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North Texas football unable to end season on high note

North Texas football unable to end season on high note

North Texas junior lineman Jarrian Roberts (30) rushes UTEP freshman quarterback Ryan Metz (12) to force a scramble. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

North Texas football unable to end season on high note
November 28
20:09 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

The entire week leading up to North Texas’ final game against the University of Texas El Paso, many players talked about wanting to send the seniors out with a win.
The feeling was also mutual for interim head coach Mike Canales, who announced earlier this week that Saturday would be his last game on the sideline coaching the Mean Green.
Unfortunately, no one got their wish, as North Texas ended one of the worst seasons in school history with a 20-17 loss to UTEP.
“Obviously this isn’t what we envisioned,” senior starting quarterback Andrew McNulty said. “We never thought our careers would come down to our last season ending like this.”
Along with tying the 2008 North Texas football team for worst record in school history, the Mean Green also finished with a 1-4 record at Apogee Stadium, its first losing season at home since the stadium opened in 2011.
Canales said he never cared about getting a win for himself, but instead was concerned with the seniors on the team experiencing success before their time was done.
“I wanted our seniors to win so badly,” Canales said. “That would have meant more to me than getting the win. It was never about me.”
North Texas forced the most turnovers since last season against Southern Methodist University, but were unable to capitalize offensively all game. The defense also gave up the fewest points all season.
Senior defensive lineman Austin Orr said it was particularly disappointing to not get the win after the defense played as well as it did.
“We gave it our all,” Orr said. “Win or lose, it was a great experience this year. There were a few times tonight I thought we had the game in the bag but it just didn’t go our way.”
The offense, which has plagued the team all season, was the issue again tonight.
The Mean Green finished the game with 205 total yards of offense and were 4 of 16 on third down conversions. McNulty, who began the season as the starter, got the nod for the first time since Portland State in week five.
But his night was cut short in the second quarter when he was drilled by a UTEP defensive lineman, resulting in a cracked rib.
Canales said he was disappointed to see McNulty go out with an injury and thought if he stayed in the game, the outcome would have been different.
“I think if he didn’t get hurt we [could have] won that game.” Canales said.
Along with ending North Texas’ season, the loss also ends Canales’ tenure as interim head coach.
After the game he acknowledged that he has been contacted by several schools, but declined to say which. He said he enjoyed his time in Denton and hopes North Texas gets on the right path soon.
“I’ve been contacted by about four or five schools already, whether it be for a coordinator or position coach,” Canales said. “I want to take about four or five days and just breathe. But this place means a lot to me. I want it to win. I want this place to be successful.”
As for Canales’ final game, he said he had no regrets except for one simple thing.
“I wanted our seniors to taste a win in their last game. I really wanted it for them.”

Featured Image: North Texas junior lineman Jarrian Roberts (30) rushes UTEP freshman quarterback Ryan Metz (12) to force a scramble. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

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