth-string players, with a four-yard touchdown run with four minutes left in the game.

Both teams struggled offensively. The White team accumulated negative 26 rushing yards on 18 attempts. The Green team found more success on the ground with 81 rushing yards on 32 carries.

Redshirt senior quarterback Derek Thompson, who started for the Green team, completed 17 of his 29 pass attempts for 156 yards and one touchdown. Another 45-yard completion was called back because of a penalty.

“We started off slow,” Thompson said. “We made some adjustments and we moved the ball like we wanted to and knew we should. Ultimately, we came out on top and that’s what we wanted.”

Sophomore quarterback Andrew McNulty played for the White team in the first half, and the Green team in the second. McNulty led the White team, which began the game with a 21-point spot, on a quick march down the field with less than two minutes in the first half.

The drive ended in a field goal by sophomore kicker Zach Paul – the only offensive points for the White team. McNulty completed 18 of his 26 pass attempts for 214 yards and one touchdown.

Head coach Dan McCarney said there is no clear starter at quarterback going into the fall.

“It’s a great competition, and it has been all spring,” McCarney said. “We’ll sit down and we’ll grade this. This isn’t about who do you like, who do you not like or who’s your favorite. It’s who produces.”

The White team’s sophomore defensive back James Jones played well on defense. The transfer from Kilgore Junior College intercepted a pass from Thompson in the first half and sacked him in the end zone for a safety in the second.

Jones said adjusting to the defensive scheme has been the most challenging part of being a transfer player.

“We weren’t expected to come out and be on fire like that,” Jones said. “I felt like I had something to come out today and prove.”

McCarney said the point of spring training and the spring game is to help determine who will be starting when the season begins.

“I think we saw a more competitive spring game because there is less drop off between ones and twos,” McCarney said. “It’s so valuable to watch this tape and see who our number one guy is at every position coming out of today.”

The Mean Green opens its inaugural Conference USA season on Saturday, August 31 against the University of Idaho at home in Apogee Stadium. The last time UNT opened a season at home was in 2001 against Texas Christian University.

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