Work in Sports
North Texas Mean Green
Improving offense needs to get Meaner
'99: 2-9, 1-5 Big West
CoachDarrell Dickey (third season, 5-17)
Key offensive playersJaQuay Wilburn, RB, Sr.
Ran for 1,016 yards last year despite being the Green's only real weapon.
Andy Lott, G, Sr.
Richard Bridges, QB, Jr.
Jason Ball, K, Jr. Made his final nine field goal attempts last year, and could use more than 12 PAT attempts.
Key defensive playersBrad Kassell, LB, Jr.
UNT's leading tackler (112) really blossomed when he moved to the middle.
Lawrence Ellis, CB, Sr.
Heath Moody, S, Sr.
Key newcomerCraig Jones, S, Fr.
Ferocious hitter already being counted on to be a starter in the secondary.
Throwback playerGuard Andy Lott played every single snap for the Mean Green last season, something seldom seen anymore.
21st century playerWide receiver LaDarrin McLane switched from quarterback last season, and has emerged as the team's best returning receiver.
Fast FactThe Mean Green scored 10 points or fewer in eight games last season.
OutlookWell, the Mean Green enter fall drills not knowing who its quarterback would be, and that's a bad sign if only because that has been the trend in recent years. Bridges started the last six games of last season, and will try to hold off sophomore Spencer Stack, who played in the last three games. Whomever wins the job will have to throw at least a little better than UNT did last year to open room for star running back Wilburn. The schedule is not as vicious as it has been in the past, the defense appears to be adequate and new offensive coordinator David Mitchell hopes to improve the option running game. But the Green have to put more points on the board to make much noise.
-- Michael C. Lewis