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NCF Nation: North Texas Mean Green

Heart of Dallas Bowl

December, 8, 2013
12/08/13
10:35
PM ET

UNLV Rebels (7-5) vs. North Texas Mean Green (8-4)

Jan. 1, noon ET, Dallas (ESPNU)


[+] EnlargeCaleb Herring
AP Photo/David BeckerSenior QB Caleb Herring is coming off a career game -- 336 total yards and six touchdowns in a rout of bowl-bound San Diego State.
UNLV REBELS BREAKDOWN
Getting bowl eligible earned Bobby Hauck a three-year contract extension through the 2016 season.

A 7-5 finish now has UNLV playing in the postseason for the first time in 13 years. The Runnin' Rebels will ring in the new year against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl. There they will try to extend the program's postseason unbeaten streak to four.

They can do that thanks to a five-win improvement from last year's 2-11 squad, which has done a good job of containing some of the Mountain West Conference's potent aerial attacks. UNLV ranks first in the MWC in pass defense and fifth in scoring defense, as they finished tied for third in the West Division with a 5-3 record in conference play. -- Matt Fortuna

vs.

NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN BREAKDOWN
[+] EnlargeDan McCarney
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsDan McCarney's Mean Green defense is ninth in the nation in points allowed (18.1 ppg).
Coach Dan McCarney has led the Mean Green to their best season since taking over the program three years ago. North Texas’ eight-win season is a four-game improvement over 2012.

The Mean Green are one of the better defensive teams in the country, allowing only 18.1 points per game, which ranks No. 9 nationally.

They're also No. 6 nationally in preventing touchdowns once teams enter the red zone, allowing them on just 45.5 percent of opponent's red zone trips.

Special teams is also an area of strength for North Texas.

The Mean Green have blocked eight kicks in 2013, and they have one of the country's best return men in Brelan Chancellor. The senior has a kickoff return touchdown and a punt return touchdown and ranks 11th in yards per kick return (28.14) and fifth in yards per punt return (16.82).
-- Sam Khan Jr.

Video: LSU storm update

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
10:49
PM ET
video

David Helman of GeauxTigerNation joins "SportsCenter" to discuss how the Tigers are preparing for their season opener against North Texas with Hurricane Isaac closing in.

WAC commish Benson jumps to Sun Belt

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
5:45
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Embattled WAC commissioner Karl Benson has jumped to lead the Sun Belt, moving away from a conference that has been decimated by expansion in the past year.

Interestingly enough, one of the first items on the agenda for his new conference: expansion. The Sun Belt currently has 10 football-playing schools, with South Alabama set to join in 2013. Benson noted Thursday that a committee will be formed to evaluate current and future membership.

"Without getting specific in terms of numbers, I think that there’s an advantage to getting to at least 12 to take advantage of additional postseason opportunities," Benson said in a conference call. "The Sun Belt footprint also provides a pool of possible numbers that are already in that footprint: current FBS members, as well as FCS members that have indicated interest in perhaps in moving to FBS. Again it will be a very important piece in the coming months."

One school squarely in that footprint: Louisiana Tech, a member of the league Benson is leaving. Benson declined to talk specifics about schools, but it would make total sense for the Sun Belt to go after the Bulldogs.

“Right now I’m focusing on the 10 football-playing members of the Sun Belt along with the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and focusing on how to make the Sun Belt a stronger conference," Benson said. "It’s not the first time a commissioner moving from one conference to the other. There may be sensitivity and perhaps some awkwardness. I think everyone understands that once you change positions that you are now responsible and obligated to that conference. I will certainly do that with the Sun Belt."

But one wrench that could be thrown into that plan is the future configuration of the future Mountain West-Conference USA association. That group has indicated it would like to grow to potentially 24 teams. Sun Belt schools like North Texas and FIU, for example, would retain footholds in two strong base states.

Benson addressed why it is attractive for teams current in the Sun Belt to remain in the Sun Belt.

