North Texas Daily

Strong running game leads UNT football to victory

Strong running game leads UNT football to victory

Strong running game leads UNT football to victory
October 12
22:37 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

Carried by its defense and rushing attack, the UNT football team defeated Middle Tennessee State University and notched its first conference victory in Conference USA.

After MTSU (3-4, 1-2) scored its first and only touchdown of the game in the second quarter, the Mean Green (3-3, 1-1) reeled off 27 unanswered points on its way to the 34-7 victory.

UNT improves to 3-0 on the season at home and 10-4 at home since Apogee opened in 2011.

“It’s hard to turn the ball over three times and still win the game. Fortunately, we were able to do that,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “It was a great win, we are proud of it and now we have to move on.”

The offense ran for 303 total yards on the ground, the most rushing yards the Mean Green registered in a single game all year. Senior running back Brandin Byrd led the team with 139 yards on 20 carries.

This marks the most rushing yards the Mean Green gained in a single game all year.

“We executed well in practice so we knew that we could carry it over into the game,” Byrd said. “We [running backs] couldn’t do it without the offensive line. Regardless if you’re a top pick or a run-of-the-mill running back you won’t get any yards if there’s no on blocking.”

The UNT offense moved the ball at a methodic pace. On offense, the Mean Green produced its longest lasting drive of the year and won the time of possession battle, having the ball on offense for 36:31 minutes during the game.

The Mean Green defense continued its streak of creating turnovers with four through the game, including a 20 yard interception return for a touchdown by junior safety Lairamie Lee.  It was Lee’s second interception of the season and the first interception touchdown return for the Mean Green since 2011 against Florida Atlantic University.

“It feels good to get things back on track. We went out there all week and preached defense, defense, defense and let the offense do what they need to do,” senior defensive tackle Richard Abbe said.

UNT will take on Louisiana Tech University next Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, La., with a chance for its second win in C-USA.

Box score

Sophomore running back Antoinne Jimmerson runs the ball while narrowly escaping the grips of a Middle Tennessee opponent during Saturday’s home game at Apogee Stadium. Feature photo by Ryan Vance / Staff Photographer

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