North Texas Daily

Quick Hits: Dan McCarney Coach’s Show – Episode 4

Quick Hits: Dan McCarney Coach’s Show – Episode 4

September 28
22:44 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer


“North Texas can’t afford to beat North Texas.”

That was the overarching message from head coach Dan McCarney at his fourth radio show of the season Monday night at Rudy’s BBQ. If you didn’t have a chance to listen in, here are some of the main topics covered this week.

The blowout

North Texas was demolished against the University of Iowa on Saturday, losing by a final score of 62-16. Although McCarney admitted the loss was embarrassing, he also said there were plenty of positives to take away, including the potency of the running attack and the performance of junior defensive end Jarrian Roberts.

“Losing stinks. The final score was horrible. We don’t like that,” McCarney said. “For some of the game, those are the positive things you have to take away. If we can do it against Iowa, we can do it next week, because Iowa is a really high quality football team.”

The Mean Green defense’s recent struggles rose to new heights on Saturday, giving up more than 60 points for the first time since 2008. McCarney said many facets of the defense need improvement, but tackling needs the most work of them all.

“One of the problems we’re having defensively right now is that we’re not making tackles in space,” McCarney said. “We’re missing too many tackles, and that extends drives. It turns a third down into a first down instead of turning a third down into a fourth down for us.”

North Texas had a two turnover advantage over Iowa at halftime but turned the ball over three times in the second half. To this point, the Mean Green still do not have an interception this season, something McCarney said needs to end very soon.

“I’m not saying you have to be a first or second rounder in the NFL draft, but you need to do your job and make plays,” McCarney said. “When it comes to game day, players have to make plays.”

The running game

The team as a whole may have had a subpar performance, but the North Texas running game remained potent. Against an Iowa defense that came in allowing just over 50 rushing yards a game, McCarney’s squad racked up 183 rushing yards with 4.1 yards per carry.

“Our backs ran really hard. A healthy backfield for North Texas is going to be really good as we go on here,” McCarney said. “We’ve got three quarters of the season in front of us, and we’ve got some backs that can really make some things happen.”

Leading North Texas running backs were senior Antoine Jimmerson and sophomore Jeffrey Wilson, both of whom stopped by for a portion of the show. Each said focusing on the running attack will be crucial going forward, and McCarney said the same.

“As we go forward, starting with Southern Mississippi this week, we’ve got to be able to [run the ball] and make sure that’s a staple,” McCarney said.

Next up

The Mean Green will face the University of Southern Mississippi on the road in its next game at 6 p.m on Saturday. In order to beat a team that has scored more than 50 points in each of its wins this season, McCarney said his offense simply needs to score more touchdowns.

“When you’re throwing the ball to your backs, tight ends and receivers, you have to get more chunk plays,” McCarney said. “Everybody in the country that play fast-paced are getting some big, big plays with their offense, and we have to get those in bunches.”

Despite granting junior quarterback Josh Greer playing time at the end of the Iowa game, McCarney is still remaining with senior Andrew McNulty as his starter moving forward.

“If you talk to every one of our players except our backup quarterbacks and you talk to every one of our coaches, Andrew McNulty still gives us the best chance to win football games,” McCarney said.

Through the rough times, McCarney remains confident that his team still has a positive attitude after its first 0-3 start since 2011.

“Achieve your dreams. Strive for those dreams. Go for those aspirations. Don’t sell yourself short,” McCarney said. “We’re really in the process of doing that as a football team right now. We really are here for each other.”

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