Coach Todd Dodge looks to keep it in the family, as he will give his son Riley Dodge the starting quarterback role for the 2009 season. Riley Dodge, a redshirt freshman, played wide receiver until he suffered a season ending injury during the Green Mean’s 2008 campaign. Riley was set to compete for the starting role with last year’s starter Giovanni Vizza until Vizza suddenly decided to transfer out of Denton, TX. The father and son duo should start off on the same page as Todd served as Riley’s coach since his high school days.
Riley Dodge looks to be a decent quarterback prospect due to his versatility that combines a cannon of an arm with great quickness. However this talent is liable to be wasted if the 2009 Green Mean defense does not show drastic improvement from last season. The defense has finished at the bottom of the Sun Belt for the past two seasons and does not look as if there will be much development for 2009. The team is set to lose their 2008 tackle leader, Tobe Nwigwe, who was one of the few players that consistently produced for the Green Mean. Coach Dodge needs to hope that players like Craig Robertson who recorded 94 tackles last year, will show a change for the better from last season.
North Texas’ offense will need hold their-own in order to have any success in the upcoming season. Normally this will be very difficult to do with a new quarterback but I think Riley Dodge will be able to handle it quite well. Dodge will have running back Cam Montgomery back to help tire out the opposing defense. Last season Montgomery ran for 928 yards and 9 touchdowns, which if he can put together another season like that in 09’, should really relieve some of Dodge’s stress. The only downside for the coach’s son is that he will have a very depleted wide receiving core. The team will lose it’s top three receivers, meaning that Alex Lott and Kevin Dickerson will need to step up big-time in order for the Green Mean to have a successful aerial attack.
The team should show improvement and record more than the one win that they did in 2008. However I do not believe that the Green Mean has the ability to overtake a team like Troy or Florida Atlantic to win the Sun Belt. Dodge has a few more years of rebuilding before he can even think at making a run at the league title, but if a marked improved is not seen this year, it is doubtful that North Texas will give him the opportunity to do so.
Predicted Record: 3-9