Tale Of The Tape: North Texas At #3 LSU
- CoachingDan McCarney went 5-7 last year in his first season as head coach since 2006. He even led the school to a victory over a BCS conference school (Indiana).Five of Les Miles’ seven seasons at LSU have ended with at least 11 wins. The Mad Hatter has guided the Tigers to two national championship appearances, including a win in 2007. He’s an excellent recruiter and although his in-game tactics are often questioned, the results speak for themselves.
- OffenseNorth Texas finished last season 96th in the country in total offense, but does return its quarterback, junior Derek Thompson. Expect improvement as he gets more familiar with the coaching staff.All the key players are back, except for the quarterbacks who shared time last season. Since that position wasn’t exactly a strength, it’s possible newcomer Zach Mettenberger is a legitimate improvement. The rushing attack, led by Spencer Ware, should be prolific.
- DefenseThe Mean Green didn’t live up to its nickname, as its defense finished one spot worse than its offense as far as yardage (97th overall).Tyrann Mathieu, a.k.a. the Honey Badger, was dismissed from the team, but the Tigers’ defense should still be elite, especially with safety Eric Reid leading the secondary.
- Special TeamsThe kicker, Zach Olen, is back, but that doesn’t thrill Mean Green supporters given his 50 percent success rate on field goals last season.Punter Brad Wing was an All-American last season, though he was best known for his taunting penalty on a fake punt.
North Texas lost to Alabama last season 41-0 and would be lucky to do any better against LSU, who will face a much stiffer test next week against Washington.