MANHATTAN, Kan. — North Texas head coach Dan McCarney vowed last week that the Mean Green wouldn’t have another game like one it played against Texas Southern, at least not when it came to its approach to utilizing star wide receiver Brelan Chancellor.
The junior was something of a glorified spectator during the Mean Green’s win over TSU, carrying the ball just once and going without a catch all night.
Chancellor was a lot more involved in UNT’s 35-21 loss to Kansas State on Saturday at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
And the Mean Green was a lot better offensively because of that fact.
Chancellor carried the ball five times for 24 yards, caught five passes for another 33 yards and scored two of the Mean Green’s three touchdowns.
“I felt like I did my part last game and this game,” Chancellor said. “I just try to do my part to help this team and put us in some good situations.”
Chancellor did just that against Kansas State.
UNT took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter when Chancellor took an end-around and scored on a 6-yard run. Chancellor helped set up his scoring run by catching a 6-yard pass during an 11-play, 55-yard drive.
Chancellor later scored on a 19-yard pass from Derek Thompson on a night when his role expanded from the previous week.
He picked up 46 yards on an end-around against TSU that turned out to be his only opportunity to make something happen with the ball in his hands.
“A lot of the things we did tonight were based on what the defense gave us,” Thompson said. “He came through. He is one of the most dependable guys I have at receiver.”
UNT gives up first sack
UNT gave up its first sack of the season in a critical situation in the first half.
The Mean Green faced a third-and-3 situation from the Kansas State 28-yard line.
Thompson rolled toward the sideline but couldn’t escape defensive end Ryan Mueller, who drug him down for an 11-yard loss that pushed UNT out of field goal range.
The Mean Green gave up three sacks — all in the first half — after not allowing any in its first two games.
UNT plays without key defensive starters
UNT was without several of its key defensive players against Kansas State due to injury.
Defensive end Brandon McCoy and linebacker Jeremy Phillips did not make the trip to Manhattan. Phillips started the first two games of the season, while McCoy started the season opener against LSU before being knocked out early in the first half.
Phillips was UNT’s fifth-leading tackler with 10 stops heading into the weekend.
UNT also was without Chad Polk, who posted seven tackles in the Mean Green’s first two games.
McCarney said UNT hopes to have both McCoy and Phillips back soon, possibly next week for its Sun Belt Conference opener against Troy.
Ivan Delgado finished with nine receptions for 86 yards and led UNT in both catches and receiving yards. He had just three catches for 38 yards in the Mean Green’s first two games.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.