Post Practice Quotes
Freshman Darien Williams
What he feels like he has improved on the most
“I feel like I’ve improved the most on my pass coverage, coming into camp I was more of a run stopper but I’ve worked on my back-peddling and helped with the corners on coverage.”
On the interception
"We were in cover-two and I read the quarterback's eyes and could see it was going to be a deep pass so I broke on the ball."
Play of the Day
Freshman Darien Williams ended a drive with on heck of a pick. Meager was looking towards the end zone and hung one up jus long enough for Williams to sky through the air and snatch it. Williams went right in front of the two defenders and receiver to make the play. Drills done, back with quotes.
Stick of the Day
Linebacker A.J. Penson on running back Micah Mosley. Mosely caught a little dump pass out of the backfield and went to turn up-field and promptly dropped.
Move of the Day
Cam Montgomery on Draylon Ross. We told you earlier how Ross got the best of Cam on their first encounter. Second one goes to Cam as he took a similar type swing pass and made one move and was gone.
Main Event Update
Some quick hits from the field
- Giovanni Vizza had a big 30-yard stick to Brock Stickler, who a veteran broadcaster has referred to as the “best possession receiver in the Sun Belt”
- Vizza had another nice show of poise in the pocket his right side was collapsing in he hung tough and found Casey Fitzgerald for a nine-yard pickup. Defense though stood tall stopping the next third-and-one play.
-Daniel Meager nailed B.J. Lewis right down the middle for a big gainer
Freshman Lance Dunbar burst right up the gut for an 11-yard pickup before it seemed like anyone touched him.
Junior defensive tackle Draylen Ross made one of the best plays of the night when he sniffed out a screen play and met running back Cam Montgomery as soon as he caught the ball. Ross is seeing his first live action after redshirting during the 2007 season when he made the move from tight end to defensive tackle. Ross, who is currently getting reps with the second team defense, certainly made an impression with his hustle play tonight.
We just received a text message from former North Texas great Patrick Cobbs, who was wondering how practice is going. He informed us that he is doing well in Miami Dolphins camp and that he has been labeled the team’s special team’s ace. He said he has a big preseason game tomorrow night where he is expected to get a lot of reps at running back.
Tale of Two
It was the best of times for the defense when new (old) defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach hollered “perfect, perfect” after a couple of executed drills to his liking. And just like that it went to the worst of times with “you ain’t gonna do what I tell you to do you ain’t gonna play, period!”
Micah Mosley showed some shifty moves in the first live-action drills of fall camp, though it wasn't by himself. With the help of the hogs up front, Bryan Glass and J.J. Johnson, Mosley broke loose for an untouched 15-yard burst through the left side of the line. The Nederland High School product was the second-leading rusher for the Mean Green last season with a bruising average of 4.9 yards per carry, and looks to have only improved his illusiveness in the offseason.
Flexing the leg muscle
Something we haven’t touched on very much is placekicking. Jeremy Knott has gotten his first real work of the fall camp and was busy showing off his leg. Knott from 33-yards, 37-yards, 42-yards, and 45-yards was perfect. Its not the prettiest looking ball as it leaves his leg with a helicopter like spin, but its not a beauty contest. One thing is for sure, Knott had plenty of distance to spare on all of the kicks.
Finally, the undercard is over, time for some 11-on-11 hitting.
Best Of Both Worlds
The offense began work on passing drills with the defense in coverage. Head coach Dodge made his presence known early telling receivers to keep working. “Get that foot down!" Dodge exclaimed. "Let's go, let's go." There wasn’t much to hassle the QB'S with. Accuracy and arm strength was aplenty.
D-Coordinator Gary DeLoach was his usual self with an overpowering voice saying to his defense- “A good runner will spin on you, he ain’t gonna wait. You gotta wrap up.”
The real fun is about to begin. There’s gonna be some hittin’ goin on. Be back in a few...
Almost, in o-line drills it was Nate Jenkins (378, on Monday) and Gabe Hollivay (362, on Monday) squared off in a great one-on-one battle. No word on if any salt was tossed under their feet before the battle.
Freshman Royce Hill made a saving tackle in the WR vs. DB drills as he was chasing down Alex Lott and made a nice open field shoestring tackle.
WR Breece Johnson, had a wicked stutter step move in the same drill, and got free down the field only to have the pass fall just beyond his reach. Big-time hitting still about 30-minutes away.
The first take down
The ancient Greeks would have been proud of freshman Tevinn Cantly. In the usual defensive drill to start things off, where five defenders must race after four cones and the loser does up and downs, Cantly and Kyle Russo both slipped out of the gate. They both knew it and then engaged in quite a wresting match. Cantly then got around Russo for good with what were going to call a suplex, to send him to the ground with his teammates cheering him on.
Made for quite a show and Russo was a good sport, until the up and down’s started.
Greco Roman Wrestling Tonight?
That’s code for will there be any fisticuffs in the first night of full contact. Don’t know about that but there certainly has been plenty of talking on the field the first four days. We’ll see about the action. Players warming up, back with more.
Let the games begin
Rehearsals are done, fireworks are loaded, performers are ready, and the athletes are lining up, and the live blogging continues from the birds nest in less than 30 minutes.....We aren’t in Beijing, but this is like the opening ceremonies for Mean Green players who have rehearsed for four days, tried to keep the fireworks down, the players are plenty ready, and the they are entering the stadium as we speak. We aren’t in the Bird’s Nest, but Fouts is home to a large nest of bees.
