DENTON, Texas – The first spring scrimmage for the North Texas football team was highlight by big plays on offense and special teams. North Texas ran 105 plays on offense and had special teams work and situation drills through the entire two hour scrimmage.
“We had a lot of big plays today and that was something that was really missing last year from our offense,” said head coach Dan McCarney. “I really love the way we competed today and we put our guys in some difficult situations out there.”
The day began early with a big play as Derek Thompson hit Brelan Chancellor for a 75 yard touchdown catch. Chancellor outran the Mean Green defense the final 20 yards for the score as Thompson hit him in stride.
The ensuring extra point was blocked and Zac Whitfield took it 98 yards the other way for a two-point conversion. It wasn’t the only big play for the special teams on the day.
Brandin Byrd had a big morning as he broke free for a 60-yard run when the North Texas offense began at their four-yard line. Sophomore quarterback Andrew McNulty was very effective in his time, running for a 13-yard TD and then later finding Tanner Smith for a 16-yard TD strike in red zone work.
The most dramatic moments came in the final drill when the first and second team each ran the two-minute drill. Both teams had 1:10 left on the clock and needed a touchdown to win starting at their 45 yard line.
Thompson took North Texas down to the 30-yard line then had just 6.8 seconds on the clock and time for one last heave. He found Darnell Smith in the corner of the end zone as the clock expired for the touchdown.
McNulty was very efficient on his turn, as he marched North Texas down the field on two long passing plays to Derek Teegarden. Then inside the 10-yard line, McNulty called his own number for an easy touchdown run.
The biggest defense play of the day came on a bad snap and Chad Polk jumped on the loose ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
The Mean Green had four blocked kicks on the day, two punts, one field goal and the extra point. Senior kicker Zach Olen did knock home a 52-yard field goal.
North Texas continues with the second full week of spring practice on Monday afternoon at 3:30.