Play of the Day
A couple of candidates to choose from but we are going with Roberson’s TD catch to start things off for the offense. Roberson used his 6-4 frame to his advantage to climb over defender Chris Neal and haul in a 30-yard TD catch in the corner of the end zone. Were better this isn’t going to be the last time you see that from the man they call “Chief”.
Post Scrimmage Quotes
WR Alex Lott
(On the offense’s production)
“I think we moved the ball pretty well. We still have some work to do. For the most part, we did a good job.”
(On his performance)
“I think I did well. I feel like I made some decent plays. I just want to look at the film to make sure I got the little things right.”
WR Sam Roberson
(On the offense overall)
“We did real good. The linemen were blocking well and the receivers were running good routes. Everybody was communicating and things were clicking out there.”
(On his performance including a 30-yard touchdown)
“I just did everything the coaches told me like getting on my toes and being a playmaker.”
Brock Sticker with the fourth TD of the night on a smooth looking pass from Daniel Meager, 33-yards out. Fourth different receiver with a TD catch from four different quarterbacks. Time to get Terry Bradshaw’s playing partner in there.
Let the blitzing begin
We heard earlier in the week that the North Texas defense was going to be blitzing a little more frequently this year. Craig Robertson just flew off the edge and came in untouched to sack Meager. I don’t have an official/unofficial count (hard to tell what one is tonight with the whistle blowing) on the number of sacks tonight but there have been plenty of times the Mean Green defense has found itself in the backfield.
Defense cuts them down
New (old) defensive coordinator Gary DeLoach should be very happy with the effort of his defense tonight. They have gotten solid pressure on the quarterback’s tonight. As evident by the last drive that just ended. Dodge was at the helm and never had a chance to do much each time the ball was snapped. The push by the d-line was overwhelming, ending the drive.
Big D for a TD
Freshman wide receiver Willie Taylor, a Dallas product, scores the third TD of the night for the offense on a 20-yard TD reception. Taylor started the drive out with a nice grab and ended it with a catch out in the flat and he raced it to the end zone the rest of the way.
The hammer flagged
We don’t know if that’s his nickname or not, but James Hamilton once again comes from the secondary to make a nice stop of QB Nathan Tune, who did a Houdini act to escape the pressure. Hamilton lost his helmet in the fray and then gave Tune a friendly tap afterwards and got flagged.
In the grasp
Some disagreements about the validity of an official sack tonight, but the last third-down and two for the offense from the six was ended by a sack, kind of. Vizza was trying to avoid the pressure of linebacker A.J. Penson, but the play was blown dead before Penson got to Vizza. I thought they got rid of in the grasp?
Freshman Royce Hill and Lance Dunbar have taken a couple of kickoff’s back for nice yardage. Hill raced the first one up the far sideline before stepping out of bounds, about 50 yards later. Dunbar had a go at it on the next return, making about 30-something yards out of absolutely nothing.
Into the house
Wide receiver Roderick Johnson ends the drive with a touchdown catch. It was the Dodge-to-Johnson show on that drive as the two combined for a couple of nice hook-ups. The TD was from 14-yards out on third down right over the middle. Defense though isn’t making it easy on them to find the endzone.
Riley on the run
Having to improvise because of a bad snap, Dodge avoided a sack and rolled out the right and found wide-receiver Roderick Johnson who got behind the secondary for a big gainer. Dodge followed that up with another scramble out of the pocket that resulted in a scintillating run. He made linebacker Brandon Akpunku miss in the open field and then stiff-armed Royce Hill out of bounds.
Putting on the brakes
Lance Dunbar, the freshman from Haltom City, has had a couple of really nice runs of over 10-yards. He just ripped one off for 16-yards before on the very next player senior Isaac Thomas busted through the line to bring down the rookie for a loss. No. 99 just wanted to remind Dunbar that crafty veterans are just as good as blazing freshman.
Making a Lott happen
Roberson will be remembered for setting up that first TD, but walk-on sophomore did the dirty work. Lott’s first catch was really a run, caught it at the line of scrimmage and tip-toed along the sideline for 16-yards. His second one was right over the middle resulting in a big pop, but he held onto the ball, showing his toughness which I’m pretty sure runs in the family.
Hail to the chief
Freshman Sam Roberson hauls down the first TD catch of the night. A 30-yard catch that was made over the outstretched arms of defender Chris Neal in the corner of the end zone. Quite a leap and a catch by the 6-4 Roberson who needed every inch to haul it in. Nice touch by Vizza who put the ball where only his receiver could get it.
