North Texas Daily

UNT football smashes Southern Miss 55-14

UNT football smashes Southern Miss 55-14

UNT football smashes Southern Miss 55-14
October 26
23:33 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

Despite four turnovers in the game, the UNT football team defeated Southern Mississippi University 55-14 on Saturday.

The Mean Green won its third straight game and extended Southern Miss’s losing streak to 19 consecutive match-ups – even though the Golden Eagles are just two years removed from a Conference USA championship.

The 55 points against Southern Miss (0-7, 0-3) is the highest point total for the Mean Green (5-3, 3-1) this season, scoring 41 points in the first half alone. The team’s previous season high was 40 points in the season-opening win against the University of Idaho.

“Games like this just give us more and more confidence. We are really hitting our stride now,” senior safety Marcus Trice said. “Our preparation is the reason that we have been able to play so well these last couple of weeks.”

It was the first time since 2007 that UNT scored more than 40 points in a single half. In 2007 against Navy, the Mean Green scored 49 in the first half of that game but ended up losing 74-62 – the highest combined score in the history of NCAA Division 1 football.

But even scoring eight touchdowns, the Mean Green offense struggled to protect the ball. Senior quarterback Derek Thompson had two interceptions and the offense finished with four turnovers.

“Clearly, the turnovers are ridiculous,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “Putting up 55 points – and you still turn the ball over four times? It is just inexcusable. We have to get that fixed in a hurry.”

The UNT defense had a steadier performance. For the third time this season, the Mean Green held an opponent to 14 points or less. The defense also created five turnovers and sacked freshman quarterback Nick Mullens four times.

In each of the last three victories, UNT has rushed for more than 200 yards. Against the Golden Eagles, six different players combined for 229 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

“We knew they were going to give us some looks and that we stood a good chance running the ball,” junior left guard Mason Y’Barbo said. “We just had a fire lit under [us] to keep it going.”

UNT’s next game is against Rice University (6-2, 4-0) at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Apogee Stadium, giving the Mean Green less time than usual for preparation. Rice is tied for first in the C-USA West Division while UNT trails by one game in third place.

Box score

Junior running back Reggie Pegram breaks away from two Southern Miss defenders on Saturday. Pegram finished with two of UNT’s eight touchdowns in a 55-14 win. Feature photo courtesy of David Pyke.

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