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North Texas falls 31-13 in season opener against SMU

North Texas falls 31-13 in season opener against SMU

Wide receiver B.J. Ebozue takes the field as the Mean Green prepare to play SMU.

North Texas falls 31-13 in season opener against SMU
September 12
22:16 2015
[df-subtitle]SMU answers after Baylor defeat in Week 1[/df-subtitle]

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

North Texas dropped its first game of the season Saturday night, losing to Southern Methodist University 31-13.

The Mean Green opened the game by forcing an SMU punt on its first drive. On the ensuing punt, SMU bobbled the snap and North Texas took over on downs at the SMU 16-yard line.

The Mean Green then ran the ball three straight times, but settled for a 25-yard Trevor Moore field goal. This put North Texas up 3-0 with 11 minutes to go in the first quarter, a sign of things to come, as the Mean Green struggled offensively all night.

Offensive lineman Sam Rice blocks SMU running back Kevin Thomas.

Offensive lineman Sam Rice blocks SMU running back Kevin Thomas. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

On the Mustangs next drive, SMU quarterback Matt Davis picked up right where he left off last week against Baylor, completing his first TD pass of the evening, a 27-yard strike to wide receiver Cortland Sutton. This put SMU up 7-3 midway through the first quarter.

Neither team got much going in the second quarter, as mistakes and turnovers ran rampant. After an SMU muffed punt, North Texas drove to the SMU 8-yard line, but was unable to punch it in, settling for another 25-yard field goal from Moore, the SMU lead 7-6.

The Mean Green got the chance to take the lead before halftime, bringing out Moore for his third field goal attempt of the half. This time, the 48-yard attempt was wide left, and North Texas entered the half trailing 7-6.

After receiving the second half kickoff, McNulty threw his first interception of the season, resulting in an SMU drive down to the North Texas 8-yard line. The Mean Green defense held yet again, but were flagged for an offsides penalty on the field goal attempt. The defense then put up its most impressive sequence of the night, a four-play, goal line stand in which the Mustangs turned the ball over on downs.

Defensive tackle Julius Combes jumps to catch the ball near the goal line.

Wide receiver Carlos Harris jumps to catch the ball near the goal line. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

After North Texas was unable to flip the field, SMU drove to the North Texas 6-yard line but were stonewalled yet again and were forced to settle for a 27-yard Chad Hedlund field goal, pushing the Mustang lead to 10-6.

North Texas’ offense finally answered the bell, putting together its best drive of the night, a 9-play, 75-yard march down the field that ended in a 25-yard rushing touchdown from running back Antwan Jimmerson. This put the Mean Green up 13-10 late in third quarter.

SMU was quick to answer, as Davis led the Mustangs on a nine-play, 71-yard touchdown drive, capped off by an 8-yard slant route that put SMU back on top at 17-13 with 14:15 remaining in the game.

North Texas then drove inside the SMU 40-yard line, but turned the ball over with a costly fumble. The Mustangs took advantage, and five plays later Davis escaped the pocket for a 50-yard touchdown run, extending the SMU lead 24-13.

Linebacker Blake Bean attempts to tackle wide receiver Xavier Castille.

Linebacker Blake Bean attempts to tackle wide receiver Xavier Castille. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

SMU tacked on one more touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Davis scrambled for his second rushing touchdown of the night, putting the game on ice at 31-13. That would be all the Mustangs needed to avenge its loss at Apogee Stadium last season.

Next Up: North Texas (0-1) will play its home opener against Rice University at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at Apogee Stadium in Denton.

Featured Image: Wide receiver B.J. Ebozue takes the field as the Mean Green prepare to play SMU. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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