Football snaps losing streak, beats FAU on Homecoming

Football snaps losing streak, beats FAU on Homecoming

Football snaps losing streak, beats FAU on Homecoming
November 08
22:36 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green football team picked up its first conference win of the season Saturday by defeating Florida Atlantic University 31-10 at Apogee Stadium. The game was the 1000th in program history and also the team’s Homecoming.

“Homecoming’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for everybody. Alumni, students, everybody that gets involved,” senior offensive lineman Mason Y’Barbo said. “But it’s all about the game. And to cap it off with a win makes for a great weekend.”

North Texas (3-6, 1-4) snapped a four game losing streak with the win and avoided postseason elimination. Head coach Dan McCarney said counting the Mean Green out at this point in the season would be a mistake.

“Don’t throw dirt on us now around this place,” McCarney said. “There’s a lot of character and a lot of pride. There’s a lot of integrity in this program, and our guys really responded and played well.”

The Mean Green came out of the gates firing and moved the ball well throughout the first quarter. The Mean Green made it into field goal range on its opening possession, but attempted a failed fake field goal.

After FAU went three-and-out on its opening drive, the Mean Green capitalized on its next possession with a 41 yard touchdown run by junior running back Antoinne Jimmerson. McCarney said he challenged his offensive line this week, and Jimmerson said they answered.

“I felt that they responded well,” Jimmerson said. “I feel like when you challenge an o-line, it’s like challenging a pack of wolves to eat some food. They were ready tonight. They had a mindset. They had that look in their eyes. Every play we were running, I felt good about running the ball tonight.”

The Owls kicked a field goal to make the score 7-3, but the Mean Green responded with a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Andrew McNulty to extend the lead to 14-3. The team scored another touchdown in the second quarter to make it a 21-3 lead at halftime.

Both offenses came out of halftime sluggishly, but FAU was able to draw first blood in the second half. FAU elected to go for it on a fourth-and-12 despite being in field range, and the gamble paid off with quarterback Jaquez Johnson throwing a strike to tight end Alex Deleon to cut the North Texas lead to 21-10.

North Texas tacked on a field goal in the fourth quarter following a fumbled punt return by FAU receiver Lucky Whitehead to make the score 24-10. Junior tight end Jarrod Lynn plunged into the endzone with three minutes remaining in the game to finalize the score at 31-10.

FAU quarterback Jaquez Johnson came into the game with 14 passing touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns, but the Mean Green held Johnson to only 99 yards through the air and 0 yards on the ground.

“That guy’s a big, strong quarterback, and we knew that going into it they were going to have to tackle well. And they did that,” McCarney said.

The Mean Green will travel to El Paso next weekend to take on the University of Texas – El Paso. Kickoff is 9 p.m. Saturday.

Featured Image: Junior running back Antoinne Jimmerson runs the ball as junior quarterback Andrew Mcnulty searches for a defender to block against Florida Atlantic University on Saturday. Jimmerson rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown. Photo by Adrian Warfield – Staff Photographer

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