Backs, Offense Shine In First Scrimmage
Mean Green Wrap Up First Week Of Fall Camp With 122-Play Scrimmage
DENTON — The North Texas football team wrapped up the first week of fall camp with a 122-play scrimmage on the practice fields Saturday morning. The scrimmage also included red zone, tight red zone and two-minute drills periods, as well as special teams work.
“We were trying to find out how many guys we can trust, how many guys we can put on the field, who’s going to play within the system, who’s going to play with fundamentals, who’s going to play with the energy, enthusiasm and mental and physical toughness that we’re looking for, and bottom line, who’s going to make plays,” head coach Dan McCarney said.
The offense, particularly the running game, shined for much of the scrimmage, before the defense held on each of the last three series in two-minute drill work, the last period of practice.
Offensive highlights included a 55-yard touchdown pass from junior college transfer DaMarcus Smith to freshman D’Aundrey Bradley on a slant over the middle, a diving catch by junior Darvin Kidsy on a pass from junior Josh Greer for a four-yard touchdown and long touchdown runs for sophomore Willy Ivery, junior Rex Rollins and senior Antoinne Jimmerson.
Defensively, junior defensive ends Jarrian Roberts and Malik Dilonga made plays throughout the scrimmage, including a fourth-down sack by Roberts during the two-minute drill portion of practice, as well as redshirt freshman linebacker Brandon Garner who recorded a strip-sack.
Talking to members of the media, McCarney also noted that sophomore Trevor Moore, who was named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List, was 100 percent on his field goals and PAT’s during the special teams work. McCarney also mentioned wide receiver Thaddeous Thompson and defensive end Jareid Combs, both junior college transfers who missed spring practice, as newcomers who have stood out and will contribute this season.
The Mean Green will conduct a walk-through later today, before taking the day off Sunday and starting the second week of practice Monday.
More from McCarney:
On what he saw in the scrimmage: “I saw the best group of backs that we’ve had since I have been here. I’m not saying any of them are right now better than Lance Dunbar playing for the Dallas Cowboys, but as a unit, it’s the strongest group of backs we have had since I have been here. We have guys who can make plays in space on offense. I thought our offensive line did some really good things, considering that there are four new starters up front. We missed some fits and other things on defense, especially against the run. But overall, when you go 122 plays with no major injuries, it’s a good day for the Mean Green.”
On Andrew McNulty and the quarterbacks: “Andy McNulty is continuing to have a really good camp. He’s just sharp, he’s taking care of the football, he’s making big plays, he’s reading the defense, he’s getting in good plays and out of play. Our quarterback position is clearly ahead of where we were at this time last year, and that’s a credit to all of those guys.”
On DaMarcus Smith: “There’s athleticism there, no doubt about it. There’s also no question that he’s behind from missing the winter and spring. You can see it out here because he still doesn’t have a grasp of everything that we’re doing out here. But from a pure athleticism and talent standpoint, he has that, and then he has to play within the system, do it the way we want him to do it, go make plays and take care of the football.”