Football: Mean Green QB battle enters second scrimmage

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Andrew McNulty and Josh Greer have seen opportunities come and go during their competition to take over as North Texas’ starting quarterback.

None loom as large as the Mean Green’s second scrimmage of fall practice that will take place this morning at the Darrell R. Dickey Football Practice Facility. UNT went through its first full scrimmage last week and could make a few decisions following today’s closed workout.

“After [today], we would like to make some final decisions, but we don’t have to,” UNT coach Dan McCarney said this week. “There is no NCAA rule that we have to make decisions by a certain time. Let’s make the right decision, not a rushed decision.”

UNT has another two weeks of practice, including its annual mock game, before opening the season at Texas on Aug. 30.

That isn’t a whole lot of time, especially considering UNT began its hunt for a new starting quarterback all the way back at the beginning of spring practice.

McCarney has said that he likes both McNulty and Greer, the leaders in the chase to replace three-year starter and Heart of Dallas Bowl MVP Derek Thompson.

McNulty and Greer described their relationship as a friendly one and said that they are confident that one of them can replace Thompson, who ranks second in school history with 7,447 passing yards.

“We are going out there every day and are competing as hard as we can on the field and in the classroom,” Greer said. “We are both making plays and are doing what we are supposed to do.”

The question is whether either can do the job as well as Thompson, who threw for at least 220 yards in seven games last season. He threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns in UNT’s bowl win over UNLV.

“Derek had a great season and a great career,” McNulty said. “Just like any other position, when someone graduates or gets hurt, someone else has to step up. It’s our time now.”

UNT’s quarterbacks are not the only players in that situation.

The Mean Green still has to sort out its depth chart at running back and wide receiver, not to mention determine what its lineup on the offensive line will look like. Cyril Lemon moved to tackle in the spring but could move back to guard, depending on the development of a few other players.

UNT’s options include moving Shawn McKinney into the lineup at guard or turning to Ryan Rentfro at tackle, which would allow Lemon to move back inside.

Those decisions don’t seem nearly as important than the one UNT must make at quarterback, where McNulty and Greer will compete for the starting job today and continue a battle that has raged for months.

“It’s going great and is a healthy competition,” McNulty said. “It makes us bring our ‘A’ game every single day. We are doing a great job of getting into the film room, studying and getting better.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.


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