North Texas Daily

UNT football smothers Tulsa 42-10 for eighth win

UNT football smothers Tulsa 42-10 for eighth win

UNT football smothers Tulsa 42-10 for eighth win
November 30
18:49 2013

Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

The UNT football team defeated the University of Tulsa 42-10 for the first time since 1969 on Saturday, ending the 2013 regular season with its sixth win in seven games.

Just one year after going 4-8, the Mean Green reversed its record to finish 8-4 – the biggest single-season turnaround since 1984 and only the 13th time in school history that a UNT team won eight games or more.

“We try to create an environment where these guys can be successful,” special teams and running back coach Tommy Perry said. “This team focuses on every play regardless of the score and what team they’re playing. We are heading in the right direction right now, there is no doubt.”

Tulsa jumped on UNT early by returning a fumble for a touchdown, but UNT took a 14-10 lead with a blocked punt recovered in the end zone. With a dominant defensive effort and an effective rushing attack, UNT never looked back.

Usually, the Golden Hurricane thrives off the performance of senior running back Trey Watts. He is one of the best running backs in the conference leading Conference USA with 1,215 total rushing yards heading into the game. On Saturday against UNT, Watts gained only 75 rushing yards.

On the ground, the Mean Green received a career performance by senior running back Brandin Byrd. Highlighted by a career-long, 91-yard touchdown, Byrd finished the game with 251 yards on 26 rushes and three touchdowns.

“I just knew that I was going to come out and give it everything I got because it’s my last regular season game,” Byrd said.

As a group, the UNT rushing attack accounted for all of the team’s offensive touchdowns and totaled 372 yards on the ground. Tulsa’s offense only earned 160 total yards.

Although the regular season is over, the Mean Green still has one more game to play. With eight wins this season, UNT is bowl eligible for the first time since 2004 and will appear in a bowl game later this year. The bowl game has yet to be decided.

“It has been a day-at-a-time process and life isn’t necessarily what you take with you, but what you leave behind,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “There’s one more game for this team and these seniors and it’s an important one.”

Feature photo: Senior wide receiver Darnell Smith runs the ball during a home game against the University of Texas at San Antonio on Nov. 23 at Apogee Stadium. Photo by Ryan Vance / Staff Photographer  

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