North Texas Daily

Sloppy play dooms Mean Green football in road loss to UTSA

Sloppy play dooms Mean Green football in road loss to UTSA

October 29
22:30 2016

Turnovers were North Texas’ Achilles heel on Saturday night.

The Mean Green (4-4, 2-2) could not overcome two fumbles and two interceptions in a 31-17 road loss to the University of Texas at San Antonio. Freshman quarterback Mason Fine accounted for three of the turnovers, including an ill-advised pass that killed a drive approaching Roadrunner (4-4, 2-2) territory.

Junior running back Jeffrey Wilson, who had 160 yards and three touchdowns last week against Army, failed to get anything going against UTSA, and finished with 43 yards on 19 carries. He also had a key fumble on third and goal from the 1-yard line to end the first half, which cost North Texas points before intermission.

“We’ve got to do better things up front,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “It’s on all of us. It’s on coaches, it’s on players. We’ve got to do a much better job.”

There were just two scores in the first half, both for the Roadrunners. UTSA struck first when junior quarterback Dalton Sturm fired a strike over the middle to junior wide receiver Josh Stewart on a slant from seven yards out to put the Roadrunners up 7-0.

Despite throwing an interception and struggling throughout the game, Fine led the Mean Green on a drive that looked poised for points before halftime. But Wilson coughed the ball up on the goal line and UTSA recovered, sending North Texas into halftime with just 111 total yards of offense.

The Mean Green came out of the locker room fired up, though, and on the first play from scrimmage, Fine darted 80 yards to the endzone on a designed quarterback draw to get North Texas on the board. It was the longest run by the Mean Green this season.

Fine was North Texas’ leading rusher on the day, and finished 25-for-34 with 228 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions.

However, the momentum did not last.

After a quick three-and-out by UTSA, Fine fumbled on the ensuing North Texas drive and the Roadrunners tacked on a field goal to extend their lead to 17-7. But North Texas continued to struggle holding onto the ball, as Fine threw yet another pick on the team’s next drive.

The Roadrunners capitalized on the Mean Green blunder again, as sophomore running back Jalen Rhodes pranced into the end zone to cap of an eight-play, 50-yard drive.

North Texas pulled a field goal back in the fourth quarter to make the score 24-10, but UTSA put another touchdown on the board to make it 31-10.

The Mean Green attempted to mount a late comeback, as Fine found senior wide receiver Kenny Buyers for a 10-yard touchdown with under six minutes to play to cut the lead to 31-17. The Mean Green then recovered the ensuing onside kick to make things interesting, but were thwarted by an offensive pass interference call that nullified a touchdown and sealed the UTSA victory.

“I look forward to getting back to Apogee and our fans,” Littrell said. “We’ll get back on this tape tomorrow and correct our mistakes.”

Next up: The Mean Green host Louisiana Tech University at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Featured Image: The Mean Green faced off against the University of Texas – San Antonio Roadrunners, Saturday, October 29, 2016, in San Antonio, Texas. Tomas Gonzalez

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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1 Comment

  1. Kennel Up
    Kennel Up October 30, 03:25

    Mason Fine played like a true freshman. If we hope to go bowling in December put Morris in at QB and use Fine as a running back. Get us some beef for the OL over the winter.

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