Scheming Up Ways To Win

The North Texas Mean Green football team travels this weekend to Norman, Oklahoma to take on the No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners in their first game of the 2007 football season. The game will also be a first for North Texas head man Todd Dodge, who takes over a struggling program that has had trouble recapturing the winning ways of the teams that won four straight Sun-Belt Championships in a row.

First-year Mean Green head coach Todd Dodge, who hopes to open up the passing game, had to overcome some obstacles to get his offensive scheme to work at UNT. The first of which was to get adjusted to the college game, which he thinks he has solved by hiring nine assistants, five of which come from previous college experience and the other four who come from the high school level, who, he hopes will be a good blend to prepare his team for this season. His next task which was to find a quarterback, and Daniel Meager has been coined as the starter for the season opener after a solid offseason, although don't be surprised if true freshman Giovanni Vizza sees some playing time. Lastly, he had to go out and get a good recruiting class on limited time since he wasn't even available until after his State Championship game in late December, however he did go out and get the personnel he needed including six wide receivers and more speed overall for his team.

One of the things he didn't have to worry about, however was his defense, which brings back a lot of experience from a unit that anchored the team last year. Although Dodge did switch the defensive scheme, changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3, the defense shouldn't be hurt since they have players that are ready and willing to implement the shift in philosophy. Leading the way on defense will be safety Aaron Weathers and linebacker Maurice Holman who are the team's top two returning tacklers.

Running back Jamario Thomas hopes to make his senior season his most memorable after struggling through the past two seasons with injuries. Thomas has slimmed down some to prepare himself to run in the spread offense where he will need to be shifty and quicker than the straight downhill-style runner he was when he had 7 blockers in front of him. He is a little over 1,200 yards away from passing former teammate Patrick Cobbs' school career rushing record. True freshman Micah Mosley, however, will look to get his rushes in as he will backup Thomas.

On special teams, punter Spencer Truman returns with quite a bit of swagger after averaging over 40 yards a punt last year and newcomer Thomas Moreland will handle the kicking. North Texas will have to rely on some untested returners though, as last years returners have both left. Hoping to fill the gap will be Sophomore Antoine Bush and Junior Evyn Roman.

While Todd Dodge will be coming into his D-I head coaching college debut against a ridiculously tough Bob Stoops-led Oklahoma Sooner team, hopes are high that the game will be a good battle showcasing Dodge's new schemes and team hopes to fulfill the fans expectations for this first game and the rest of the season.


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