North Texas Daily

Lack of offense dooms North Texas on Senior Day

Lack of offense dooms North Texas on Senior Day

November 28
19:18 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer


Perhaps it was fitting North Texas ended one of the worst football seasons in school history on a cold, bitter day at Apogee Stadium. Despite finishing the game plus three in the turnover margin, the Mean Green (1-11, 1-7) fell to the University of Texas El Paso 20-17.

With the loss, North Texas tied with the 2008 football team for the worst record in school history.

Both offenses struggled throughout the game, but it was the Mean Green defense and special teams that kept North Texas in the game.

Junior wide receiver Tre Johnson scooped up a bouncing punt midway through the third quarter and took it 53 yards to the house, which put North Texas on top 10-6. After a UTEP (5-7, 3-5) pick-six, the Mean Green defense made yet another key play when junior linebacker Cortney Finney picked up a backwards pass and ran it 13 yards for a touchdown.

Unfortunately for interim head coach Mike Canales’ squad, it would be the only time they saw the end-zone.

The first half was a sloppy one, with the Miners fumbling the football on three separate occasions. North Texas converted the first Miners turnover into points when sophomore kicker Trevor Moore split the uprights from 28 yards out and gave the Mean Green a 3-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, UTEP fumbled the return and North Texas recovered again, giving senior quarterback Andrew McNulty great starting field possession for the second drive in a row near midfield.

But McNulty would not be in the game much longer. Near the end of the first half the senior quarterback was drilled by one of UTEP’s defensive lineman and was forced to leave the game with a cracked rib.

From there, the quarterback carousel was on. Junior quarterback DaMarcus Smith entered the game before the first half ended, but he had issues as well, finishing 3 of 13 for 28 yards.

Junior quarterback Josh Greer also saw some action. Greer came into the game for one play in the third quarter and on his only pass attempt threw a pick six, which was returned 65 yards by UTEP junior defensive back Dashone Smith for a touchdown. The turnover gave the Miners a 13-10 lead.

The Mean Green defense would step up once again, returning the aforementioned backwards pass for a touchdown to give North Texas its final lead of the game. UTEP freshman quarterback Kavika Johnson answered the bell one final time and hooked up with freshman wide receiver Warren Redix to give the Miners a 20-17 lead–one it would not relinquish.

North Texas had one final gasp at the end of regulation when Smith broke for a long run, but the play was negated when senior wide receiver Carlos Harris was flagged and ejected for targeting. The result was a turnover on downs and the end to a long, disappointing season in Denton.

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