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North Texas football mauled by Florida in the swamp

North Texas football mauled by Florida in the swamp

Terian Goree, Mean Green sophomore wide receiver (3), leads the team into battle against the Southern Methodist Mustangs.

North Texas football mauled by Florida in the swamp
September 17
23:08 2016

In a game that was more intense on the field than on the scoreboard, North Texas football fell to No. 23 Florida University 32-0 in the swamp on Saturday night.

The Mean Green (1-2) could not get the offense going, and was shutout for the first time this season. For the majority of the evening, freshman quarterback Mason Fine was on his back, courtesy of a relentless Gator (3-0) pass rush.

Indeed, the issue for the Mean Green was its offense. Fine was under constant duress from the Gators, who finished the night with seven sacks. Florida held North Texas to just 53 yards of total offense, which set a school record for the least number of yards gained by a Gator opponent.

“We’ve just got to play much better than that overall,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “I think it all stems from the week of practice the offense had. I just didn’t feel like they were a week better.”

The Mean Green defense came out strong though, forcing a punt on Florida’s opening possession. The Gator defense, not to be out done on its home turf, went straight after North Texas, and sacked Fine in the end zone for a safety to gain a quick 2-0 lead.

Unfazed, the Mean Green defense came back out and made a red zone stand, limiting the Gators to a field goal.

“The defense had an unbelievable week,” Littrell said. “The defense was a week better. When you’re playing against a team like that, they’ll expose you if you don’t execute.”

Florida put another touchdown on the board when sophomore running back Jordan Cronkrite sauntered into the end zone from six yards out. As the game progressed, the Gator’s ground game became tougher to contain.

Freshman running back LaMichael Perine carried in another touchdown for Florida to make it 19-0 before half.

Unfortunately for North Texas, the Gators kept on coming after intermission.

A balanced Florida attack helped keep the Mean Green defense on its heels all night. Sophomore quarterback Luke Del Rio finished 14-for-25 with 197 yards and an interception.

Things got chippy in the third quarter when junior linebacker Joshua Wheeler hit Del Rio low and from behind, forcing him to leave the game. Littrell and Florida head coach Jim McElwain got into a verbal dispute defending their guys, and the fire carried onto the field as players tussled after the whistle plenty of times throughout the remainder of the game.

“We were both fighting for our guys,” Littrell said. “That was his guy, his quarterback, and he was fighting for his team. [The hit by Wheeler] wasn’t on purpose. He wasn’t trying to cheap shot him.”

Florida junior running back Max Thompson did his part to silence the Mean Green with a 20-yard rush with 13:46 left to play in the fourth. A few minutes later, sophomore Jordan Scarlett punched in a one-yard rushing touchdown to make it 32-0, which would be the final.

Next up: The Mean Green open Conference USA play on Saturday when they travel to take on Rice University.

Featured Photo: Terian Goree, Mean Green sophomore wide receiver (3), leads the team into battle. Katie Jenkins

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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  1. Kennel Up
    Kennel Up September 18, 04:53

    They benched a fifth year QB who they thought would throw for 4,000 yards and 30 TDs for one bad quarter against SMU. It was his first start in four years. His replacement, a true freshman, had a weak game against a Division 1AA team and a terrible first half against Florida. They left him in for the full game. Where did the passing game go? The air-it-out era was very short. If this is the way the coaching staff evaluates players and makes game plans they better keep their resumes updated.

    Reply to this comment
  2. GangGreen
    GangGreen September 18, 12:53

    “[The hit by Wheeler] wasn’t on purpose. He wasn’t trying to cheap shot him.” Of course not! I mean, the guy’s only done it in 2 out the 3 games we’ve played this year. If it was on purpose he would have blown out the knee of last week’s QB too. He is clearly not a dirty player!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Patrick
    Patrick September 19, 18:13

    Are assault charges expected against Wheeler for trying to break Del Rio’s leg? It was clearly obvious his intent was to cause serious injury – that’s why he was ejected.

    Reply to this comment

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