North Texas could have gone many directions af- ter losing offensive coordinator Graham Harrell to USC. Instead of nabbing another disciple of the Mike Leach air raid, Littrell hired away one of the best offensive minds from the FCS level.
New offensive coordinator Bodie Reeder, 32, led Eastern Washington to top-five finishes in both total offense and scoring offense, along with a trip to the national championship game in 2018.
“I’m not air raid,” Reeder said. “I don’t know what I am. If I had to describe my brand of offense, I would call it a winning offense.”
Reeder’s “winning offense” takes many different forms but comes with a few principles. First: tempo. North Texas is going to play faster on offense than before. The Mean Green will also be much more multiple in formation, oftentimes playing with multiple tight ends and even a fullback. With that, there will be more of an emphasis on the run game. The days of Mason Fine throwing the ball 40 times per game are over.
“If you can run the ball for yards, you can throw it for miles,” Reeder said. “If you’re constantly trying to drop back, drop back, drop back, you’re eventually going to hit your head against the wall. But if you can run the ball, it makes your passing game that much more explosive.”
Reeder steps into a perfect situation at North Texas. Fine, the leading passer in UNT history, ranks as one of the elite quarterbacks in the Group of Five. Top receiving threats Rico Bussey, Jaelen Darden and Michael Darden are back, too. The running back room gets Loren Easly back from injury and still returns Nic Smith and DeAndre Torrey.
The interior offensive line should rank among the best in the conference, but both tackles will be new starters. However, Reeder aims to mix in the run game in order to ease the burden on tackles.
“We’re going to need to continue to build depth, because you need eight or nine guys to get through a season,” Reeder said. “I’m asking them to play faster, do different things, and it’s fun for them. No O-linemen wants to pass block 60 times a game. I love their passion and willingness to adapt to what we’re doing.”
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