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North Texas football roundtable: wrapping up the Mean Green’s 2016 season

North Texas football roundtable: wrapping up the Mean Green’s 2016 season

Freshman quarterback Mason Fine (6) throws to the outside late in the game against MTSU. Fine finished with 303 yards and a touchdown. Colin Mitchell

North Texas football roundtable: wrapping up the Mean Green’s 2016 season
November 30
15:34 2016

Editor’s note: With the 2016 regular season complete for the Mean Green, the North Texas Daily sports staff has reviewed and analyzed their performance this year.

Who was North Texas’ most valuable player and why?

Reece Waddell: This is tough. It’s between Mason Fine and Jeffery Wilson, but I’m going with Wilson. When he was healthy, Wilson was one of the best running backs in the country. He was on pace for 1,000 yards and at one point was rivaling Heisman frontrunner Lamar Jackson of Louisville in rushing touchdowns.

Clay Massey:  Eric Keena. Yup. The Mean Green punter was outstanding this season. The senior from Keller punted 69 times for a 43.8 yard average, which was good enough for 22nd in the nation and it was a career low for him. This guy flipped the field on so many teams, and he can run on fakes. He only made one mistake this season and it was in the final game of the year. I’ve started a #Keena4Heisman campaign you should all join.

Matt Brune: The MVP of the team was Jeffery Wilson. In a year where the defense was passable, the quarterback play was dicey, and the offensive line was shuffled more than a game of Uno, he was the lone player who was constantly reliable. That is before he got hurt, but you get my point. I’m glad he’s coming back next year.

Courtney Anderson: The MVP has to be Mason Fine. As a true freshman, he led the Mean Green to a 5-7 season (which I predicted from the get-go) in the first year of the rebuilding process. He racked up 1,572 yards before getting pulled out early in the game versus Western Kentucky, due to injury, and already made school history by having the longest run by a quarterback at 80-yards.

Trevon McWilliams: Mason Fine, without a doubt. He is the team’s most pivotal player and is the future of North Texas football. Even though he got hurt at the end of the season, everything he accomplished during his time as a freshman starting quarterback shows a lot about his preparation, dedication, and character.

Who under-performed that you expected more out of?

RW: Terian Goree. At 6’3 and entering his second season, many expected Goree to be the primary target for Fine. Unfortunately, he never got going, and head coach Seth Littrell announced he was suspended for the final two games of the season for violating an undisclosed team rule. He finished the year with 328 yards and two touchdowns on 36 catches and ranks second on the team in receiving. For a guy with the size and skill set to be the No. 1 receiver, not even leading the team in receiving is a huge letdown.

CM: Goree. He was the new No. 1 receiver this season but did not perform like it. He started pretty strong, but some slow games down the stretch and a suspension for the final two regular-season games and any postseason play due to a violation of team rules really hurt his numbers. He had just 36 catches for 328 yards, which is not enough from someone who is supposed to be your primary target.

MB: Well, I had this team going 2-10, so in a way, I under-performed. But in all seriousness, I came into the year expecting them to be bad, and after the first five weeks, I still did not think that they were very good. Therefore, the only player that disappointed me was the two-time national champ Alabama transfer himself, Alec Morris.

CA: Personally, I was coming into this season expecting more from Alec Morris. There was so much hype surrounding him because he was transferring from Alabama, even though he only had one throw and completion his entire time there. In four out of the five games he made an appearance in this season, he had interceptions. For only appearing in those five games, though, he did earn over 800 yards which, on average per game, is more than Fine.

TM: Without a doubt, Alec Morris. A two-time national champion at Alabama, expectations were high for Morris entering the season. But after a bad debut outing against SMU, he was benched for Fine and did not see the field again until Fine got hurt and he started the last two games of the season. His level of play was just never there, and it showed.

North Texas sophomore wide reciever Terian Goree (3) runs the ball near the sideline. Goree had one touchdown against the Bulldogs. Colin Mitchell

North Texas sophomore wide reciever Terian Goree (3) runs the ball near the sideline. Goree had one touchdown against the Bulldogs. Colin Mitchell

Give an overall grade (A-F) on the team’s season and on Seth Littrell and briefly explain why

RW: I’m giving the team a B, and Littrell an A-. The bottom line is this team won one game in 2015, then won five this season and is going to a bowl. They lost a few games they were in (UTSA, Middle Tennessee, SMU) and had some other blunders like the dud at UTEP last weekend. For Littrell, he made a very gutsy move to burn Fine’s redshirt and play him over Alec Morris. He made good on his promise to tee it high and let it fly, and rejuvenated an offense that was downright atrocious last year.

CM: I’m going to give this season a B+, and Seth Littrell an A-. Being anywhere near bowl eligible was just a fever dream 13 weeks ago, now we will all sit anxiously on Sunday to see where the Mean Green will be bowling. That is quite the turnaround any way you slice it. The man leading the revival is Saint Littrell himself, and after following this team all season, I firmly believe Littrell is one of the best young coaches in college football. His coaching philosophy and values are universal, and the team has latched on to that. He laid a great foundation in year one and set himself up for more success in year two.

MB: I’m not grading this team off expectations, I’m grading them off of what I saw throughout the year. This team was outscored in regulation 379 to 277 in 12 games, beat three scrubs, had two nice wins, lost five games to better teams and disappointed me against UTSA and UTEP.  Overall I give the team a C+. Littrell, however, did a great job on the team this year and I like the direction they are going. he gets a B+.

CA: Saint Littrell gets a B+ and the team as a whole gets a C+ in my book. Littrell came into North Texas working with a 1-11 team under Dan McCarney and turned it around to a more successful season. Next year, I hope to be attending a university who’s football team has a winning record. In college, the saying is “Cs get degrees,” and in the case of North Texas football, Cs get bowl games, barely. If it wasn’t for the APR score, the season would have ended with the loss in El Paso.

TM: Littrell deserves an A- due to the fact he improved the offense, defense and special teams. The team gets a B-. Yes, they won four more games than they did in 2015, but they also lost winnable games and limped into a bowl on APR at 5-7.

Featured Image: Freshman quarterback Mason Fine (6) throws to the outside late in the game against MTSU. Fine finished with 303 yards and a touchdown. Colin Mitchell

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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1 Comment

  1. Kennel Up
    Kennel Up December 03, 07:39

    Team gets a C+ and the Coach a D. Fine has the size and speed of a scat back. He is no Manziel or Flute and will not be. Burning his redshirt before Morris was given a real chance was a major mistake. Coach needs to practice impulse control, beef up Fine, and recruit an OL. Good luck in your bowl game guys.

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