North Texas Daily

Wilson, Fine lead North Texas past UTEP on homecoming

Wilson, Fine lead North Texas past UTEP on homecoming

Wilson, Fine lead North Texas past UTEP on homecoming
November 11
20:24 2017

The University of Texas at El Paso had beaten North Texas the past three seasons, with the most prominent win coming last year as the Mean Green were looking for their sixth win and bowl eligibility.

In that contest, the Miners throttled North Texas 52-24 in the final game of the regular season.

That’s what led players called to call this week a revenge game of sorts, as North Texas defeated UTEP 45-10 on homecoming Saturday night at Apogee Stadium.

North Texas’ (7-3, 6-1) offense started slow, scoring just seven points in the first 27 minutes, but found its rhythm not long after. The Mean Green went on to score 21 points in the following 12 minutes of play and had 31 in the second half against the Miners’ (0-10, 0-6) worn down defense.

Sophomore quarterback Mason Fine returned to form after a tough outing against Louisiana Tech, completing 23 of his 35 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns.

He completed most of his passes to four receivers, two of which found freshman receiver Jaelon Darden for the first two Mean Green touchdowns of the game.

Senior running back Jeffery Wilson coughed up the ball on the first North Texas drive of the game and his fumble was scooped up and scored by UTEP junior defensive back Kahani Smith. The touchdown put the Miners up 7-0 until the first Darden touchdown with under a minute left in the opening quarter.

Wilson bounced back from his mistake and put up 144 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries. He also set a career high in receptions with seven, picking up 58 yards through the air.

Sophomore receiver Michael Lawrence came down with timely catches, especially in the first half, and finished the game with five catches for 63 yards. The other touchdown receptions came on a 60-yard pass to sophomore Rico Bussey Jr. and a 2-yard pass to sophomore Jalen Guyton.

The North Texas defense also stepped up once again, holding the UTEP offense to just three points all night.

Junior cornerback Nate Brooks found himself back in the rotation after head coach Seth Littrell said Brooks earned his playing time on the practice field. Brooks totaled one tackle in the previous five games and led the team with eight tackles Saturday night.

Sophomore defensive lineman LaDarius Hamilton had six tackles as well as an interception with 11:09 left in the fourth quarter.

Midway through the fourth quarter, head coach Seth Littrell put in several reserves, including senior quarterback Quinn Shanbour and running back Andrew Tucker. With 5:59 left in the game, Tucker scored on a 10-yard scamper to the left side, putting North Texas up 45-10.

The score essentially ended the game, clinching the West Division and a spot in the Dec. 2 Conference USA championship game.

Featured image: Senior running back Jeffery Wilson rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mean Green on the ground in Saturday’s 45-10 win over the University of Texas at El Paso. Rachel Walters

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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