On Saturday night, the North Texas Mean Green were opening up their new Stadium against the Houston Cougars. The game had a lot of fan fare surrounding it, not just because there was a new stadium, but there was the hope of a new era in Mean Green football. New head coach Dan McCarney was charged as leading the Mean green into their new stadium and to help build a winning program in Denton. While it takes more than one year to build something, there was still the excitement of things to come when the crowd filed into Apogee Stadium.
When the game got started, it was a raucous crowd who would scream and yell for anything positive. The game was a buzz from the opening kickoff; it started positive enough with a solid kick return and opening drive from the mean green. But the problem was not being able to score on the opening drive. The mean green defense came out and looked to rattle the Houston offense at the start, and that only helped aid the crowd into get louder and louder. For the first half it was a pretty even game and while it seemed that the mean green were poised to take control, Houston would never make that one vital mistake to give them the chance.
Case Keenum seemed to be teetering on the edge of setting Denton on fire throughout the first half, but the defense kept him in check. The feeling around the stadium was that going in down 3 at the half was a moral victory for the Mean Green. Too bad moral victories don’t equate to wins, because in the 2nd half, things went bad and went bad fast for North Texas. Houston came out and seemed like they were just going to have their way with the mean green defense.
Keenum and the Houston Cougars came out and just scored at will throughout the second half. While it was demoralizing for the crowd and the team, it was an impressive sight to see Keeum just place the ball at will anywhere on the field. It was just a clinic of what a potential NFL draft pick could do for the entire second half and for someone who enjoys the game of football, it was a sight that will not soon be forgotten. With each passing score the crowd shrunk more and more. Once the Cougars had the score at 48-16, it was time for the reserves to come in and get some needed playing time. At this point the North Texas offense was finally able to put something together and score. This made the remaining crowd happy, but at this point it was just small victories that the crowd was looking for.
Even though the Houston Cougars rained on the opening of a new stadium and seemed to put a damper on the new era of mean green football, there were some positives to be seen this night. North Texas is a sleeping giant in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and any coach who can find a way to come in and start winning, could awaken this giant and build something very special in Denton. The DFW area is a hotbed of football, and if a winning program from a non private school could start winning consistently, then Denton could become a destination for local kids who can’t get scholarships, or make it into some of the major universities in the region.Please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook