In this series we will look at the Black Knights football opponents for the 2016 season. Today the school we are looking at is North Texas.
Date/time/location/TV: October 22, Michie Stadium, West Point, NY, Noon EST, CBSSN.
2015 Record: 1-11 (1-7 C-USA)
Head Coach: Seth Littrell. First year at North Texas (0-0).
Series History: Army leads the all time series 4-0.
Last Meeting: Army beat North Texas 24-0 in the last meeting between the two schools back in 2010.
Top Returners: QB Alec Morris (Sr.) no stats (Alabama graduate transfer). RB Jeffrey Wilson (Jr.) 830 yards rushing and one touchdown. DE Jarrian Roberts (Sr.) 22.5 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 6.5 sacks. FS Kishawn McClain (Jr.) 93.5 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, and 1 INT.
Key Losses: WR Carlos Harris, 61 catches and 727 yards receiving. MLB Anthony Wallace, 59.5 tackles and 2.5 TFLs.
What You Need To Know: North Texas was a team without a quarterback for most of 2015. New head coach Seth Littrell (former UNC offensive coordinator) and new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell (record setting NCAA quarterback at Texas Tech) believe they have found a solid stop gap option for 2016 in Alabama transfer Alec Morris.
Morris sat on the bench, winning two national titles in the process, as Alabama went 50-6 over the last four years. The graduate transfer has an arm that Harrell believes could have seen him start in some of the Mike Leach led offenses that Harrell played in, a huge step up from the North Texas quarterback options over the last decade or so.
The Mean Green will be debuting an up tempo offense this fall, with Morris set to be the trigger man in the lineup. He should be protected well enough, with three offensive line starters and a couple of JuCo transfers up front, and in Jeffrey Wilson and Willy Ivory there are a couple of running backs who have bust and moves in the open field. The receiving options are questionable, but the noise coming out of Denton is that Morris has the talent, and the offense, to rewrite the record books at the school.
Defensively the unit wants to be aggressive and swarming, especially from the linebacker spot. That unit has a high ceiling with a couple of seniors, highly regarded sophomores in Brandon Garner and Darrien McNair, and high profile JuCo transfers including one time Nebraska commit William Johnson.
The secondary is also a strength, but opponents may never have to throw the ball unless North Texas can find a way to improve a stunningly bad run defense. In 2015 opponents gained five-yards or more on forty-two percent of their carries as bend-don't-break quickly became bend-then-break.
2015 Stats That Matter: Defensive points per game 122nd; Offensive points per game 124th.
Fun Fact: UNT has a bizarre number of albino squirrels on campus.
Famous Alumni: Norah Jones (Singer), Joe Greene (NFL Hall of Famer), Phil McGraw (Dr.Phil)