"The Sun Belt has established itself as a credible, as a bona fide Division I BCS conference," he said. "I think that we hope to be able to demonstrate in the coming weeks that the future is bright for the Sun Belt -- that in light of the changes that have occurred in Conference USA, in the Mountain West, in the WAC, that the Sun Belt position in terms of the hierarchy of the so-called non-AQ conferences has increased tremendously, and the opportunity for the Sun Belt to succeed in a manner that will provide the current membership with greater bowl opportunities, with greater television opportunities, with greater revenue opportunities that we will be able to demonstrate that the Sun Belt is on par with any other of the non-BCS conferences.”

3-point stance: TCU takes swift action

February, 16, 2012
2/16/12
5:00
AM ET
1. In a matter of hours after Fort Worth police arrested four TCU football players for selling drugs, they became “separated from the university.” TCU’s response gets no argument from me. The swift reaction will send the message that playing football for a free education is a privilege. But I can’t help but wonder if the zero tolerance policy is a reaction to the dithering that went on at Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky case. I expect universities will be quick, open and forthright in such cases from here on out.

2. As soon as West Virginia and the Big East agreed on their divorce, the Big 12 released its 2012 schedule that included the Mountaineers. And for all of the talk that West Virginia has played against distant conference opponents before, the consecutive games at Texas (1,400 miles away) and Texas Tech (1,465 miles away) illustrate just what the Mountaineers are in for. I’d say on the way home from Lubbock, West Virginia officials are going to be thinking, “We paid $20 million to put our teams through this?”

3. The key to minimizing the effects of a stroke depends on how quickly the victim can get treatment. It sounds like North Texas head coach Dan McCarney is one of the fortunate ones. I don’t know how long-term the effects will be of the numbness McCarney suffered on his left side. But I know this: McCarney talks fast and works faster, and no one has a more upbeat attitude. My money is on him making as full a recovery as modern medicine can provide.

Non-AQ Players of the Week

November, 14, 2011
11/14/11
4:34
PM ET
Here are the non-AQ players of the week, as selected by each conference.

C-USA

Offense: Charles Sims, RB, Houston. Sims rushed for a career-high 207 yards on only 10 carries with two touchdowns to lead Houston to a 73-17 win at Tulane. He had 252 all-purpose yards in the game.

Defense: Shawn Jackson, LB, Tulsa. Jackson had nine total tackles, including eight solos and three tackles for loss, and added one pass breakup in a 59-17 win against Marshall.

Special Teams: Danny Hrapmann, K, Southern Miss. Hrapmann tied his own school and Conference USA records by making five field goals in a 30-29 win against UCF.

Independent

Offense: Tommy Rees, QB, Notre Dame. Rees set a season high for completions with 30 in a 45-21 win against Maryland. Rees completed 30-of-38 pass attempts for 296 yards and two touchdowns, his 18th and 19th passing touchdowns of the season.

Co-Defense: Thomas Holloway, DB, Army. Jabaree Tuani, DE, Navy. Holloway set a career high with 14 tackles in a 27-12 loss to Rutgers. He also got his first career interception. Tuani had four tackles and a sack in a win against SMU.

Special teams: David Ruffer, PK, Notre Dame. Ruffer made a career-long 52-yard field goal against Maryland.

MAC

East Division

Offense: Matt Brown, RB, Temple. Brown made his first start of the season and rushed 24 times for 123 yards and a touchdown in a 24-21 win against Miami (Ohio).

Defense: Roosevelt Nix, DT, Kent State. Nix tied a career-high with six tackles in a 35-3 win against Akron. Nix helped his defense hold Akron to just 58 yards rushing on 27 attempts.

Special Teams: Paul Hershey, P, Ohio. Hershey had five punts for 205 yards, including a 51-yard punt in a win over Central Michigan. He had four go inside the 20.

West Division

Co-Offense: Alex Carder, QB, Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan. Carder threw for a program record 548 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for another in a 66-63 loss at Toledo. The yardage total ranks second all-time in MAC history and his passing TD total is tied for the most in conference history. White had 238 yards receiving and became the school leader in career receiving yards leader (3,678), single-season receptions (111) and single-season receiving yards (1,402).

