North Texas Daily

Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Bethune-Cookman

Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Bethune-Cookman

North Texas junior running back Andrew Tucker (25) celebrates after scoring a defensive touchdown against Bethune-Cookman. Colin Mitchell

Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs. Bethune-Cookman
September 10
22:35 2016

1) Mason Fine starts at QB: After burning through his redshirt against SMU, head coach Seth Littrell promised to give Fine playing time and he delivered. Instead of graduate Alec Morris under center, Fine got the nod, becoming the first true freshman to start at quarterback since Giovanni Vizza in 2007. Although he didn’t have eye-popping numbers, Fine finished the game 11 of 22 for 108 yards and managed the game well. Fine’s highlight of the night came in the second quarter when he took off up the middle, lowered his shoulder and trucked a Bethune-Cookman safety. The play not only riled up the team, but the Apogee crowd, as well.

2) Getting off the field on third down: The same North Texas defense that gave up a 3rd and 45 last week against Southern Methodist University flustered Bethune-Cookman all game. The Wildcats were held without a third down conversion in the first half, and finished the night 2 of 12. This meant more offensive chances for North Texas and a fresh defensive unit that constantly harassed the Bethune-Cookman quarterback.

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Junior running back Andrew Tucker (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a blocked punt againt Bethune-Cookman. Colin Mitchell

3) Effective running game: The Mean Green rushed 51 times for 329 yards, and kept the Wildcats on their heels for the majority of the game. Junior Willy Ivery led the team in rushing with 108 yards and took over for junior Jeffrey Wilson, who did not play much in the second half. He showed up to the press conference with his arm in a sling and said he would be ready to go for next week’s matchup with Florida.

4) Stout defense: After being torched for 572 yards against SMU, North Texas held Bethune-Cookman to just 157 yards of total offense and did not surrender an offensive touchdown until late in the fourth quarter. Junior defensive back KiShawn McClain recorded his first interception of the season, as the secondary played air-tight coverage for most of the night. Wildcat’s quarterback, senior Larry Brihm Jr., struggled all night, and finished 8 of 19 for 74 yards and no touchdowns.

5) Special teams: Both teams blocked a punt, and North Texas returned theirs for a touchdown. Bethune-Cookman also took a punt 88 yards to the house and junior kicker Trevor Moore converted all of his field goals and PATs. Freshman wide receiver Tyler Wilson also returned a kick to the Wildcats 25-yard line, a play that gave a much needed spark to the Mean Green offense.

About Author

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell

Reece Waddell was the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily from May 2017 to December 2017. He previously served as the Sports Editor and Senior Sports Writer. Reece also worked at The Dallas Morning News and WFAA-TV.

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