Time to punt
We should let you know that this is a very controlled scrimmage. The coaches are putting the players in situations that they want to evaluate. Punter Truman Spencer, up from a nap, came on and drilled a 50-yard punt in his first effort. Special teams work continuing.
Taking em’ down
First sack of the night goes to Sam Owusu-Hemeng. He blew right around right tackle to bring Daniel Meager to the ground. Addendum- Dodge was sacked earlier, but the players held up and the play was blown dead before he actually hit the ground. Meager wasn’t so lucky.....
Cam Montgomery’s first tote of the evening goes for nearly 16-yards. It was a lot of jumping over bodies on the ground and slip-sliding away from defenders. And it was done awfully fast.
Quarterback in high school, DB in college James Hamilton had a nice open field tackle. Wide-out Willie Taylor caught a pass in the flat on the near side and Hamilton raced right up the field to make the big hit and drop Taylor for no gain.
Riley likes to run
Dodge’s first time on the field resulted in his scrambling from the pocket on two occasions. The first run went for around 20 yard and the second for around nine-yards.
Spreading things out
The first-team offense marched right down the field on their next possession, but were stopped at the 10-yard line. Not by the defense, but by the coaches. During the drive Vizza had three nice hookups. First to Roberson for 15 yards, then Fitzgerald made a diving catch for 17 yards. Vizza then had great presence in the pocket to find Stickler to get the ball down to the 10-yard line.
The Tip Drill
First series comes to an end with the first-team offense being stopped. Of the first three passes by Vizza, two were deflected by lineman. Linebacker Toby Nwigwe also had a nice stick on the first carry by Micah Mosley.
Still a few minutes away from the scrimmage starting, but we are going to have one more addition to our list. Sam Roberson. He is quietly having a nice camp and has got the size and speed everyone wants in a receiver . Huddling up, time to get started.
Five Things To Watch
With the first scrimmage of the fall camp less than 30 minutes away, we have a few areas and individuals that we are going to keep a close look at. Everyone is familiar with the big guns on the offense and defense so we are going to try and focus just a bit on some of the others. Don’t worry, the names of Fitzgerald, Vizza, and Robertson will get plenty of type tonight.
1. The freshman. A lot of names like Rucker, Williams, Dodge, Shorter, Dunbar, and Cook have been talked about this first week. And honestly I could name nearly the entire 08 signing class, but we are anxious to see how they perform in game conditions tonight against the veterans.
2.The offensive line. How will newcomers Nate Jenkins and Gabe Hollivay perform along with redshirt freshman J.J. Johnson, freshman.
3. D-Line. An area of intrigue because of all the new faces. Let’s face it, both lines tonight will be interesting to watch.
4. DeLoach’s Defense. It’s a new scheme with every wrinkle you can imagine. The camp debut should be exciting.
5. Kicking game. No worries at punter with Truman Spencer but place kicker Jeremy Knott is new to the scene.
Final chance to answer some mail bag questions before tonight’s scrimmage.
Richard from Springfield VA
Q: How quick is our defense line? Do we have folks that are quick and strong like Joe Greene and Brandon Kennedy?
A: I’m gonna say no to the Joe Greene one and maybe to the Brandon Kennedy comparison. Let’s be honest, Joe Greene was one of the best defensive lineman to ever play the game at any level. Can imagine how giddy the coaches and fans would be to have someone who even resembled Mr. Greene. What made Kennedy so good was he was not only big and strong, but one of the most athletic players to suit up at North Texas. Kennedy lacked size at 5-10 (trust me, that’s even a stretch) but more than made up for that with shear talent and athleticism. He would get around linemen with a combination of rare talent. Greene was a once in a generation talent, Kennedy a once in a decade type talent.
This year’s defensive line is going to be a mix of size and speed. On the ends you’re going to see a lot of speed, and on the interior a lot of size. Isaac Thomas and Joseph Miller are the size inside, and Ryan Davenport and Marquis Sykes the speed outside. A lot of newcomers and veterans will get a chance to make their impact as well, names like Mack Cole III, Kyle Russo, Sam Owusu-Hemeng, and Draylen Ross.
Sonja from College Station
Q: When will the roster be complete?
A: For the most part Sonja it is. A name or two could be added or dropped as fall camp goes on which is typical, but what you see is about 99 percent of what you’re going to get.
