Tag Archives: North Texas Mean Green Football

2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl, in-game report: Appalachian State vs. North Texas

The Mountaineers rolled the Mean Green in the inaugural 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl by a score of 56-28. We take a look at several prospects that we’ve had our eye on this season.

Appalachian State Mountaineers

6 Camerun Peoples
6’2 202 RB-Sophomore

For Peoples it was all about getting downhill over the course of the last year. In 2019, he missed most of the season with a knee injury. How would he return in 2020? The results were a bit up-and-down, as he put the ball on the turf four times (fumbles). In the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl, the game MVP displayed a build speed stride that often outpaced the angles of North Texas’ defense. His upright running style is offset by his quick one-cut ability. He scored on an outside zone late in the second quarter, displaying very good straight-line speed. Continued flexibility gains are in order for the redshirt sophomore.

12 Zac Thomas
6’1 210 QB-Senior

Thomas came into the season as perhaps the Sun Belt’s most ballyhooed quarterback, but his final stanza ended on a bit of a sour note. He struggled with decision-making in the Coastal Carolina contest and -despite a bounce back performance against Troy- ended the final month with the ball largely out of his hands. His impact as a running threat gradually faded over the final month of the year.

70 Cooper Hodges
6’4 295 RT-Sophomore

Hodges works his hands on the outside lanes. On Peoples’ 64-yard touchdown run near the end of the second quarter the sophomore finished a knockdown block by simply running his feet through the long arm of the defensive end. His hinge blocks on the backside of run away are technique-sound. He is a player to keep an eye on moving forward.

51 John “Bear” Hunter
6’3 295 RG-Senior

Hunter’s nickname is appropriate because he runs down the opposition. Hunter won to the spot versus North Texas DT Dion Novil on a reach block and then he flipped his hips to cut him off on the team’s outside zone run schemes (on more than one occasion). The former defensive lineman displays good hip torque on contact. He possesses good vision to pick up linebackers running through his gap control on run action away. The questions on Hunter revolve around length and whether he can transition into the center spot.

9 Demetrius Taylor
6’1 295 DL-Senior

Taylor posted one quarterback hurry and just two tackles in this contest. Taylor’s impact can largely go unnoticed until it doesn’t. He plays bully ball on the edge and has been one of the stronger players in the conference dating back to 2017. He finished his career with 35.5 tackles for losses and at least part of his emergence began with current Kentucky defensive line coach and former CFL standout Anwar Stewart (https://journalnow.com/sports/college/asu/app-states-demetrius-taylor-has-the-talent-to-make-a-big-impact-his-position-coach/article_7bdadc68-9943-5133-bc25-f7bfcb73f097.html).

North Texas Mean Green

North Texas DT Dion Novil (No. 97 pictured) finished his career with 28 tackles for losses.

97 Dion Novil
6’4 330 NT-Senior

This was a game that Novil needed to put a stamp on what had been a productive senior campaign, but he was reached and scooped by Appalachian State RG John “Bear” Hunter on Peoples’ long touchdown run near the end of the second quarter. His inactivity in this game was evidenced by a final line that included zero tackles. He was moved off of the ball versus double teams due to a tendency of playing on his toes (3rd QTR/0:21). Perhaps more disconcerting was the fact that he was unable to adjust his game versus the Mountaineers angle blocking schemes.

DraftNasty’s R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, In-Game Report: North Texas vs. Troy, 12-16-17

Head Coach Neal Brown (left) and R&L Carriers Bowl MVP Brandon Silvers (right) share one last moment on the field in New Orleans after the Trojans’ 50-30 victory over North Texas.

Troy

12 QB Brandon Silvers (6’3, 219, Sr.) 

Silvers added onto his passing percentage by completing 24-of-31 passes for 305 yards and 5 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 passing). Silvers sprayed the football all over the field from a variety of RPO’s and play actions. He was extremely accurate with his touch on the 9-route (go or fly) in one-on-one match ups, as well as his velocity on the football on speed cuts to convert first downs. The signature play of the evening was when he threaded the needle on a seam throw to Tevaris McCormick for a 59-yard touchdown.  NFL teams looking for a quarterback in the later rounds may consider Silvers.