It’s full pads, full contact, and time for the games to begin. Should be a great night on the field as the players have been itching for this day for a long time.
Lott on Alex
We are working on a story about walk-on wide receiver Alex Lott. Most of you know the history of his family (if you don't, you will in a few days) and we had a chance to sit down with his father, Thomas Lott, to get to know a little bit more about Alex. Here is a small sampling of what Lott told us.
Thomas Lott former Oklahoma quarterback talking about his son Alex.
On who his son compares to as a WR
“He reminds me of Tinker Owens (1975 All-American) who I played with at Oklahoma, a small receiver who can catch just about anything thrown his way.”
On his son playing at North Texas
“I’m just tickled to death that he is playing at North Texas with Coach Dodge. He is a great coach and teacher and Alex is going to be in a system where he can learn how to run routes the right way and be successful in that offense.”
Facing the challenges of his brothers
“Thomas set the bar high for Alex to beat but he knows that he can do it. There is no question in my mind that he can be a great football.”
How Alex ended up at North Texas
“He was just caught in between coming out of high school. He was too small for school to notice him and didn’t have big enough numbers either. But what you can’t judge about a kid is their heart. The one intangible that Alex has is he knows how to win. When I was at Oklahoma we had guys there who didn’t know how to win, but Alex does”.
Two more from the bag
Dustin from Coppell
Q: I was just wandering who the longsnapper would be this year and how he has been during camp so far?
A: A position that is so often overlooked and undervalued. Like Al Bundy’s old dodge. Longsnapper Christian Davidson has been getting his work in on the sidelines throughout each day working with perennially holder and celebrity golfer Matt Phillips. Honestly the pair has worked together quite a bit and that’s a position that Mean Green fans won’t have anything to worry about this year.
Jason from Houston
Q: I was wondering who is gonna take the front seat as Quarterback. Giovanni Vizza had a great year last year despite the record, but everyone is buzzing about Riley Dodge. What's the story?
A: I should have copyrighted that question before the fall camp started...We will repeat what Coach Dodge said before, everyone is going to have a chance to come in and compete. Dodge has said Vizza is the starting QB and will take the first snap at K-State. What happens with Riley is the coach’s decision. What some might consider a problem or potential one should be viewed as a luxury because it shows this program is starting to stockpile talent, and a lot of it.
“It takes a pretty good pop to break one of those.” Words from equipment manager Dick Miller last night after linebacker A.J. Penson came over to the sideline with a broken chin strap. It’s seems Penson delivered a crushing blow to running back Micah Mosley to send his chin strap to the training table for work. I thought tonight was the first night of full contact?
“That’s the life of a kicker.” Special teams coach Robert Drake muttered after hearing punter Truman Spencer ask how many naps the kicking crew should get in before practice. Judging by the way Truman has been booting them, I’d say he needs to stick to his current sleeping regiment.
Back to the bag
We’ve got some more questions from the mail. We are going to open the post office again on the blog. Send in your questions and we will answer as many as we can. Click Here To Submit Questions
Chris from Maryland
Q: I'm interested to see how the defensive line plays this year. Who do you see making an impact and are there depth concerns?
A: The D-line has been a hot topic. As Coach Dodge has said Ryan Davenport and Marquis Sykes will get the first opportunities at the end position. Newcomer Mack Cole III has good size and Jonathan Stewart has moved from the interior to the defensive end spot.
The interior is the area that has the most experience returning. Isaac Thomas and Joseph Miller had both had good camps and finding depth behind them will be the most important question on the inside.
Johnnie from The Woodlands
Q: What do you think about Cameron Montgomery getting some playing time.
A: I don’t think you need to worry about that. He’s a 100 percent and has been showing the flashes of quickness that we heard so much about before being sidetracked by injuries last season.
The backfield is running four deep right now and the best thing is they are all underclassmen.
Godfrey from Columbus, MS.
Q: Hollivay played 2 positions on the O-line (RG & RT) and 1 position on the D line NG) at ICC. Will he be utilized at more than one postion at North Texas?
A: I’ve got a question, can he play power forward to? Despite any concerns about his check-in weight those pounds are dropping fast with these workouts. He is a very athletic body with great upper-body strength. A lot of people are really looking forward to the next couple of days to see him in action with contact and full pads.
It’s never easy to slow down a coach, especially during fall camp, but we caught up momentarily with new cornerbacks coach Carlton Buckels and got some of his thoughts on the first week of practice.
Coach Carlton Buckels
(What he’s preaching to his players)
“I want them to keep competing and make plays when called upon. They’ll be fine as long as they know their assignments and stay focused out there.”
(His thoughts about the secondary)
“The youngsters are doing good things when they need to like DeWaylon (Cook). The older guys are showing what they’ve learned over the past few years like Latif (Nurudeen) and Kartey (Agbottah).”
Stars Align for Roberson, Smith, and Johnson
We’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be a huge night for Sam Roberson, Isiah Smith, and Roderick Johnson. They all have had good starts to the fall camp, but with it being the first day of full contact, tonight is their night....
How do we know this? Just look at your calendar. Its 8-8-08. Roberson wears 8, Smith 80, and Johnson 88. No pressure.
Christmas is here
Or the next best thing for football players. The season opener is up there to, but the first day of full contact in the fall camp is something that players have been thinking about since May.
If last night’s practice was any indication then tonight should be fun.
Dodge Days Part IV
Dodge Days Part III
Dodge Days Part II
Dodge Days Part I