Defense: Brad Ohrman, DL, Eastern Michigan. Ohrman had eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack in a 30-17 victory over Buffalo.

Special Teams: John Potter, K, Western Michigan. Potter made a career high nine extra points at Toledo. Potter became the MAC's record holder for consecutive PATs made with 114.

Mountain West

Offense: Casey Pachall, QB, TCU. Pachall went 24-of-37 for a career-high 473 yards and five touchdowns in a 36-35 win at Boise State. The five touchdown passes tied a TCU single-game record, while his 473 yards marked the second-highest single-game total in school history.

Co-Defense: Carmen Messina, LB, New Mexico. Nat Berhe, DB, San Diego State. Messina had his fifth straight double-digit tackle performance with 14 stops in a 21-14 victory against UNLV -- the first of the season for the Lobos. He also forced a fumble. Berhe tied a team-high with six tackles, forced a fumble and also had an interception in San Diego State’s 18-15 win at Colorado State.

Special teams: Anson Kelton, P, TCU. Kelton averaged 45.8 yards on four punts in a 36-35 win at Boise State.

Sun Belt

Offense: Derek Thompson, QB, North Texas. Thompson set a North Texas single-game record by completing 82 percent of his passes – going 31-of-38 -- to lead North Texas to its first win ever at Troy. He completed 17 consecutive passes in the game and threw for 331 yards.

Defense: Brandon Joiner, DL, Arkansas State. Joiner tied a school and conference record with four sacks, and he also tied his career high with a team-best eight tackles in a 30-21 victory against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Special teams: T.Y. Hilton, KR, FIU. Hilton returned a punt 97 yards for touchdown in a win over FAU. The punt return is the longest in FIU history.

WAC

Offense: Cody Fajardo, QB, Nevada. Fajardo accounted for 371 yards and four touchdowns in a 42-28 win against Hawaii. He completed 25-of-36 passes for 290 yards and a career-high three touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed 19 times for 81 yards including a 25-yard touchdown run in the second half.

Defense: IK Enemkpali, DE, Louisiana Tech. Had six tackles, including 3.5 for a loss of 18 yards, in the 27-7 win at Mississippi. Enemkpali had a sack for a loss of seven yards and also forced a fumble.

Special teams: Taveon Rogers, KR, New Mexico State. Rogers returned eight kickoffs for a career-best 246 yards -- including a 99-yard return for a touchdown -- in a 48-45 win against Fresno State. He had a school-record 412 all-purpose yards in the game.

Non-AQ Players of the Week

September, 12, 2011
9/12/11
3:00
PM ET
Here are the non-AQ players of the week, as selected by each league. The independent players are picked by a national panel.

C-USA

Offense: Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston. Edwards had eight catches for a career-best 187 yards and a touchdown in a win against North Texas. He also extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 36.

Defense: Marshall's George Carpenter, LB, and SMU linebacker Ja’Gared Davis share the honors. Carpenter recorded a game-high 13 tackles in a 26-20 win against Southern Miss. He also posted two tackles for loss, including one sack, forced one fumble and recovered two fumbles. Davis had eight tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception, three pass break-ups and one touchdown in a win against UTEP.

Special Teams:Kase Whitehead, P, Marshall. Averaged 42.5 yards on eight punts, and backed up the Golden Eagles offense inside the 8-yard line on five of those eight kicks.

Independent

Offense: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame. Had 13 receptions for 159 yards in a 35-31 loss at Michigan.

Defense: Matt Warrick, LB, Navy. Recorded a team-high 12 tackles, a fumble recovery and pass breakup in a 40-14 win at Western Kentucky.

Special teams: Justin Sorensen, PK, BYU. Made field goals of 30, 33 and 32 yards, while making his lone PAT attempt in a 17-16 loss at Texas.

