In a game that was in question due to Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas coastline hard with epic amounts of rainfall leading to tremendous flooding, we appear to have the season opening game happening this Saturday between the Lamar University Cardinals and the North Texas Mean Green in Denton, TX at 6:00 pm at Apogee Stadium. North Texas will be looking to start the 2017 season off strong as they work towards continuing on last season’s momentum and their first winning season since 2013.
Seth Littrell is entering his second season at North Texas after leading the team to a 5-8 season in his first year. Expectations have increased with the nation’s second best win increase from the 2016 season. There are a few new faces on the coaching staff — Jeff Koonz Linebackers, Marc Yellock Defensive Line, and Marty Biagi Special Teams Coordinator. Troy Reffett has also taken over as the Defensive Coordinator.
Lamar University Vitals
|Athletic director||Jason Henderson|
|Head coach||Mike Schultz
1st season, 0–0 (–)
|All-time record||202–263–9 (.436)|
University of North Texas Vitals
|Head coach||Seth Littrell
2nd season, 5–8 (.385)
|Field surface||Field Turf|
|All-time record||498–497–33 (.500)|
|Bowl record||3–6 (.333)|
Advantage: North Texas. North Texas is returning several key contributors including Sophomore Quarterback Mason Fine and Senior Running Back Jeffery Wilson. North Texas will have another year under the spread offense and should have more experience under system Seth Littrell and Graham Harrell want to run. I don’t see where Lamar can “out athlete” North Texas given that FCS schools operate with 63 scholarships on an 85 man roster versus FBS schools with 85 scholarships.
Advantage: North Texas. North Texas suffered a major injury with Bryce English breaking his foot in summer camp. He’s likely to return for the second half of the season. The linebacker corps are also a little thin but the secondary is returning Senior Safety Kishawn Mcclain and Senior Defensive End Andy Flusche. As previously mentioned, it’s unlikely Lamar can out athlete North Texas.
Also worth noting that Lamar has been impacted where they haven’t been able to practice. There was also a question over whether Lamar was even going to be able to get out of Beaumont.
Advantage: Toss up. North Texas graduated its punter from last season and isn’t sure who to use — Redshirt Sophomore Alvin Kenworthy, Freshman Zach Williams, or Redshirt Freshman Blake Patterson. North Texas also is breaking in a new Special Teams coach, Marty Biagi. North Texas should still have an advantage but there are quite a few questions marks leading into the season.