North Texas Daily

Quick Hits: Mike Canales Coach’s Show – Episode 8

Quick Hits: Mike Canales Coach’s Show – Episode 8

November 02
22:58 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

Rudy’s BBQ was home to a busy parking lot and full dining tables for the weekly coach’s show Monday Night in celebration of the first win of the season for the Mean Green. Upon arrival, head coach Mike Canales received a standing ovation and plenty of handshakes as he walked to his seat.

If you didn’t get a chance to come out or listen in, here are some of the main topics Canales covered.

An appearance in the win column

North Texas (1-7, 1-4) defeated the University of Texas at San Antonio in thrilling fashion on Saturday, finally notching its first win of the season. After the game, the team went bonkers, carrying Canales off the field and even making an appearance in the stands to celebrate with the Mean Green faithful.

“I thought it was something we needed to do as a team. I led the way, stood on top of the bleachers, jumping up and down,” Canales said. “It was one of the most memorable times of my coaching career.”

The win may not have been possible without a blocked extra point attempt ran back 98 yards for a two-point conversion by junior defensive back Chad Davis in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 23.

“Our sideline just was electric again,” Canales said. “There was maybe a little doubt, but it became excitable again and it was electric. We were right there and said, ‘Let’s go win this thing,’ and we did.”

Canales pulled off some trickery the previous possession to take the lead, hiding the ball in between sophomore running back Willie Ivory’s legs for a five-yard touchdown. The play is known as the “fumblerooksi,” but the Mean Green refer to it as “rooster.”

“The only time we huddle is when there’s something going on that’s special,” Canales said. “Sure enough, it worked out just like we said. You watch the film, and there’s still three guys trying to figure out what had happened.”

A new energy

Recent success can be traced to the way Canales has changed the energy and culture of a team that struggled to pinpoint its identity early on. Canales has preached the idea of an invigorated atmosphere, starting with the way he runs practices.

“Move with energy, move with passion, move with bounce. I don’t like to see anybody just standing around or walking around,” Canales said. “I want to see a fast-paced practice, kind of an NFL mentality.”

The players have caught on to the new system. As long as he receives the same sort of effort he gives on a daily basis in return, Canales said he’ll be happy.

“I just ask them to play for each other, play with great energy and great passion,” Canales said. “I’ll be right there with them, and I’ll give them everything I’ve got. They see it on the sideline. I like the energy that I’m trying to give them, and I think they play off it too.”

Next up

The Mean Green will play the first of three consecutive road games on Saturday against Louisiana Tech (6-3, 4-1), a team that’s currently tied for first in the West division of Conference-USA. The Bulldogs are led by an experienced offense, averaging over 38 points per game.

“Thanks for reminding me. I don’t sleep enough as it is,” Canales joked. “They are as talented of an offense that we have faced all year and that you’ll see throughout the country.”

In order to keep up, Canales will have to lean on a steadily improving offense to match what they were able to do last Saturday. The Halloween victory marked the first time in school history that a North Texas quarterback and running back each rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. Now, Canales is looking for a more balanced attack to rack up even more points as the season progresses.

“We’ve just got to get the passing game going a little better right now,” Canales said. “I’m a little frustrated because we’ve gotten some things open that we have to connect with.”

In preparation for the matchup, Canales and his staff are focusing on conducting efficient practices to keep the players extra fresh when it’s time for the opening kickoff.

“[Louisiana Tech] is very physical on defense, and we’ve got to match that just like we did on Saturday night against UTSA,” Canales said. “We were a fresher, faster, more physical team on Saturday, and it showed. If we can do that again, good things can happen.”

Featured Image: File Photo

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