North Texas Daily

Mean Green earn first win of season against SMU

Mean Green earn first win of season against SMU

Mean Green earn first win of season against SMU
September 06
18:26 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Mean Green dominated their home-opener on Saturday beating Southern Methodist University 43-6 and getting the fifth all-time win against the Mustangs.

“When the darkest times hit and the adversity hits, we see to respond and give it our best,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “That is the real character mark of this program.”

The Mean Green (1-1) defense started out shaky as the SMU Mustangs produced big plays on screens. However, the Mean Green performed on third down forcing the Mustangs (0-2) off the field. That would be the formula for the first-half, as SMU would not convert any third-downs in the first two quarters.

The Mean Green offense, with good field-position, started strong with their running game behind senior running back Reggie Pegram who rushed for83 yards on 21 attempts. The offense settled for a 44-yard field goal by true freshman kicker Trevor Moore on its first drive, which gave North Texas a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

The defense forced an SMU interception in the first quarter, setting up the offense inside the SMU red-zone. Pegram would finish the drive by scoring from four yards out giving the Mean Green a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. The team would extend its lead to 13-0 after another field goal with 3:37 left in the first half.

“We are taking a lot of good steps toward becoming a great defense again this year,” senior linebacker Derek Akunne said. “Anytime we can five turnovers in one game, that is something to be really proud of.”

The Mean Green defense recorded another turnover as they stripped the ball from SMU quarterback Neal Burcham. Sophomore defensive end Jarrian Roberts returned the fumble for a touchdown.

The Mean Green defense set up another score after senior Lairamie Lee intercepted a pass to set up another Mean Green field goal. That gave UNT a 23-0 halfime lead.

It was more of the same in the second-half, as the Mean Green defense continued to shutdown the Mustang offense. SMU played three different quarterbacks.

UNT had two more field goals in the third quarter as Moore was 5-5 on field goals. Early in the fourth-quarter, junior running back Antoinne Jimmerson would find the end-zone from eight yards out, giving the Mean Green a 36-0 lead. The Mean Green would score another touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but SMU found the endzone at the last second to avoid the shut out.

Sophomore quarterback Josh Greer threw went 9-12 for 86-yards and he said he felt more comfortable this week.

“I thought the game went smooth, we were moving the ball and doing a lot of things that we weren’t able to do last week,” sophomore quarterback Josh Greer said. “Throughout the week, talking to my teammates, realizing they had my back, a lot of pressure really came off my back.”

This was the fourth-largest crowd at Apogee Stadium with a total attendance of 22, 398. The win makes the team 13-5 at home in the McCarney era.

The Mean Green will have a short week as they will face Louisiana Tech University Thursday 6:00 PM at Apogee Stadium.

Featured Image: Sophomore defensive end Jarrian Roberts cruises into the end zone for a Mean Green defensive touchdown. UNT forced five turnovers during the home game against Southern Methodist University on Saturday. Photo by Ryan Vance – Staff Photographer

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