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Mean Green football relieved to break eight game losing streak

Mean Green football relieved to break eight game losing streak

The North Texas football team poses for photos after winning their first game of the season. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

Mean Green football relieved to break eight game losing streak
November 01
07:40 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

343 days. That is how long it had been since North Texas won a football game.

The Mean Green were riding an eight game losing streak dating back to the end of last season entering Saturday’s contest with the University of Texas at San Antonio. But for the first time since last November, the Mean Green found the win column, defeating the UTSA 30-23 on Saturday night at Apogee Stadium.

“It was a piano, it wasn’t a monkey [on our back]. That thing was heavy,” interim head coach Mike Canales said of earning his first win of the season. “I told our guys tonight to not let them come in here and take a win from us. I told them it would feel like the Super Bowl. And it did.”

Canales walked into his post-game press conference carrying a chain with a padlock on it and said he used it as a metaphor in a speech he made to the team before kickoff.

“Today was the right moment to talk about lock the gate,” Canales said. “I told the players tonight we were going to lock the gate and not let them out until we beat them. I told them to not let them out until we got a win, and we did it.”

Junior quarterback DaMarcus Smith, who was named the starter two weeks ago against Western Kentucky University, missed practice on Thursday and Friday to attend his brother’s funeral in Kentucky, according to Canales.

Canales said he contemplated not starting Smith but minutes before kickoff decided to roll with him regardless of his apprehension.

After the game the Mean Green thanks the fans for cheering them on. There were 10,290 fans in attendance. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

After the game the Mean Green thanks the fans for cheering them on. There were 10,290 fans in attendance. Colin Mitchell | Intern Photographer

“He grew up on the job tonight. And hopefully he’ll continue to get better,” Canales said. “He had that look in his eyes that he was going to get us there. We came away with a win, and that’s all that matters.”

Smith reiterated his coach’s exuberance over the win and said getting the victory was the only thing that could have made him feel better after losing his brother.

“This is a huge relief off my shoulders,” Smith said. “We’ve worked our butts off and we stuck together. I’m speechless. I’m so glad to get this win.”

The Mean Green picked up 267 yards on the ground and 127 of those came courtesy of sophomore running back Jeffrey Wilson. For the second consecutive week, Wilson notched a 100 yard rushing performance but deflected praise after the game. He said he was just happy to get the win and was proud of his quarterback.

“[Smith] played like a hero, and I think that’s what we need from our quarterback,” Wilson said. “Anytime you can be with your brothers and finally get a victory, it’s great.”

Click here for the photo gallery of the game.

Featured Image: The North Texas football team poses for photos after winning their first game of the season. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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