WKU football blog: North Texas week

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Sorry for the long absence, but sometimes a bye week doesn’t provide much of anything to talk/write about. In any event, we’re back in full force now and ready to roll for the final four games of the year.

Early Mean Green thoughts:

Western Kentucky coach David Elson didn’t seem to be buying into the notion of North Texas (0-8) being a lost cause this year — saying that it shows plenty on film that could give the Hilltoppers problems if they’re not on their game this weekend.

“I think turnovers, tipped balls, a bad snap here or two and when it rains it pours — I kind of think that’s happened to them at times,” Elson said. “There’s some miscues here and there and I think they can look at it and point to that handful of plays that maybe would have made things closer and I doubt they think they would have won them all, but they’ve had opportunities.

“There’s definitely some things that I’m sure they’ve worked on that might have changed outcomes in some of those games and I’m sure it’s made them better overall.”

While Elson’s take on the Mean Green was a rather cautious one — considering they’re 0-8 and have allowed 50 points per game this season — he may actually have reason to be wary.

Most people remember last year’s season finale at North Texas for the post-game tussle and the Hilltoppers’ blown opportunities late in the game, but one thing that some may have forgotten is how the Mean Green virtually ran at will all over the WKU defense for the majority of the game.

Then UNT senior Jamario Thomas finished his day with 147 yards and three scores on the ground that proved to be the difference — pretty high numbers for a team that takes to the air nearly two-thirds of the time.

But given Florida Atlantic senior Charles Pierre’s rushing performance in a relatively pass-happy offense two weeks ago against WKU — Elson has said it’s crucial that his defense get back to its basics and stopping the run first.

“We’ve got to not lose sight (of the run) during the course of the game,” Elson said. “Sometimes you get a lead and you think they’re going to throw it and keep throwing it or you get them in a third and long situation and you think throw, throw … our numbers have them 65 percent pass and 35 percent run, so they’re going to run it.

“And that’s on me to make sure we don’t get too pass conscious in the way we call the defense and what we talk about on the sidelines from series to series and just making sure we stay focused on that — and then ultimately it’s tackling, we missed some tackles last year and it comes down to overall execution.”

Big line:

If you woke up and saw the latest betting lines for this weekend, you don’t need to adjust your eyes — the Hilltoppers are in fact a 16 1/2 point favorite against the Mean Green this weekend.

A line that seems awfully steep considering the fact that WKU has only two wins this season, and none against any FBS opponents. Granted it is a homecoming game against an 0-8 team — but let’s not forget how the Mean Green ended the Hilltoppers’ season ago in Denton, Texas with a 27-26 loss.

In any event, this officially marks the first time all season WKU won’t be an underdog in an FBS contest.

Trouble in Denton:

Brett Vito of the Denton Record-Chronicle reported today that 15 North Texas players failed a drug test conducted at the request of Mean Green coach Todd Dodge earlier this season.

There is no word as of yet on what players actually failed the test, nor is there any information on what led to the failed procedures or if anyone will be suspended for this weekend’s game.

Vito did report however that UNT’s athletic policy requires any first-time offender of the school’s drug policy to be subjected to future testing as well as drug counseling. Second- and third-time offenders will be subject to suspension and more counseling and fourth-time offenders will be dismissed from the team and have their scholarships revoked.

Either way you look at it, this news cannot be coming at a good time for Dodge and his program as the Mean Green are a paltry 2-18 under his watch since leaving the Texas high school ranks to lead North Texas in 2007.

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One Response to “WKU football blog: North Texas week”

  1. Ben Says:

    When are they going to get rid of Elson this is one of the seasons? How bad does it need to get?

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