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Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs Rice

Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs Rice

North Texas freshman running back A.J. Ezzard (32) celebrates after scoring a touchdown againt Rice on September 19th. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

Quick hits: Five observations from North Texas vs Rice
September 19
18:09 2015

Torie Mosley | Staff Writer

@toriemosley

1. McNulty’s increased confidence

The senior Mean Green quarterback came out gunning on the first drive. He connected on five passes for 61 yards, almost half of his total of 128 from the pocket against Southern Methodist University. The Iowa native didn’t throw an interception until the first pass of the third quarter after throwing two against SMU last week. His 93-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Carlos Harris in the fourth quarter gave McNulty his career high in passing yards with 303 on the day to go with his two touchdowns through the air.

2. Mean Green Faithful showing more support

  The dark skies and wet and humid start to the morning initially slowed North Texas tailgaters until the Mean Green faithful began piling into Apogee moments before the start of the game. The North Texas crowd helped its team go 4-2 at home last year, the only four games the Mean green won all season. The total attendance was 19,602.

UNT fans try to stay dry on their way to Apogee Stadium for Mean Green’s matchup with the Rice Owls.  Matthew Brown | Staff Photographer

UNT fans try to stay dry on their way to Apogee Stadium for Mean Green’s matchup with the Rice Owls. Matthew Brown | Staff Photographer

3. Losing the time of possession battle

Rice’s offense started controlling the tempo early in the game, holding the ball for over 10 minutes in the first quarter alone. After the first half, the Mean Green only accounted for a third of the game’s time of possession with just 10 minutes of offense. North Texas finished the game with just 18 minutes of time of possession to Rice’s 41.

4. Little to no consistency across the board

Whether it was an injury, a muffed punt or a late flag in the secondary, North Texas seemed to shoot itself in the foot time and time again. The defensive line allowed gaping holes in the running lanes for the Rice offense, and the team committed its seventh turnover in its eight quarters this season.

5. Offense opening up more

More shot gun formations and down-the-field passes made the North Texas offense look a lot more fluid. Despite only scoring 10 points before two late touchdowns, McNulty and crew seemed to click more with a more up-tempo offense. Controlling the ball at a higher speed seems to be the Mean Green’s main issue with three turnovers on the day.

Featured Image: North Texas freshman running back A.J. Ezzard (32) celebrates after scoring a touchdown againt Rice on September 19th. Dylan Nadwodny | Intern Photographer

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