MONROE, La. — North Texas didn’t have two of its key offensive weapons for its game against Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday at Malone Stadium.
UNT was already without wide receiver Brelan Chancellor, who was lost for the year in a loss to Middle Tennessee on Oct. 27, and also had to try to get by without star freshman running back Antoinne Jimmerson, who injured his shoulder last week in a win over South Alabama.
The Mean Green seemed to miss both in a 42-16 loss to the Warhawks, although UNT head coach Dan McCarney didn’t want to lament what his team was missing on a day the Mean Green fell to 4-7.
“It’s easy to make excuses and talk about those guys not being there and that being an excuse for failure,” McCarney said. “We have to do a better job as coaches and players executing. We are not getting enough points on the board. It has been a season-long struggle for us.”
UNT came into the night ranked eighth in the 10-team Sun Belt Conference with an average of 21.1 points a game.
The Mean Green appeared as if it might be on the upswing after a 24-14 win over South Alabama last week but couldn’t build on that performance against ULM.
The Warhawks had given up at least 40 points in three of its last four games but controlled UNT.
The Mean Green had just 248 yards after three quarters before tacking on a late touchdown and some cosmetic yards to push its total for the game to 467.
Derek Thompson threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns, and Brandin Byrd had 77 rushing yards.
UNT just couldn’t take advantage of its opportunities deep in ULM’s end of the field.
Byrd was stopped at the goal line on fourth down in the fourth quarter, and the Mean Green couldn’t get into the end zone after picking up a first down at the ULM 2-yard line in the second quarter.
UNT scored on two long runs against USA, an 85-yard run from Byrd and a 51-yard run by Jeremy Brown.
UNT didn’t have a play that covered more than 28 yards against ULM.
The Mean Green didn’t have all of its weapons at its disposal but wouldn’t use that as an excuse.
“We have to play with whoever is out there,” Thompson said. “They have to step up and play. There is nothing we can do about it.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.