North Texas Daily

Quick Hits: Mike Canales Coach’s Show – Episode 7

Quick Hits: Mike Canales Coach’s Show – Episode 7

Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

Quick Hits: Mike Canales Coach’s Show – Episode 7
October 27
09:09 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

For those that weren’t able to listen in to the seventh episode of the weekly coach’s show Monday night at Rudy’s BBQ in Denton, here are some of the main topics interim head coach Mike Canales covered.

Another game without a win

Although the defense gave up its lowest point total of the year in the 30-13 loss against Marshall (7-1, 4-0), North Texas (0-7, 0-4) struggled to put up points on offense. The Mean Green’s only touchdown came in the final quarter, and senior wide receiver Carlos Harris managed only two receptions for ten yards.

“We actually moved [Harris] to the outside to mix things up, but they were rolling coverage a couple times, played a little two deep man,” Canales said. “We just weren’t able to get open like I thought we could have.”

The night before the game, junior quarterback DaMarcus Smith learned of the death of an immediate family member. For support, Smith visited Canales early Saturday morning to talk things through, pray, and get his mind right for the game.

“That’s what coaching is all about,” Canales said. “That’s why we build these relationships with the players, so they can come to you in times of need and you’re there to shoulder the grief they’re going through.”

Smith did not perform particularly well, throwing for 128 yards and a touchdown at a 15 for 37 clip. Nevertheless, after the game Marshall head coach Doc Holliday told Canales that he had North Texas playing extremely hard, something he did not see on film during preparation.

“That’s a complement to our defense and to our team,” Canales said. “We’re addressing [effort], we’re preparing, and that’s giving us a chance to win.”

Building momentum

Sophomore running back Jeffrey Wilson bested his career high in rushing yards for the second consecutive week with 138 on 17 carries. Canales said he will look to get Wilson even more involved next week, hoping he finds the end zone for the first time this year.

“It’s not so much about the plays, it’s how we can fit [Wilson] in to get the ball in his hands,” Canales said. “That’s what we did last night in preparation for this week. He’s going to touch the ball a lot.”

Canales also stressed how much he loved the effort and energy defensively, something the Mean Green look to carry out until season’s end.

“It doesn’t matter who’s in the rotation. They’re playing for each other,” Canales said. “I’m excited about what we’re seeing and what we’re getting out of our players right now.”
A Halloween showdown

North Texas will host its second Halloween matchup in three years this Saturday against the University of Texas at San Antonio (1-6, 1-2). While 2015 has been a down year for both programs, a rivalry has started to brew in recent years.

“We’re recruiting a lot of the same players. We’re trying to get theirs. They’re trying to get ours,” Canales said. “There’s something about the two of us. They don’t like us and we don’t like them, but we have great respect for each other.”

If 2013’s Halloween victory over Rice University was an indicator, the Apogee Stadium crowd should have a unique energy in celebration of the holiday. But in order to give the North Texas faithful its first win of the season, Canales said a good performance from Smith is key.

“The most important thing is understanding when the ball needs to come out, where it needs to go and seeing the defensive structure,” Canales said. “He missed some opportunities for us down the field to put points on the board, but he’ll rebound. We’ll see a good DeMarcus Smith.”

Featured Image: File Photo Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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