Five observations from North Texas vs. UTSA: Mason Fine and the Mean Green defy the odds in victory

Five observations from North Texas vs. UTSA: Mason Fine and the Mean Green defy the odds in victory

October 14
21:35 2017

1) Mason Fine is a GAMER

Coming out of high school, Mason Fine was billed as a player who was too small to compete at the Division I level. His play this season leading up to Saturday’s game began to prove otherwise, but Fine got rid of any doubt with his efforts on a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive against UTSA. Fine finished things off with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Rico Bussey Jr. as he took a monster hit from a Roadrunner defender. But he hung in the pocket and delivered the ball to Bussey even with pressure looming, giving the Mean Green a signature 29-26 win over UTSAat Apogee Stadium Saturday night. Fine finished with 354 yards and three touchdowns, but no play was bigger than the game-winner that demonstrated his toughness and ability to stand in the pocket.

2) When in doubt, get the ball to Jalen Guyton
Guyton had a coming out party in the win over Southern Miss when he caught 14 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown. He again had a huge game to lead the Mean Green offensively against UTSA, catching 8 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. After catching a 77-yard pass and taking it to the house in the first quarter, Guyton had a key third-down conversion to open the fourth and later added a 32-yard touchdown that put the Mean Green back ahead. He has been an invaluable addition to the North Texas offense this season, and continues to show the talent that originally garnered attention from just about every Power Five school in the country coming out of Allen High School.

3) Marcus Davenport and UTSA front seven dominated
There wasn’t a whole lot of doubt about the talent UTSA has in the front seven, but the Mean Green were confident they may be able to get something going on the ground after Southern Miss had its way last week. Unfortunately for the Mean Green, the Roadrunners returned to form defensively. Marcus Davenport, in particular, was an absolute beast while terrorizing Fine in the backfield all night. Davenport had 6 tackles, 3 TFL and 2.5 sacks in the first half alone, and finished with 8 tackles and 4 TFL. He dominated the Mean Green offensive line, and made it impossible for the offense to get in any sort of consistent rhythm after the first three drives – that is, until the drive that won the game with just 10 seconds to go.

4) Eric Jenkins stepped up
After beginning the season on the bench, Eric Jenkins entered the starting lineup for a struggling Nate Brooks in the game against Southern Miss. He got the start again against UTSA, and stepped up with the opportunity. He finished with seven tackles and added two two pass breakups to prevent big plays down the field on multiple occasions, justifying the decision to make the switch midway through the season. The majority of the Roadrunners’ damage through the air came by way of running backs coming out of the backfield.

5) Snapping problems
The Mean Green had all sorts of issues snapping the ball Saturday and it cost the team points on two separate occasions. The snap on an extra point in the first quarter went well over Quinn Shanbour’s head and the snap on an extra point after a go ahead touchdown was mishandled as well. The blunders left the Mean Green without two points on the scoreboard, which may have made a difference in play calling down the stretch. Fortunately, Fine and the offense were able to overcome the points with the winning drive late in the fourth.

Featured Image: North Texas seniors Jeffrey Wilson (6) and Eric Jenkins (2) celebrate after a touchdown in a game against the University of Texas at San Antonio on October 14 at Apogee Stadium. North Texas defeated UTSA 29-26. Sara Carpenter

About Author

Brady Keane

Brady Keane

Brady Keane is the Sports Editor of the North Texas Daily. He previously served as Deputy Sports Editor (Jan. 2017-May 2017) and as a Staff Writer (Aug. 2015-May 2016).

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