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2010 North Texas Football Predictions

2010 North Texas Football Predictions

North Texas heads into the 2010 season off another poor performance

, as the Mean Green went just 1-7 in the Sun Belt Conference and 2-7 overall. The Mean Green has now won just five games the past three seasons, but are hoping that all that will change in 2010, as they have 17 starters back from the 2009 season. To help get you up to date on what the Mean Green will look like this season, here is a quick breakdown of what North Texas will send to the field on both sides of the ball, plus my thoughts on where they finish the season in the Sun Belt Conference.

Offense:

North Texas will be forced to make a change at the quarterback position this season, as 2009 starter Riley Dodge is making the switch to wide receiver this season. With Dodge out of the picture at quarterback, the Mean Green will likely turn to sophomore Derek Thompson, who impressed in the one drive he got to play last season. Dodge was definitely more mobile than Thompson, so don't expect Thompson to match the 463 yards and five scores Dodge posted a year ago in the running game.

Speaking of the ground attack, the Mean Green return one of the top running backs in the conference in junior Lance Dunbar. In 2009 Dunbar finished second in the Sun Belt with 1,378 yards and was a scoring machine taking the ball into the endzone 17 times. Dunbar only figures to get better this season, and I could see him improving on his solid numbers from last year.

With Dodge added to the mix at wide receiver, the Mean Green should have a pretty well rounded group in the passing game, as they return 2009 top threat Jamaal Jackson, who led the Mean Green with 71 catches for 701 yards and six scores. North Texas also gets back two more starters at wide receiver in junior Tyler Stradford and senior Michael Outlaw.

A big reason I believe Dunbar is going to get even better this season, is the fact that the Mean Green have four starters back on the offensive line, as they only change they have to make is at right guard, where sophomore Coleman Fooley is expected to find his way into the starting lineup. If this unit improves as it should, the Mean Green could make some huge strides on this side of the ball in 2010.

Defense:

With eight starters back on the defensive side of the football, the Mean Green figure to make some big improvements on this side of the ball as well. Last year the Mean Green had nine starters back and allowed 12 less points a game, and with many of the same players back, I think that number could drop even more this season.

Up front the Mean Green return two massive bodies at defensive tackle in seniors Kelvin Jackson and Shavod Atkinson, both of which figure to come into the season over 300 lbs. At defensive end the Mean Green get back junior Brandon Robertson, who led the Mean Green with six sacks last year. Sophomore Kenechukwu Obi will more than likely step in at the other defensive end spot, and I think he is going to make this unit one of the best the Sun Belt has to offer.

Senior outside linebacker Craig Robinson returns after a very impressive 2009 season, leading the Mean Green with 107 tackles, and is projected to be one of the top outside linebackers in the conference this season. The Mean Green also have a pretty solid middle linebacker in senior AJ Penson, and will add another young player on the outside in sophomore Jeremy Phillips, who racked up 37 tackles in three starts as a red-shirt freshman.

The Mean Green also figure to be strong in the defensive backfield this season, as they return the starting safety duo of senior strong safety Ira Smith and junior free safety DaWaylon Cook, and also get back a pretty solid corner in junior Royce Hill. The only change in the secondary will come at the other corner spot, where junior D'Leon McCord is expected to take over.

Sun Belt Prediction 3rd: Hard not to like what you see when you look at what the Mean Green will bring to the table this season. The defense will be the best group Dodge has had in his four years with North Texas, and with the strong play of Dunbar and the ground game, the Mean Green should make major improvements this season, and could very well surprise and compete for the conference title.

For a complete look at how the conference will shape up this season, check out our 2010 Sun Belt Predictions.

If you are looking to make some money betting the college football lines this season, be sure to stop back each week for our expert college football picks.

2010 North Texas Football Predictions

By: Jimmy Boyd
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