MAC
East Division


Offense: Eugene Cooper, WR, Bowling Green. Had career-highs in catches (6), yards (134) and touchdowns (4) in the Falcons’ 58-13 win against Morgan State. His four receiving touchdowns tied a school record for touchdown catches in a single game.

Defense: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo. Had a team-best eight tackles (four solos), 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles, an interception and three quarterback hurries against Stony Brook.

Special Teams: Matt Weller, K, Ohio. Was 3-of-4 on field goals and a perfect 3-for-3 on extra points against Gardner-Webb.

West Division
Offense:
Eric Page, WR, Toledo. Caught 12 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in Toledo's 27-22 loss at Ohio State. Page has now caught a touchdown pass in seven of the past eight games.

Defense: Marcus English, LB, Eastern Michigan. Posted a team-best 10 tackles in a 14-7 win against Alabama State. English added 3.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.

Special Teams: John Potter, K, Western Michigan. Made all five extra point attempts, extending his Western Michigan career record for consecutive PATs made streak to 78 straight.

MWC

Offense: Casey Pachall, QB, TCU. Completed 20-of-25 passes for 206 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, leading No. 25 TCU to a 35-19 win against host Air Force.

Defense: Jerome Long, DT, San Diego State. Recorded the first double-digit tackle game of his career, finishing with 10 stops (seven solo) and a sack in a 23-20 win at Army.

Special teams: Brian Stahovich, P, San Diego State. Put four of his five punts inside the 20-yard line and recorded a pair of kicks exceeding 50 yards in the Aztecs’ 23-20 win at Army.

Sun Belt

Offense: T.Y. Hilton, WR, FIU. Had a school-record 201 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 24-17 win against Louisville. For his efforts, Hilton was named the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week.

Defense: Winston Fraser, LB, FIU. Had eight tackles, six of them unassisted, and a 71-yard interception return for touchdown.

Special Teams: Brelan Chancellor, KR, North Texas. Broke two school records against Houston, setting the mark for all-purpose yardage and kickoff return yards. Chancellor had 286 yards on nine kickoff returns and 332 all-purpose yards.

WAC

Offense: Andrew Manley, QB, New Mexico State. Was 20-of-31 for 288 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-21 win at Minnesota.

Defense: Jonte Green, DB, New Mexico State. Led the Aggies with 10 solo tackles in the win against Minnesota. He also forced a fumble and broke up a pass while recording his second double-digit tackle game of his career.

Special teams: Devin Wylie, PR, Fresno State. Returned five punts for 110 yards, including a 67-yard return for a touchdown, in a loss at Nebraska. It was the first punt return for a touchdown against the Cornhuskers since 2001 and the first for the Bulldogs in almost two years.
Today is non-AQ preview day on ESPN.com. Hopefully you saw the stories I wrote on Boise State, Case Keenum, potential future BCS busters and predictions for the Mountain West.

There is plenty more from ESPNDallas.com as well. Jeff Caplan catches up with new TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, who has the tough task of replacing Andy Dalton. "I can't worry about filling his shoes. That's not what I'm concerned about," Pachall said. "I'm going to do what I have to do to help this team. I'm ready for it."

Caplan also profiles suddenly resurgent SMU and its place in the college football landscape, with talk of realignment and superconferences remaining a hot topic. The Mustangs have made it to two straight bowl games and should make it back to a third this season, but they have not generated as much interest in the Dallas area as you would think.

Over at North Texas, Dan McCarney takes over the program from Todd Dodge, who won four games in six seasons. The Mean Green have a fresh sense of optimism with their new coach, new football stadium and even new uniforms. Can McCarney get the program turned around?

Finally, Bruce Feldman lists his top BCS busters. While my piece looks at those who can step up and fill the void left by TCU and Utah long-term, Bruce lists teams he thinks have a chance to make it into a BCS game this season. The list might surprise you.

