The North Texas quarterback race became much more unclear Thursday as coach Seth Littrell confirmed that the team has parted ways with its former starting quarterback, DaMarcus Smith. Smith took over the starting position midway through the 2015 season after a slow offensive start for the Mean Green.
MGB breaking news: UNT quarterback DaMarcus Smith is no longer a member of team, head coach Seth Littrell confirms.— Brett Vito (@brettvito) March 10, 2016
Smith finished the 2015 season with 1,010 passing yards, 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in 10 game appearances. Along with his passing ability, he proved himself a pretty solid dual threat by picking up over 120 yards rushing twice in his six starts. Smith transferred to North Texas prior to the 2015 season and managed to generate a small buzz from the fans as many of the Mean Green faithful were excited by his dual-threat capabilities. After an 0-5 start for North Texas, Smith was named the starter for North Texas' game against Western Kentucky, a team that he spent time with prior to his junior college career.
Smith led the Mean Green to their only victory of the season against UTSA with a large contribution on the ground as he picked up 137 yards rushing and a touchdown. His best overall performance may have been his first start against Western Kentucky, in which he threw for four touchdowns and ran for 122 yards. Although Smith appeared to be an improvement at quarterback for the Mean Green, his throws were often criticized as inaccurate and his struggles with ball protection hurt the team on more than a few occasions.
With the departure of Smith, North Texas appears to be heading towards an even less definitive quarterback situation this year than they had last year. Alec Morris, a former third-string quarterback at Alabama, transferred to UNT during the recruiting season to play in Denton for his final year of eligibility. Morris is now the only quarterback on the Mean Green roster to play in an NCAA division 1 game.
Coach Seth Littrell is widely known for his high-powered air attack offense that propelled teams such as North Carolina into the national spotlight. His ability to implement his style of offense and succeed has been proven at a number of different programs. However, it will be very hard to run a high-quality air attack offense without a high-quality quarterback. Hopefully, for North Texas fans, Alec Morris can be their high-quality quarterback.