|Dan McCarney addresses the Mean Green Friday.|
The impersonation came from actor Aaron Norvell, who played under Dan McCarney at Wisconsin in the early 90s and was one of two of McCarney's former players invited to speak to North Texas following its light workout. As McCarney put it, "I don't let anybody speak to this team unless they're special, I love them, or both," and it was a nice way to close the afternoon.
In terms of the game, it's a great "battle of philosophies," as Troy head coach (and Friday birthday boy) Larry Blakeney put it, between Troy's wide-open, up-tempo aerial attack (537.7 yards per game) and the battering, physical, ball-possession approach favored by North Texas. To put it in perspective, Troy threw more passes in one game this year (75 against Louisiana-Lafayette) than North Texas has all season (73). Both teams, former conference powerhouses, badly need a win to get into the Sun Belt Conference title race.
The real key to the game, though, will be turnovers. Troy is an abysmal -5 on the season, including turnovers on four straight possessions against Mississippi State last week - the Trojans wound up losing by one score. North Texas is +3, and I think the Mean Green will have to win the turnover battle again to open the year with a win.
|Apogee Stadium, opened 2011.|
Tonight's game kicks off at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. Follow @jtyardley for more coverage before and after the game.