Zach Orr, Keith Whitely

North Texas rolls past UNLV in Heart of Dallas Bowl


Derek Thompson completed 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns as North Texas rolled to a 36-14 win over UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl Wednesday afternoon.

For North Texas, it’s the program’s first bowl victory since 2002 and gives the Mean Green its fifth nine-win season in program history.

UNLV jumped out to an early lead when Caleb Herring hit Marcus Sullivan for a nine-yard touchdown to cap a 95-yard drive, then forced a North Texas three-and-out. But, statistically, it was all North Texas after UNLV’s Kevin Whitley fumbled the ensuing punt.

The game was tied at seven at halftime and North Texas really didn’t pull away until the fourth quarter, with a trio of scoring drives vaulting the Mean Green to a 28-7 lead midway through the frame.

For North Texas coach Dan McCarney, the win had to provide some nice vindication. After spending a dozen years at Iowa State, McCarney took over a downtrodden program at North Texas in 2011 and built them to a bowl winner in only his third season in Denton.

UNLV fell to 7-6 with the loss, though it’s still the program’s first winning season since 2000.

Former Texas A&M WR Thomas Johnson arrested on murder charge

Thomas Johnson
Associated Press

A very disturbing story has emerged out of Dallas, where former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson sits in a Dallas County jail cell after allegedly admitting to hacking an unsuspecting jogger to death with a machete.

Just before 8 a.m. Monday, authorities say Johnson went to White Rock Creek Trail, a popular jogging trail in northeast Dallas, and randomly slashed a jogger to death. “It appears Mr. Johnson picked this victim at random. Absolutely random,” Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin told the Dallas Morning News. “He just attacked him. … It’s just very unusual. It’s quite shocking.”

Johnson then walked away from the scene in search of a cell phone. An onlooker had already dialed 911, and when police arrived Johnson allegedly told them there was a man “laying down with a sword in his head and not moving.”

“I just committed capital murder,” Johnson said and then repeated, according to his arrest affidavit. The only motive police reported was that Johnson was angry at his situation in life at the time of the slaying.

The victim, an unidentified male between the age of 25 and 35, passed away at a nearby hospital.

Johnson, meanwhile, remains in a Dallas County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Johnson was a highly-regarded member of Kevin Sumlin‘s first recruiting class at Texas A&M. As a true freshman in 2012, the Dallas native caught 30 passes for 339 yards and one touchdown through the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama and then simply… disappeared. He went missing for three days in November 2012 before turning up back home in Dallas. His mother told the San Antonio Express-News last April Johnson would like to return to college football, but a return to the game never materialized.

No punishment from SEC for Bielema’s sideline interaction with Alabama player

Bret Bielema

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.

“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”

That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.