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North Texas
2004 Season | Team Page
The Lowdown 2005 Schedule
Coach: Darrell Dickey (8th season, 37-46)
2004 record: 7-5 (Lost to Southern Miss in New Orleans Bowl)
Sun Belt finish: 7-0 (1st)
2004 I-A offensive rankings:
Rushing: 23rd (186.4 ypg)
Passing: 107th (157.6 ypg)
2004 I-A defensive rankings:
Rushing: 74th (172.8 ypg)
Passing: 92nd (241.3 ypg)
Date Opponent
Sept. 3at LSU
Sept. 10at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 17Tulsa
Sept. 24at Kansas State
Oct. 1Troy
Oct. 8Arkansas State
Oct. 15at Florida Int.
Oct. 22at Louisiana Tech
Oct. 29UL Monroe
Nov. 5UL Lafayette
Nov. 12at Florida Atlantic
Depth Chart: Offense
5 returning starters in red
Ps. No. Player Yr. No. Player Yr.
WR81Johnny QuinnSo.31Joel NwigweJr.
WR3Zach MuzzySo.49Brandon JacksonFr.
LT72Joel FosterSo.58Josh AlexanderSo.
LG64Jason MayJr.96Micah WestJr.
C67Chad RoseFr.70Brian AmackerFr.
RG66Dylan LineberryJr.62Frank GrayFr.
RT60Jeremy BrownFr.78Michael MazzolaFr.
TE99Robert HarmonSo.88Beau DavidsonJr.
QB5Joey ByerlySo.7Daniel MeagerFr.
FB37James MitchellSo.23Chris NevinsSo.
RB43Patrick CobbsSr.20Jamario ThomasSo.
Depth Chart: Defense
4 returning starters in red
Ps. No. Player Yr. No. Player Yr.
DE98Eli HutchinsonJr.89Bake BurrussFr.
NT52Chris MillerJr.94T.J. RaymondSo.
DT56Sky PruittSo.79Montey StevensonFr.
DE90Jeremiah ChapmanFr.89Blake BurrussFr.
OLB46Shawn EarlySr.36Phillip GravesSo.
MLB51Derek MendozaSo.42Travis ThompsonJr.
OLB4Brandon MonroeSo.41Maurice HolmanSo.
CB8T.J. CovingtonSr.10Deavin CoxSo.
CB34Ja’Mel BranchSr.19Tyrone CarterJr.
SS45Cliff HiggsSo.2Christopher WalthallSo.
FS24Roderick CottonJr.26Cass StarksJr.
Special Teams
Ps. No. Player Yr.
K29Nick BazalduaSr.
P29Nick BazalduaSr.
KR3Zach MuzzyJr.
PR81Johnny QuinnJr.

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At North Texas, the spoils of four consecutive Sun Belt Conference titles include a new, state-of-the art training complex, a 6,000-square foot weight room, a spacious new locker room with players lounge and three full-size practice fields.

Among the standouts enjoying the new digs will be the nation's last two rushing champions, Patrick Cobbs (2003) and Jamario Thomas ('04). The running game will be the Mean Green's calling card again this season.

But there are holes to fill as well: North Texas enters the season without a decisive starter at quarterback, the offensive line must replace three regulars -- including two all-conference performers -- and the entire defensive line has departed.

OFFENSE

For the first time in college football history, two national rushing champions will play in the same backfield. Cobbs (152.7 ypg in 2003) returns after a medical redshirt (thumb and knee). He'll be joined by '04 Sun Belt Player of the Year, Thomas (180.1 ypg), who set an NCAA record for freshmen by topping the 200-yard mark five times.

The two have combined for 3,481 yards and 36 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Cobbs had the edge coming out of spring practice, due in part to Thomas' minor knee injury, but both backs should see plenty of work in the fall.

Wide receiver Johnny Quinn returns for his junior season having added nearly 20 pounds to his 6-foot frame. The added weight has helped him develop into a devastating blocker, but he also ran track in the spring in an effort to maintain his speed. The Mean Green return only three letterwinners on the offensive line. Anchoring the unit will be guard Dylan Lineberry, the '04 Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year. As a sophomore, Lineberry started every game at right guard.

DEFENSE

There will be four new starters across the defensive front, led by end Eli Hutchinson, who appeared in every game and emerged as a starter in the spring. Chris Miller is the most experienced interior lineman, having played extensively the last two seasons.

Last year, North Texas had to replace a trio of all-conference linebackers. This year, all three starters return, making this the most stable unit on defense. Outside linebackers Brandon Monroe and Shawn Early, along with inside linebacker Derek Mendoza combined for 32 starts last year. Monroe is the team's top returning tackler. Early injured a knee during the spring but is expected to be back at full strength in August.

Cliff Higgs (strong) and Roderick Cotton (free) will replace all-conference safeties Jonas Buckles and Markeith Knowlton. Cornerback T.J. Covington is the secondary's vocal leader and only returning starter. After missing last season, Ja'Mel Branch returns and will start at the other corner. He was one of the Mean Green's leading receivers from '01-'03.

SPECIALISTS

First team all-conference kicker Nick Bazaldua's role will expand to include punting duties in '05. For his career, he has connected on 70 percent of his field goal attempts and was perfect last season inside the 40.

Quinn earned first-team all-conference honors as an all-purpose player and will return punts this year.

FINAL ANALYSIS

Expect the Mean Green to absorb their usual pre-conference lumps before challenging for a fifth consecutive Sun Belt title. This year's running game could be among the nation's best, with Cobbs and Thomas on the ground.

There may be other contenders in the conference, but North Texas will remain the overwhelming favorite until another team proves otherwise.

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