DENTON, Texas (AP) - North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson can genuinely appreciate how far the Mean Green have come in his college career.
Thompson's final game at North Texas will be on New Year's Day when the Mean Green play their first bowl game since 2004, against UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
North Texas (8-4) is wrapping up its third season under coach Dan McCarney.
Thompson and leading tackler Zach Orr are among 17 players still remaining from 2010, the Mean Green's last season under coach Todd Dodge, whose high school success never translated to the college level. UNT was 13-58 in the six seasons before McCarney arrived, including 6-37 in 3 1/2 seasons under Dodge.
Orr says McCarney brought a toughness, discipline and physicality to the program.