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Mean Green football defeated by SMU in season opener

Mean Green football defeated by SMU in season opener

Security walks Littrell off the Apogee for the first time as head coach of the Mean Green Saturday. The Mean Green lost to Southern Methodist University 34-21. Tomas Gonzalez

Mean Green football defeated by SMU in season opener
September 03
22:24 2016

The buzz Apogee Stadium had at kickoff was diminished by the time the clock ran out Saturday night.

Southern Methodist University beat North Texas 34-21 in the Mean Green’s season opener. It was head coach Seth Littrell’s debut game.

SMU (1-0) got the party started two minutes into the game when sophomore running back Xavier Jones streaked down the field for a touchdown to put the Mustangs up 7-0.

SMU continued to dominate the first quarter when sophomore receiver Courtland Sutton broke free for an 88-yard touchdown reception from freshman quarterback Ben Hicks. Sutton had a big game, and finished with four catches for 162 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Matt Davis ran circles around the Mean Green (0-1) defense all night, escaping the pocket and avoiding pressure. He was a pivotal reason the Mustangs converted 57 percent of their third downs.

The big play of the first half came when SMU converted a third and 45 near midfield. After eluding pressure once again, Davis rolled out and heaved a prayer to the end zone that Sutton came down with. The catch put SMU up 24-7 heading into halftime.

North Texas’ senior quarterback Alec Morris threw three interceptions in the first half, but also connected for two touchdown passes. Morris answered the bell before halftime though, hooking up with freshman tight end Kelvin Smith, who somersaulted over the goal line to narrow the deficit to 24-14.

The play capped a well-executed two-minute drill, and it gave North Texas momentum for the second half.

But SMU came out of the locker room swinging, as Sutton etched his name onto the score sheet again when Davis found him in the corner of the end zone. He hauled it in one-handed with a Mean Green defender draped over him for the score.

That was the turning point, as North Texas’ offense stalled throughout the third quarter, unable to put any points on the board.

The Mustangs jumped out to their largest lead at 34-14 on a field goal later in the third quarter.

Morris was benched in the fourth quarter in favor of freshman quarterback Mason Fine, who led North Texas on its only touchdown drive of the second half.

By playing in the game, Fine is unable to be redshirted, and will not gain an extra year of collegiate eligibility.

Next up: The Mean Green host Bethune-Cookman University at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Featured Image: Security walks Littrell off the Apogee for the first time as head coach of the Mean Green Saturday. The Mean Green lost to Southern Methodist University 34-21. Tomas Gonzalez

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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