Running with Ross
We caught up with one of the Mean Green’s defensive lineman that some feel is on the verge of a breakout season. Junior Draylen Ross entered the fall camp bigger and better than he’s ever been. The big fella has made some strides and feels like the 2008 season can be a big one.
What he’s improved on the most
“Technique and staying low. I’ve improved tremendously with my hands. I’ve had help from the older guys like Isaac (Thomas) and Joe (Joseph) Miller.”
On his potential
“I feel like I’m heading in that direction and progressing everyday. I try to follow what Coach Dodge tells us, Blow the top off your potential’.”
A couple of more questions from the mailbag. If you have a question that you want answered drop us a line. Click Here To Submit Questions
Tim from Denton
Q: Who is the fastest player on the Mean Green's roster?
A: That’s a tough one to answer because the roster is loaded with speed. Freshman Lance Dunbar is one name that springs to mind.
Zeno from Houston
Q: From coach Dodge it seems like he’s already pick his starting running back. And everything I am reading is how good Cameron Montgomery is looking. What’s the chance of him starting?
A: I wouldn’t read too much into that. Cam has looked good during the first week of fall camp, but Micah Mosley had one of his better night’s yesterday. Remember that Mosley and Montgomery are two different types of backs, Micah is a bruiser, bulldozer type of back with speed. Cam is a shifty, speedy type back with game breaking type ability. Count on both of them getting a lot of playing time.
“We’ve got to have the most athletic equipment managers in the nation.” That came from none other than head coach Todd Dodge. During some drills with the QB’s, assistant equipment manager Dick Miller was lending a helping hand with some football’s. He was sauntering over to pick up another ball and didn’t notice one right beneath him, stepped right on it and lost his balance, but didn’t go down. It drew a few laughs from most than just the head coach.
Overheard Part II
“I think there trying to take us out.” Were not trying to pick on the equipment room guys, but when your in the line of fire like they are it sometimes works out that way. Head guy Mike Gallup was on the sideline when some seven-on-seven drills were taking place. Giovanni Vizza rifled one towards the edge, overshooting his receiver, but hitting Mr. Gallup right on the ankle. The ball the caromed dangerously close to the blog, but we narrowly avoided it.
Separated at birth?
Picture day was on Wednesday but last night we noticed a striking resemblance between quarterback Nathan Tune and kicker Jeremy Knott. You can judge for yourself but we do know they were both kickers. Tune a kicker your say? In high school at Celina he did some part-time kicking and has even taken a few practice kicks with North Texas.
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fightin’
Well the hogs and most of the defense have headed inside, but the punt team stayed out for a little extra work.
Don’t forget to head back to the blog tonight as we’ll get our first look at the Mean Green in a live scrimmage from Fouts Field. Action from Fouts begins at 7 p.m., but we’ll have a few reports for you in the mean time. MeanGreenSports.com gives you the best insight and features on the North Texas football team.
Service On The Snap
You couldn’t have drawn up punt protection drills better than they were executed this morning. Christian Davidson and Troy Kokjohn, the No. 1 and No. 2 deep snappers respectively, sent every snap on a rope into the punter’s numbers. That’s when Truman Spencer showed why he’s the top punter in the Sun Belt, smacking every punt at least 45 yards into a slight breeze. The defense never put a hand on the ball.
Coach Todd Dodge has placed an increased importance on special teams this year, and that’s evident when you take a look at the personnel involved. Dodge has no problem lining up starters on the special teams, such as Micah Mosley, Kartey Agbottah and Tobe Nwigwe.
Alive And Kicking
It’s tough to practice kick returns when the kicker sends the ball out of the back of the endzone! Someone needs to let Jeremy Knott know that as he booted the first kickoff over the head of a retreating Lance Dunbar nearly five yards deep in the endzone. Both Knott and Truman Spencer were consistently reaching the endzone on their kicks with minimal wind at their backs. It made for a tough time for the kick return team, which was working on its positioning and blocking schemes.
Top Of The Morning
Good morning from the North Texas practice blog. Actually, that’s the first time we've gotten to say that here, and one of many firsts for this Saturday morning special teams workout. This is the first practice at the Mean Green Athletic Center, the team's usual practice home. Today was also the first day the Mean Green broke out into their game day warm-up routine. The players stretched in lines and did their calisthenics just like they will do every Saturday this fall. Now it’s time to work on the kicking game.
Dodge Days Part V
Dodge Days Part IV
Dodge Days Part III
Dodge Days Part II
Dodge Days Part I