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North Texas losing more than just games

Three games into his fourth year at North Texas, Todd Dodge holds a meek 5-34 record as head coach and has been responsible for one of the worst winning percentages in program history. After getting blanked by Army 24-0 in week three, it would appear that the seven games Dodge needs to win to keep his job is becoming a steeper mountain to climb.

Sure, there’s a lot that goes into winning or losing a game, but one thing that’s hard to take into account are injuries.

In a matter of weeks, North Texas has lost nine starters for the season to injury, including starting quarterback Nathan Tune to a dislocated hip and backup Derek Thompson, who suffered a broken leg against the Black Knights.

That leaves emergency signal-caller Riley Dodge, who switched from quarterback to receiver this year due to his own injuries, to run the offense. Center Nick Leppo, receiver Chris Bynes and defensive back DaWaylon Cook are just some of the impact players who have been lost to injuries.

In a coaching era that has been filled with heartache, this might be the most devastating.

With the construction of a new stadium and greater resources being invested into the program, there’s no doubt time is of the essence for Dodge.

“Right now I won’t comment where we are. I know I made comments in the paper, but I won’t make any decision until the time we ought to make decisions,” said UNT athletic director Rick Villarreal to the Dallas Morning News. “Injuries are a part of the game, and, yes, this is as tough of a situation as I’ve seen. We have to evaluate the entire process of a program.”

“I made it very clear I’m a firm believer that with the facilities we have, and the new stadium coming in we’ve made major improvements that we should have a place that should be as attractive as anybody’s.”

Villarreal is right about one thing: injuries are a tough pill to swallow. You can’t blame Dodge for such an unfortunate series of events, but he and his staff are running out of excuses. If Dodge can’t get past this hurdle, there may not be any obstacle he can overcome.

If that’s the case, it’s time to move on.