North Texas Daily

Mean Green football drops home game to Southern Miss

Mean Green football drops home game to Southern Miss

Mean Green football drops home game to Southern Miss
October 18
23:16 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Mean Green football team fell to University of Southern Mississippi 30-20 Saturday night at home. It is the third straight loss for North Texas.

“It was hard. It’s a tough locker room, it is not like anyone quit, it wasn’t that anybody didn’t prepare well. Coaches care, players care, there is a lot of character and integrity in this program,” head coach Dan McCarney said.

Junior quarterback Andrew McNulty was named the starter for the game over redshirt freshman Dajon Williams. While the Mean Green (2-5, 0-3) tried to adjust to their new starting quarterback, USM (3-4, 1-2) came out firing on its first drive. The Golden Eagles went 80 yards on its first possession and capped the drive with a 40-yard touchdown catch that gave it an early 7-0 lead.

“We have struggled all year on defense. We are not even close to playing to playing Mean Green defense,” McCarney said. “It is unacceptable. If you don’t play Mean Green defense, you aren’t going to win any games.”

The Mean Green offense didn’t score in the first quarter, but put up 13 points in the second quarter. Junior wide receiver Carlos Harris caught a 45-yard pass on second down, which put the Mean Green in the red zone. Then, on a reverse handoff, Harris ran it 18 yards to the 2-yard line, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Antoinne Jimmerson. That cut the USM lead to 10-7.

“We made some plays but not enough to win,” McNulty said. “We did some good things but we just got to keep working throughout the week.”

After freshman kicker Trevor Moore made two field goals to give the Mean Green the lead at 13-10, USM managed to get one last field goal to tie the game at end of the first half.

USM retook the lead in the third quarter after a 13 play, 77-yard drive that ended in a touchdown. On the ensuing Mean Green possession, Harris caught two balls for a combined 39 yards. That set up a 27-yard touchdown run for Reggie Pegram, which tied the game at 20-20.

However, Southern Mississippi would respond as it went on a 96-yard touchdown drive that ended in a touchdown to give them a 27-20 lead, which they didn’t give up. The Golden Eagles tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 30-20, putting the game out of reach.

“Guys weren’t getting to their gaps, not being where there were supposed to be,” senior linebacker Derek Akunne said.

McNulty completed 20 of 35 passes for 287 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Harris had 15 catches for 216 yards, both of which are career highs. Jimmerson led the team in rushing with 58 yards on 13 attempts, and a touchdown.

“[There are] Five games left to go, we’ve got to get going,” McCarney said. “Build on the positives, keep coaching, keep teaching and keep trying to do a better job at elevating the performance of every guy on our team.”

The Mean Green will try to get its first win since Sept. 20 next Saturday with a road game against Rice University in Houston. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.

Featured Image: Southern Miss freshman running back Ito Smith, right, stiff arms junior defensive tackle Austin Orr during the Mean Green loss last night. Photo by Edward Balusek – Visuals Editor

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