Let's start with the good news, there is absolutely nowhere to go but up for the Mean Green passing offense. UNT finished last season near the bottom of Conference USA in nearly all categories concerning passing last year. So logically this season has to be better, right?
North Texas currently has seven quarterbacks on its roster, but still no one has been able to get a clear answer on who will take the field against SMU to begin the season. The logical answer is senior Andrew McNulty. McNulty played in ten games and started in the final six for the Mean Green last season. Finishing the season with 1,301 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions isn't exactly getting anyone pumped for how this season may go.
This is a new year though. McNulty has more experience with the offense now and has a fantastic weapon in Carlos Harris to help jump start the offense this season. We could definitely see a breakthrough Andrew McNulty that leads the team to a 2013 like season by giving up minimum turnovers and performing when he is needed most.
Or we could not. In which case, the Mean Green are going to be in desperate need of a play maker who has some experience and maturity under his belt. An athlete who can make the big plays down the field while also being a threat to run the ball himself if the young offensive line begins to collapse. Enter Butler County College transfer, DaMarcus Smith.
Smith joins the team this year for his first season and probably hasn't gotten the attention from fans that he should be receiving. Smith racked up 2,746 yards and 31 touchdowns last season at Butler CC. Understandably, the competition was probably not the same level as what he will be facing this year. However, those are still very impressive numbers for a man who is joining a team that desperately needs a quarterback that can make big plays.
Since this is obviously too good to be true, Smith was not eligible to practice with the team during the Spring and has not yet had the time to mesh with the rest of the offense and get comfortable leading them on the field each week. Nothing is to say that Smith cannot make up for lost time and become the quarterback that the Mean Green have been looking for, but it is unlikely by the first game of the season.
Ideally, the Mean Green will figure out their go to guy at quarterback early and let that person make his mistakes and enjoy his success throughout the season as he continuously gets better. Having two eligible seasons left, it would be amazing if Smith could be that guy to take advantage of the talent he has in Carlos Harris, as well as improve to lead the team again next season. Playing this season would also allow Smith to create chemistry with younger talented receivers like Turner Smiley and redshirt freshman Tee Goree.
Long term, North Texas has numerous quarterbacks that they can work to develop and train to eventually become prominent play makers. Connor Means and three star recruit Caleb Chumley seem to be two of the favorites to be at the reigns for the future North Texas offenses. It's always a good sign to see a plan in action for the future, but it's also important to make sure the present is taken care of.
With all of the questions surrounding the Mean Green season, the biggest of them all might just be, who's throwing the ball?