April 12, 2014
Quarterback Andrew McNulty looks for a receiver in the Green-White spring game. (photo by Rick Yeatts)
DENTON, Texas - The battle for the Mean Green's 2014 starting quarterback job heated up Saturday, as three candidates for the position threw for 494 yards with no interceptions in the annual Green-White spring football game Saturday afternoon.
For the first time in three years, North Texas does not have an incumbent at quarterback with the departure of Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP Derek Thompson. Among the contenders for the job are Andrew McNulty, Josh Greer, and Connor Means, who combined to go 34-of-55 with a pair of touchdowns in the White team's 35-31 win before a crowd of 5,325 at Apogee Stadium.
One of the highlights of the game, however, came on defense when redshirt freshman defensive lineman Sid Moore penetrated the Green offensive line and blasted running back Antoinne Jimmerson just as he was receiving a hand-off, forcing a fumble that Sed Ellis returned for a touchdown for the White team.
North Texas also announced five walk-ons had earned scholarships: junior kicker Zach Paul, senior wide receiver John Chelf, senior defensive back Sheldon Wade, sophomore deep snapper Tony Johnson, and junior tight end Jarrod Lynn.
• Andrew McNulty, Thompson's backup a year ago, was 15 of 24 passing for 217 yards and a touchdown. He was five-of-five for 85 yards and a touchdown on a 90-yard scoring march in the first half.
• Newcomer Josh Greer, a transfer from Navarro Junior College, completed 10 of 16 passes for 152 yards, and led the Green team on a 99-yard scoring drive.
• Freshman Connor Means, from Deer Park, Texas, was good on nine of 15 throws for 125 yards. He had the game's first touchdown on a 17-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Turner Smiley.
• Dajon Williams, a redshirt freshman, is also in the mix for the starting quarterback job but did not play Saturday due to an ankle injury.
• Carlos Harris, a starter at wide receiver last year, was the main beneficiary of all those passes with nine catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
• Antoinne Jimmerson had a big game at running back, rushing for 96 yards with two touchdowns.
• Running back Mark Lewis had 34 yards on eight carries, and Turner Smiley had four carries for 42 yards.
• Wide receiver Darius Terrell had three catches for 74 yards, all coming on one drive.
• There were five quarterback sacks in the first quarter and six in the opening half, two each by defensive end Jarrian Roberts and linebacker Daryl Mason.
• Linebacker and returning starter Derek Akunne also had a sack and six tackles.
• Linebacker Fred Scott, who is in the mix to replace departed middle linebacker Zach Orr, had three tackles in the first half.
• A great deal of focus leading up to the 2014 season will be on the defensive line, where graduation claimed all four starters. Defensive end Malik Dilonga made an impression early when he stuffed a running play at the line for no gain.
• Linebacker Jamal Marshall had a forced fumble.
• Zac Whitfield broke up three passes.
Mean Green players now embark on off-season conditioning in preparation for the start of August practices, leading up to the Aug. 30 season-opener in Austin against the University of Texas.