15 WR Damion Willis (6’4, 194, Jr.)

Next man up must have been the motto for junior WR Damion Willis.  Willis had a big game in-place of Troy’s leading receiver Deondre Douglas. The 6-foot-4 wideout had his way with North Texas CB Eric Jenkins. He won the 50/50 grabs by utilizing his long frame to catch the ball high and away from his body. He was even impressive on rolling out of his break on speed cuts. With one more season ahead, Willis and Douglas could be one of the better receiver combinations in the Sun Belt next season.

 33 RB Josh Anderson (5’11, 255, Sr.)

Anderson is a downhill runner who can absorb contact and keep moving forward. What’s most impressive is how he can bend and drop his shoulder pads to shred tacklers. He has a tendency to cut off his inside foot, which causes him to loose his footing.  He could also be considered as a fullback prospect in the 2018 draft.

5 LB Sam Lebbie (6’3, 244, Sr.)

At 6’3, Lebbie presents a long rangy body in the middle of the defense. He runs well sideline-to-sideline; often making it difficult for second level blockers to get their hands on him. There are times where he is too aggressive on his run reads and will overrun his gap control.  As a pass defender, he does look for work in his area but will chase the first crosser or jump the first receiver in his area leaving a vacated spot in the zone. We like the way he is utilized as a blitzer. On third downs and sub-packages, he lined up off the edge as a pressure defender. While he doesn’t offer much movement as a pass rusher, he knows how to use his speed and arm length to get offensive linemen out of their comfort zone.

 24 Saf Cedarius Rookard (6’1, 210, Jr.)

Rookard is one of the most active defenders on the Troy Trojans defense. He communicates well with the defense and appeared to be the go-to defender to make the calls and checks. He displayed formation recognition and never appeared to be out of position, even with the variety of coverages he played throughout the game. He played both strong and free safety and returned punts as well. The South Carolina native led the team in tackles and deflected a pass that was caught for an interception.

30 DT Jamal Stadom (6’1 ½, 280, Sr.)

Despite being undersized, Stadom shows quickness off the ball. He was disruptive on the snap from any of the defensive line spots he played. He was consistently breaking through double teams and defeating backside cut-offs. Length got to him at times when pass rushing, but he was active enough with his hands and arms to work his way around blocks.

 18 CB Blace Brown (6’0, 186, RS-Jr.)

 Did not play due to a lower-body injury

 38 RB Jordan Chunn (6’1, 235, Sr.)

 Sidelined due to lingering knee injury

 80 WR Deondre Douglas (6’1, 197, Jr.)

 Injured on the opening kickoff

 

North Texas

 1 WR Turner Smiley (6’0, 193, Sr.)

Smiley can get up to his top speed in a hurry. On a few occasions, he simply won his footraces versus three different Trojan cornerbacks. He also does a good job of gaining inside leverage as he climbs. Because of his ability to press the gas pedal deep, it opened up routes such as the pivot-out and deep comeback. He has an impressive snap and acceleration at the top of his route on deep slants. Needs to continue to work on rolling his speed cuts.

 6 Saf Kishawn McClain (5’11, 187, Sr.)

McClain was someone who immediately caught our eye with his willingness to throw his body around versus the run. He was consistent with his force, fit, and alley play versus the run and RPO’s. North Texas used him in situations as a free hat to play the middle hole and the cutback run. On the 59-yard touchdown throw to Tevaris McCormick, McClain struggled to recover on help coverage largely due to the angle he took on a well-thrown football. He consistently defeated blockers when covering punts.

30 K Trevor Moore (5’11, 191, Sr.)

Moore ends his career without ever having missed an extra point attempt. He converted on a 24-yard FG in the third quarter to finish his senior season with 90% field goal percentage. Although he did not record a touchback, his kicks did reach the end zone.

3 RB Jeffrey Wilson (6’0, 194, Sr.)

Did not play due to a foot injury.