Heart of the City: North Texas

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
12:00
PM ET
School: North Texas
Location: Denton, Texas
Enrollment: 36,206
Bowl appearances: 6
NFL first-round picks: 0
Losing seasons: 22
10-win seasons: 0

Source: ESPN Stats & Info (Note: Numbers date back to 1936, the first year of the AP poll. NFL numbers date back to 1970.)

The good: Though North Texas is located well north of the central part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, it's still right off I-35, a heavily trafficked highway. The old stadium, and the new one being built nearby, are can't miss landmarks on the side of the highway. That new stadium alone is a big plus for the program, too. The Sun Belt Conference members have the lowest prestige of any of the FBS programs in the metroplex, but North Texas can be an attractive spot for FBS transfers who, for whatever reason, didn't fit in at their bigger programs and want to transfer closer to home.

The bad: The lack of historical success makes it difficult to have much to build on, and even bringing in an innovative approach recently didn't work for the Mean Green, who hired legendary high school coach Todd Dodge from nearby offensive juggernaut Southlake Carroll. Playing in the Sun Belt limits the heights to which the program can reach, and even other programs within the conference are significantly more successful, like Troy and Middle Tennessee State.

Lunchtime Links

May, 11, 2011
5/11/11
12:00
PM ET
Here are your links for the day.

Matt James of The Fresno Bee says it's time to stand up to the BCS.

A reality show chronicling future WAC member UT-San Antonio debuts this weekend.

TCU coach Gary Patterson was named Fort Worth's Most Outstanding Citizen.

The BYU-Utah game will begin at 9:15 p.m. ET on Sept. 17 and air on ESPN2.

Former Nevada offensive lineman John Bender will head to the CFL.

New North Texas coach Dan McCarney was energized when he spoke in front of fans as part of the first stop on the Coaches Caravan.

FAU has a target of selling 12,000 season tickets in time for the opening of its new stadium this fall. The Owls have sold 1,811 as of Monday, but athletic director Craig Angelos isn't worried.

Lunchtime Links

May, 3, 2011
5/03/11
12:00
PM ET
Anything going on today? Let's check out the links.

The state of Hawaii is considering joining the state of Utah in its planned lawsuit against the BCS.

UCF has yet to be contacted by the NCAA about allegations of recruiting violations.

Boise State running back Matt Kaiserman is adjusting to life after football. Kaiserman was forced to give up the sport after sustaining the second serious concussion of his career in the bowl game against Utah.

Bruce Feldman of ESPN lists Boise State receiver Geraldo Hiwat as a breakout star from the spring.

Rice left tackle Scott Mitchell could be the first overall pick in the CFL draft, which starts Sunday.

Did Tulsa football really lose $3 million last year?

North Texas coach Dan McCarney says his team has a long way to go in its conditioning.

Northern Illinois defensive end Jake Coffman, a Marine Corps veteran, called the death of Osama bin Laden a victory for all Americans.

Lunchtime Links

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
12:00
PM ET
Monday, Monday ...

Boise State's spring has wrapped, and the Idaho Statesman presents 13 players who stood out.

East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill has dropped 90 pounds.

Video: Five things you don't know about Colin Kaepernick.

Tulsa needs to find leaders in the offseason.

Derek Thompson is the North Texas starter at quarterback going into fall camp.

Here is a good look at where Hawaii stands after spring ball.

Some questions to ponder at Marshall.

Larry Dawson made people notice at the Kent State spring game.

Steve Fairchild faces a tough task at Colorado State, but it's not his first.

Northern Illinois backup quarterback Jordan Lynch is making strides.

Non-AQ spring games

April, 15, 2011
4/15/11
3:15
PM ET
With 23 teams in non-AQ conferences set to play their spring games between tonight and tomorrow, here is a quick look at big-time questions for a selected few.

Boise State

Big question: Receiver. Austin Pettis and Titus Young formed one of the best receiver duos in the nation over the last several years. But now they are gone, leaving the Broncos looking for a deep threat to replace Young and a possession receiver to replace Pettis. Tyler Shoemaker, Chris Potter, Geraldo Hiwat and Kirby Moore all figure to make contributions. Watch for freshman Troy Ware as well. Starting quarterback Kellen Moore is not expected to do much in the game Saturday, but the receivers need all the work they can get to prepare for bigger roles.

