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Football: UNT to use mock game for Idaho prep

Profile image for By Brett Vito
By Brett Vito

Dan McCarney considered just about every possibility for what could happen on a Saturday night years ago when he first put together his script for a mock game.

North Texas’ head coach covered the possibility of turnovers, getting special teams units into the game quickly at the end of a half and a host of other situations.

The Mean Green will use that script today in its last live action before it opens the season at home against Idaho on Aug. 31.

“It’s just organization and communication,” McCarney said. “Every play and every situation is scripted beforehand. All good situations, bad situations, exotics — everything that has come up is scripted.”

McCarney adjusts the plan based on that year’s season-opening opponent. UNT’s first- and second-team players will face a scout team that will run what McCarney and his staff believe Idaho and new head coach Paul Petrino will throw at the Mean Green.

“This is a key point because we will be out there in the stadium and will go through our game routine,” UNT safety Marcus Trice said. “We have 40 players who have never been through it. It will be a good chance to get everyone accustomed to what we are going to do on Saturday night.”

UNT has made several key decisions in terms of its roster after nearly three weeks of fall workouts, but it still has some final calls to make.

McCarney said that centers Kaydon Kirby and Shawn McKinney will rotate. UNT also has settled on playing at least five tight ends depending on which member of the group fits the situation the Mean Green is facing.

Derek Thompson is expected to start at quarterback, but UNT still has to determine exactly what its depth chart at the position will look like to start the season.

UNT also is still considering which freshmen will play and who will redshirt.

The Mean Green will have a better idea of its plans after running through McCarney’s script, which will be another milestone in the buildup toward the season opener.

“We feel good, like we are getting better every practice,” linebacker Zach Orr said. “We are competing, have more depth at every position and are coming along pretty well.”