North Texas Daily

Mean Green Blues: Roundtable with the NT Daily

Mean Green Blues: Roundtable with the NT Daily

Mean Green Blues: Roundtable with the NT Daily
November 26
12:11 2013

A five-game winning streak for the Mean Green football team ended in disappointing fashion on Saturday in a 21-13 loss to the University of Texas-San Antonio. Instead of being a win away from the Conference USA West Division title, UNT falls to 5-2 in conference play. Although seven wins overall means the Mean Green is sure to reach a bowl game, the division title is out of reach and UNT could fall all the way to third in the division.

The NT Daily discussed the disappointment of losing to UTSA and what it meant.

Tyler Owens / Managing Editor

As the clock wound down on the Mean Green’s hopes for a shot at the C-USA championship, like any cowardly fan, I took to Twitter to express my frustrations with the team’s effort Saturday night.

But after the dust settled, I came to a realization.

Instead of chastising the players and coaches for the glaring loss, Mean Green nation should be thanking them, especially the graduating seniors, for all they have given to the program.

This Mean Green class has finally brought the team back to relevance.

The fans’ expectations were too high after the team struck down a talented Rice University team on Halloween. With three games left in the season everyone, myself included, had UNT penciled in for the conference championship game next month.

The team may be losing a number of starting seniors next season, but it has established a foundation for the program to build on for years to come.

The team will still make a bowl game this season, and if it wins on Saturday in Tulsa, Okla., it will probably play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on Jan. 1.

Now that’s a much easier drive than Memphis, Tenn., where the team would’ve played had it won the C-USA anyway.

Will Darnell / Arts & Life Editor

I wanted to leave the game before half time. All the bowl game scenarios, plans for road trips and dreams of conference championships were evaporating. Because I am a new follower of the Mean Green church, my confidence was shaken easily.

The Roadrunners kept driving the ball down the field, converting third down after third down. It seemed like a hundred. But the Mean Green that we all had anointed as potential champions only weeks after whooping and hollering when it #hitsix weren’t scoring.

An ineffective game plan, a crucial dropped pass and an inability to stop an even more surprising 6-5 UTSA team dogged the Mean Green.

And yet I stayed. The minutes passed agonizingly slowly in the cold air, but the Mean Green finally scored a touchdown. With the score at 21-13, the Mean Green needed a stop, which it got, with precious little time remaining.

The team drove the field and thanks to a good refereeing decision, had one second to run a play from inside the five-yard line.

The quarterback snapped the ball hurriedly, and without much thought fired a pass into the waiting arms of a Roadrunner defender. The crowd moaned, distraught. The game was lost, the conference championship hopes dashed. I stumbled out of the stadium, wishing I’d left at halftime.

Tim Cato / Sports Editor

Senior quarterback Derek Thompson’s pass was intercepted, and even though there’s no cheering in the press box, the disappointing exhale of held breath was audible.

But with Thanksgiving looming, it doesn’t seem appropriate to view this game as a “choke” or “embarrassment,” rather than being thankful the Mean Green is playing games that have an impact on conference titles, instead of laboring in the bottom of the 125 Division-I teams.

I got a little bit too caught up in the USA Today rankings that I would check on religiously every Monday morning. UNT is ranked in the top 50. Ball State University is getting votes for the top 25, and UNT beat them. UNT is even a spot ahead of Texas Tech University.

A five-game winning streak made me imagine the Mean Green on the fast track to move up to a BCS conference, just like no-name Baylor University exploded onto the national scene a couple hours down the road in Waco.

But after what the last nine years have brought to UNT, I’m happy with seven or eight wins and a bowl game down the road. The Mean Green isn’t a perfect team and Saturday’s loss is disappointing, but middle-of-the-pack is way better than No. 125.

 Feature photo: Senior defensive back Marcus Trice gets tackled by a University of Texas at San Antonio opponent after receiving the ball during a home game at Apogee Stadium on Saturday. Photo by Ryan Vance / Staff Photographer 

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