Others in the MWC playing: New Mexico.

East Carolina

Big question: Defense. The Pirates were lucky to make a bowl game last season with the way their defense played. They ranked last in all of college football in total defense, giving up an average of 479 yards a game, and closed the season with losses in five of their final six games. A prolific offense is all that saved them. Granted, East Carolina lost nine starters on defense, but there was still no excuse for that type of performance. The Pirates are now switching to a 3-4 though it is unclear what they have headed into the spring game. Injuries to several players have left them thin in the front seven. Defensive tackles Michael Brooks (right knee), Robert Jones (right shoulder) and Chrishon Rose (left shoulder) and linebacker/defensive end Justin Dixon (left knee) all sat out the spring. Defensive tackle Leroy Vick, a transfer from Georgia Military Institute, injured his left knee in a scrimmage and is out for the season. Linebacker Lamar McLendon, who started 10 of 13 games last season, left the team for personal reasons. So it is safe to say coach Ruffin McNeill will have to wait until the fall to find out more about this group.

Others in C-USA playing: UCF, Tulsa, Tulane, UAB, Memphis.

Hawaii

Big question: Receiver. The Warriors lose Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares, who combined for over 3,000 yards in the pass-happy Hawaii offense. Royce Pollard returns after having 901 yards as the Z receiver last season and will be counted on to step up and become a go-to receiver for returning quarterback Bryant Moniz. Others to watch: Allen Sampson and Terrence Bell, who would bring an added boost of speed; Miah Ostrowski, the point guard on the hoops team who has a good bond with Moniz; and Darius Bright and Corey Paclebar.

Others in the WAC playing: Nevada

Miami (Ohio)

Big question: Quarterback. The surprise MAC champions have a new coach in Don Treadwell, so there are plenty of areas that have been open to competition. The biggest is at quarterback, where Zac Dysert and Austin Boucher are competing for the starting job. Dysert went into 2010 as the starter before missing the rest of the season with a rib injury. Boucher came in and led the RedHawks to the MAC title and one of the biggest turnaround seasons in NCAA history. Both have been even throughout the spring, and Treadwell has been mum on who has the edge.

Others in the MAC playing: Kent State, Bowling Green (Friday), Western Michigan, Central Michigan (Friday), Toledo (Friday), Buffalo, Akron, Ohio, Temple

North Texas

Big question: Quarterback. Derek Thompson and junior college transfer Brent Osborn went into the spring competing for the starting job, and it appears Thompson has the edge going into the spring game. North Texas had major injury problems at quarterback last season -- Thompson broke his leg in the only game he started. Even though Thompson has been with the team longer, he is still relatively inexperienced.

Others in the Sun Belt with games: Western Kentucky, Arkansas State

Lunchtime Links

April, 14, 2011
4/14/11
12:00
PM ET
We start the links with some good news ...

Northern Illinois linebacker Devon Butler has been upgraded to fair condition as he recovers from a gunshot wound to his back.

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick is getting plenty of time with the first team.

Nevada coach Chris Ault has high expectations for his defense.

Can Lance Reynolds revitalize the tight ends at BYU?

UCF athletics director Keith Tribble predicts his school will get into an AQ league. "It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when," Tribble told an Orlando radio station.

Marco Nelson and Brian DeShane are antsy on the sideline of Tulsa spring practice as they rehab shoulder injuries.

Navy works on gaining secondary experience.

Dan McCarney is putting his own twist on the North Texas spring game this weekend.

Allen Sampson is making people notice him at Hawaii.

Kawaun Jakes has bounced back after a lackluster spring scrimmage.
We close out our look at returning starters from the non-AQ conferences with the Sun Belt. FIU emerged as the dark horse this past season to win a share of the league championship and its first bowl berth. Will another school emerge the way FIU did or will the Panthers and the Troy Trojans be the favorites again?

