Mean Green dominates rival SMU Mustangs, starts the season off with a statement

Mean Green dominates rival SMU Mustangs, starts the season off with a statement

Mean Green dominates rival SMU Mustangs, starts the season off with a statement
September 01
22:42 2018

The Mean Green defeated the Southern Methodist Mustangs 46-23 Saturday evening at Apogee Stadium.

Mean Green junior quarterback Mason Fine threw for a career-high 444 passing yards with three touchdowns, while the defense only allowed one touchdown through three quarters, and scored one of their own with a pick-six by senior defensive back Kemon Hall.

The attendance record for UNT and Mean Green Athletics was broken today, with 29,519 fans from both teams packing Apogee Stadium.

In the first half, Fine demonstrated efficiency as he threw for 211 yards on 22 for 28 passing, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior wideout Jalen Guyton on the first drive of the game. Junior receiver Rico Bussey Jr. put up career-best numbers in the first half, hauling in nine catches for 109 yards, including a 22-yard pass from Fine in a drive that resulted in a 40-yard field goal from Cole Hedlund that put the Mean Green up 20-0.

The second half for the Mean Green offense mirrored that of the start of their first half, this time with a Fine 5-yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Nic Smith. The Mean Green offense continued to roll after that, adding two touchdowns and two field goals, with Jalen Guyton getting himself another receiving touchdown, and Cole Hedlund hitting two field goals, one from 41 yards and one from 51 yards, as well as a 96-yard kickoff return touchdown by sophomore running back DeAndre Torrey.

North Texas junior Kelvin Smith runs the ball in a game against Southern Methodist University on Sept. 1 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpenter

The Mean Green offense did what was expected of them during the first half, but the defense really stepped up, allowing only one first down in the entire half and just 24 total yards. In addition to the pick-six from Hall and the low yardage that was allowed, senior linebacker E.J. Ejiya and junior linebacker Brandon Garner both had 1 sack, respectively. The North Texas defense continued their dominance in the third quarter, allowing only one first down. However, the defense couldn’t hold up for the entire half as the Mustangs were eventually successful in getting into the end zone, with three late touchdowns, including a 71-yard passing touchdown from Ben Hicks to Braeden West. Although the Mean Green gave up three late touchdowns, the defense played stout through three quarters and was key to the North Texas victory.

There was not a lot to cheer about for the Mustangs in this one, but junior safety Patrick Nelson came up with a sack and a half, including two tackles for loss. The road for Southern Methodist gets tougher after this one, as they take on two ranked teams in a row, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs and Michigan Wolverines.

North Texas players celebrate after senior kicker Cole Hedlund kicked a field goal in a game against Southern Methodist University on Sept. 1 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpenter

As for the North Texas Mean Green, they will take on the Incarnate Word Cardinals next Saturday at Apogee Stadium. After tonight’s showing over their rival, the Mean Green will go into the next game with confidence.

Featured Image: The Mean Green take the field before the start of the Safeway Bowl against Southern Methodist University on Sept. 1 at Apogee Stadium. Sara Carpenter

About Author

Jacob Solomon

Jacob Solomon

Business student at the University of North Texas and sports writer at the North Texas Daily.

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