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North Texas football captures their second win in conference opener

North Texas football captures their second win in conference opener

North Texas football captures their second win in conference opener
September 22
10:04 2019

North Texas football (2-2, Conference USA 1-0) secured the second win of the season against conference rival Texas-San Antonio (1-3, Conference 0-1) after a final score of 45-3.

“Overall, I’m really excited about the effort our guys came out and played with,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “I thought on all three phases, this was by far in a way our most complete game. They had a chip on their shoulder all week in order to clean up some mistakes we’ve had the previous couple weeks.”

A half-hour prior to kickoff, senior wideout Rico Bussey Jr. was confirmed out for the entirety of the 2019-20 season with a torn ACL. Bussey suffered his injury after going up for a jump ball and landing awkwardly on his right leg in the game against California.

“[Bussey Jr.] will be out for the year,” Littrell said.

It is unknown whether Bussey will be redshirted this year in order to add on an additional year of eligibility given his season-ending injury.

“We’ll get more into that as it goes along,” Littrell said. “I haven’t really talked about the future as of right this second. The biggest thing I’m concerned with is just getting [Bussey Jr.] the best medical attention that he needs and we’ll have a plan for him and we can discuss that as we move forward.”

The Mean Green drew first blood and got on the scoreboard first after sophomore running back Tre Siggers ran the ball in from one yard out. The scoring drive was made possible by graduate senior cornerback Nick Harvey who secured his first interception of the season on the third play of the game. Junior defensive back Cam Johnson also recorded his first career interception in the third quarter. North Texas’ had not accumulated any interceptions this season until tonight’s game.

“It was huge,” sophomore linebacker KD Davis said. “We came into the game and didn’t have many turnovers so that was something special. The defensive line did a good job pressuring the quarterback and the defensive backs did a good job with coverage, and they made the play.”

North Texas scored twice  on the ground in the second half with junior running back Deandre Torrey (13-yard score) and Siggers (25-yard score).

“The [offensive line] was a big part of it,” Siggers said. “It was working, the line was more physical than [Texas-San Antonio’s] and they just wanted it more.”

With North Texas running the ball heavily, senior quarterback Mason Fine maintained a 135.4 passer rating heading into the third quarter with zero passing touchdowns. Fine didn’t register a score until the third quarter after he connected with Torrey and redshirt freshman Jyaire Shorter.

Freshman quarterback Jason Bean came into the game for Mason Fine when the score reached 38-3. The freshman signal-caller led a scoring drive to tally his second career touchdown pass after hooking up with junior wideout Jaelon Darden in the red zone.

Siggers was the lead back in this game once more after ending the night with 14 carries, 143 rushing yards and two touchdowns (10.2 yards per attempt). Torrey was close behind in carries (10) and registered 62 yards rushing along with a rushing and receiving touchdown.

North Texas held the Roadrunners to 295 yards of total offense and three points. They recovered two fumbles and two interceptions and allowed Texas-San Antonio to convert on third down six times out of 20.

“I think the linebackers and the whole defensive line were filling up the gaps and we were all doing our job,” junior defensive lineman Dion Novil said. “I’m proud of where we’re at right now but I know there’s a lot more progress we can make.”

UP NEXT: North Texas (2-2, Conference USA 1-0) plays host to Houston (1-3, 0-1 American Athletic Conference) as the Mean Green will look to defend their home turf once more on Saturday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

Featured ImageThe Mean Green run onto the field during their game against Texas-San Antonio at Apogee Stadium on Sept. 21, 2019. Image by Jordan Collard

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Matthew Suarez

Matthew Suarez

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