North Texas Daily

RECAP: Football blown out 40-6 by UAB to start Conference USA play

RECAP: Football blown out 40-6 by UAB to start Conference USA play

RECAP: Football blown out 40-6 by UAB to start Conference USA play
September 20
11:10 2021

North Texas lost 40-6 versus the University of Alabama-Birmingham in their conference opener Saturday night. The six points put up by North Texas is the second-lowest number in the Littrell era, beaten only by the 32-0 shutout loss versus the University of Florida in 2016. 

“For [North Texas] it started bad really from the first drive,” head coach Seth Littrell said following the game. “Couldn’t get anything going offensively, couldn’t move the chains.”

North Texas’ (1-2, 0-1 Conference USA) defense came up big on the first UAB (2-1, 1-0 conference USA) drive of the game, forcing a punt. However, the defense’s efforts were negated immediately, as the first offensive play of the game saw sophomore quarterback Jace Ruder throw his fifth interception of the season to junior defensive back Keondre Swoopes.

“We got a lot to work on,” senior running back Deandre Torrey said. “Defense started fast, they got their first stop and then we gave it right back to them.”

UAB easily scored on a goal-line rush with sophomore running back Dewayne McBride to open up the night’s scoring. 

The following drive for North Texas’ offense ended with Ruder taking a hard sack on third down which forced a punt deep in their own territory. UAB would drive to the 10 before nailing a field goal to extend their lead 10-0.

Junior quarterback Austin Aune took the field for the Mean Green following the field goal, yet was unable to score any points.

“We’re not going to turn the ball over,” Littrell said about his decision to bench Ruder. “We need to take care of the football, and eventually we need to understand that.”

The Mean Green struggled on both sides of the ball as the defense surrendered 407 yards of total offense to the Blazers offense led by junior quarterback Dylan Hopkins and senior tight end Gerrit Prince.

“We just didn’t execute,” senior linebacker Tyreke Davis said. “[UAB] did some things, they had a couple end-overs and delay routes, and it just came down to us not executing the defense and our assignments that turned into fatals.”

Hopkins finished six for seven through the air with 202 yards and three touchdowns, while his main target Prince caught three passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns. 

UAB was up 30-0 going into halftime leading to Littrell re-inserting Ruder back in as quarterback in hopes of reigniting the offense. He threw the only score of the night in the fourth quarter to freshman receiver Detravion Brown, which was his first catch and touchdown of his career. However, the subsequent two-point attempt by the Mean Green was unsuccessful, and the game ended with the Blazers winning 40-6.

North Texas continues their C-USA campaign next Saturday as the team travels to Ruston, Louisiana to take on Louisiana Tech University (1-2, 0-0 C-USA). 

“[The game] was awful from the start,” Littrell said. “You’re going to have adversity in every game, and you got [to] be able to overcome it, there’s no reason to be worried or fretting about something bad happening, just got to focus in and continue to do your job.”

Featured Image: Senior running back Deandre Torrey prepares to run past University of Alabama at Birmingham players on Sep. 18, 2021. Photo by Zachary Thomas

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Reed Smith

Reed Smith

fall sports editor

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