You can check out the returning starters for the Mountain West, WAC, Conference USA and MAC. Now on to the Sun Belt:

ULM: 20 (10 offense, eight defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: QB Kolton Browning, WR Luther Ambrose, DL Ken Dorsey

Key losses: RB Frank Goodin, S Alex Ibe.

FIU: 17 (seven offense, seven defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: QB Wes Carroll, AP T.Y. Hilton, RB Darriet Perry, DB Jonathan Cyprien

Key losses: CB Anthony Gaitor, DL Jarvis Wilson, OL Brad Serini

Western Kentucky: 17 (seven offense, eight defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: QB Kawaun Jakes, RB Bobby Rainey, DL Quanterus Smith

Key losses: LB Thomas Majors, OL Mychal Patterson, DB Orlando Misaalefua

Arkansas State: 15 (six offense, seven defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: QB Ryan Aplin, LB Demario Davis, DL Dorvus Woods

Key losses: OL Derek Newton, DL Bryan Hall, DB M.D. Jennings

North Texas: 14 (six offense, six defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: RB Lance Dunbar, K Zach Olen, RS Brelan Chancellor

Key losses: LB Craig Robertson, OL Estaban Santiago

Troy: 14 (four offense, eight defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: QB Corey Robinson, DL Jonathan Massaquoi, OL James Brown

Key losses: RS Jerrel Jernigan, OL Tyler Clark, DL Mario Addison

FAU: 13 (seven offense, five defense, one special teams)

Key returnees: DB Marcus Bartles, RB Alfred Morris, DB Marcus Bartels

Key losses: QB Jeff Van Camp, WR Lester Jean, LB Michael Lockley

Middle Tennessee: 12 (seven offense, three defense, two special teams)

Key returnees: LB Darin Davis, WR Malcolm Beyah, K Alan Gendreau

Key losses: QB Dwight Dasher, DE Jamari Lattimore, RB Phillip Tanner, DB Rod Issac

Louisiana: 11 (five offense, five defense, one special teams)

Key returnees: TE Ladarius Green, RB Aaron Spikes, LB Devon Lewis-Buchanan

Key losses: OL Ian Burks, CB Orkeys Auriene, DB Maurice Rolle

Independents

Navy: 12 (seven offense, five defense, zero special teams)

Key returnees: FB Alexander Teich, DE Jabaree Tuani, SB Gee Gee Greene

Key losses: QB Ricky Dobbs, CB Kevin Edwards, ROV Wyatt Middleton

Army: 11 (six offense, four defense, one special teams)

Key returnees: QB Trent Steelman, FB Jared Hassin, ROV Steve Erzinger

Key losses: DE Josh McNary, DT Mike Gann, LB Stephen Anderson

Afternoon-time links

February, 3, 2011
2/03/11
3:30
PM ET
Since we had so much recruiting analysis, we decided to push our usual lunchtime links feature to the afternoon. So enjoy with a snack!

TCU coach Gary Patterson on his incoming class: "They all came with the understanding that they want to win a championship. Not just a conference championship, but a national championship. I think that's where the energy has changed."

Boise State fought hard to keep its recruiting class intact.

Houston has got to fix its defense.

Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship caught a ride on athletic director Bubba Cunningham's 4x4 to be at the office when his recruits started faxing in their letters of intent.

San Diego State ignores the star system.

Air Force does not announce its signees until the summer because of its appointment process, but it was clear the Falcons got a lot of in-state talent.

The best class in Marshall history? Why, yes.

North Texas addressed its quarterback situation.

Miami (Ohio) signed a speedy class.

Make no mistake -- the Northern Illinois class belongs to Dave Doeren.

FIU, Western Kentucky and Louisiana were among the top classes in the Sun Belt.

Utah State focused on building the trenches.

Fresno State focused on defense, specifically linebacker, an area that coach Pat Hill wants improved.

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