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North Texas Quarterback Battle Heats Up Heading into Season

With Andrew McNulty named starting QB for the Mean Green, will junior Josh Greer or transfer Damarcus Smith make much of a difference? Or is it all McNulty, all the time? (insert 'The Wire' reference here).

North Texas starter Andrew McNulty lines up against Southern Miss.  The senior QB has nailed down the top of the depth chart, but for how long?
North Texas starter Andrew McNulty lines up against Southern Miss. The senior QB has nailed down the top of the depth chart, but for how long?
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Denton, we have a quarterback.

As previously reported on this very site, North Texas started three different quarterbacks last year, with as many as nine on the roster at one time.

Heading into the season, Andrew McNulty was named the starter a few weeks ago, as he's a senior with the most experience throwing to NT's current roster of receivers, and saw the most on-field success in 2014.  Some buzz has surrounded JuCo transfer (and former WKU signee) Damarcus Smith, but he sat out spring practice due to NCAA regulations, later completing enough classes in the off-season that he'll be on the roster in the fall.  With that lack of practice time as the season begins, it's unlikely he'll be able to secure a starting job by the season opener, but it's a long season and coach Dan McCarney has shown no hesitation in making a change under center when needed.

The tale of the tape is tough to reconcile, as McNulty completed 111/203 passes for 1301 yards in 2014 over a 12-game schedule (starting the last four), in 2014.  In comparison, Smith threw for 2746 yards in 2014, in only six games, but those were against Junior College opponents.

Will his style be conducive to finding a permanent place on the NT roster, seeing how he clicks late in games against FCS opponent Portland State, or in late 4th-quarter garbage time against Iowa?  Or will the FBS level of competition be too much for him, as happened with departed prospect Dajon Williams?

McNulty is the best available, but during the off-season the Mean Green has pared their unwieldy nine-QB roster down to a much more efficient SEVEN (two of whom, to be fair, are redshirts).  McNulty has the experience as the only senior, and over the next four months we'll watch Smith (and Greer, and, say, freshman signee Caleb Chumley) shadow him as they wait for their shot against conference opponents.

But anything can happen during a season, and if that something is a bad something, you need experience waiting in the wings.  Smith is that experience and he'll be one to watch.

The rest of the depth chart:

Josh Greer, currently McNulty's backup, is a junior who saw limited playing time in 2014 but did not quite match McNulty's success.

Josh Cousins, a sophomore out of D-II Northeast Oklahoma State (go RiverHawks!).  Division II competition is a bit more stiff than your typical JuCo schedule, but limited on-field playing time makes him a question mark headed into the fall.

Caleb Chumley, a freshman out of Longview, TX, who also happens to be 6'5", 240.  In Texas, see, football players are grown in a lab for the purpose of terrifying out-of-state competition.  If the QB thing doesn't stick, particularly being a freshman, Chumley might work out in a new position. He did split time as a WR in high school, though a converted Tight End wouldn't be a terrible idea... if only because I desperately want to wear a Chumley jersey to my next North Texas game.