The Mean Green football team has had plenty of holes to fill this spring, and we finally get to see how this bunch might look next fall. With the spring game at Apogee Stadium on Saturday afternoon there are plenty of things to look for, but here are the three biggest things to keep an eye out for on Saturday:
1. Quarterbacks: North Texas has eight quarterbacks on the roster (!!!), but Andrew McNulty still looks like he'll be the starter when the season starts. That said, seeing how he performs in a sort of real game situation will be the most important thing to watch for in this game. With all of the main receivers from last year returning, it'll be interesting to see what kind of chemistry McNulty has built with guys like Carlos Harris and Darvin Kidsy. What could be even more interesting is how the other quarterbacks, such as Dajon Williams and Josh Greer, perform in their time on the field. Williams is still one of North Texas' most enigmatic players, and this game might show us if he's finally made progress.
2. Offensive line: The Mean Green lost a pair of four-year starters to graduation on the offensive line in Cyril Lemon and Mason Y'Barbo, and Saturday will be the first instance in which we see what the replacement candidates look like. The offensive line was a strength of this team for the past three years, and it will take a while for there to be the same comfort level in this revamped unit. It's also important that the line becomes cohesive soon for the sake of the Mean Green running game. Antoinne Jimmerson, Erick Evans and Jeffery Wilson will get the task of leading the rushing attack, and they'll need a powerful line to run behind.
3. Defense/Chris Cosh: John Skladany retired as the Mean Green's defensive coordinator at the end of last season, paving the way for Chris Cosh to be hired as the new defensive coordinator of the Mean Green. Cosh has a the tough task of trying to bring the Mean Green defense back to where it was in 2013, when the team won the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Remember the signature goal line stand against Rice on Halloween of that year? That kind of defense is where North Texas wants to get back to. It won't be easy, especially after losing leading tackler Derek Akunne, but the defense does have a lot of returning players. Seeing how the defense looks under new leadership will be key.