North Texas Daily

UTSA knocks UNT football out of C-USA title contention

UTSA knocks UNT football out of C-USA title contention

UTSA knocks UNT football out of C-USA title contention
November 23
19:56 2013

Tim Cato / Sports Editor, Brett Medeiros / Senior Staff Writer

With the clock winding down to zero in the fourth quarter and the offense frantically scrambling down the field, UNT had a final chance to tie a game that it had trailed in for all but two minutes.

But senior quarterback Derek Thompson’s pass from the two-yard line was intercepted, sealing a 21-13 loss against the University of Texas-San Antonio (6-5, 5-2) and breaking a five-game winning streak for the Mean Green (7-4, 5-2).

“[I’m] very disappointed with the outcome of the game,” head coach Dan McCarney said. “We didn’t play good enough consistently throughout the game and didn’t make enough plays and didn’t do some of the things that we’ve been doing a really good job of in recent weeks.”

Bizarre circumstances in the final drive set up the potential game-tying play. After UTSA missed a 46-yard field goal, UNT was left needing a 71-yard drive for a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 1:12 on the clock and no timeouts.

The offense made it to UTSA’s 28-yard line, where Thompson hit senior receiver Darnell Smith with a 25-yard strike. The clock showed zero and UTSA’s bench ran onto the field in celebration.

However, the referees ruled there was one second left on the clock when Smith was tackled. By rule, the clock temporarily stops after first downs, allowing the desperate final attempt by Thompson that was intercepted.

“We work for the opportunity to put ourselves in a position to win,” Thompson said. “We did a good job moving the ball and finding lanes, but unfortunately, that last play just didn’t happen for us. I should have put the ball outside more, and that’s on me.”

After falling behind early on a 40-yard touchdown run, the UNT offense could not capitalize on good field position provided by a blocked punt and interception, both from senior defensive back Marcus Trice.

The Roadrunners offense succeeded on 14-20 of its third down conversions, while UNT managed struggled with just 6-15.

“We didn’t play Mean Green football, I have no doubt that we are the better team, but we weren’t today,” junior guard Mason Y’Barbo said. “We let down the seniors and my best friends, the guys who deserved to go out on top.”

In the home finale, the 22 seniors were recognized on the field before the game. With low temperatures and a strong wind throughout the game, the attendance was announced at 19,335 with many leaving in the second half.

The loss eliminates UNT from conference title contention, but the team can finish second in the C-USA West Division if UTSA loses to Louisiana Tech University (4-6, 3-3) next Saturday.

The Mean Green will travel to Oklahoma to face the University of Tulsa (2-8, 1-5) in the season finale next Saturday.

“We can’t let this game beat us again if we sit around and keep talking about [it] all week,” McCarney said. “Let’s get ready to win next Saturday against Tulsa.”

Feature photo: Senior receiver Darnell Smith accelerates after catching a pass from senior quarterback Derek Thompson. The 22 seniors were recognized on the field prior to the game, as this is the last time they will play at home. Photo by Ryan Vance, Staff Photographer.

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