North Texas extends losing streak, drops to 0-4

North Texas extends losing streak, drops to 0-4

North Texas extends losing streak, drops to 0-4
October 03
23:45 2015

Reece Waddell | Senior Staff Writer

@ReeceTapout15

Two years ago, North Texas dropped 45 first half points on the University of Southern Mississippi, in route to a 55-14 victory.

It was a complete role reversal Saturday night, as the Mean Green lost its fourth game of the season, falling to the Golden Eagles (3-2, 1-0) by a final score of 49-14.

North Texas was continually backed up in the first half, starting inside its own 20-yard line on four separate occasions.

This led to an inability to flip the field and gave Southern Mississippi drives that started at midfield or in North Texas territory.

Despite this, Mean Green sophomore running back Jeffrey Wilson had a career day, finishing with 22 carries for 136 yards.

“He’s not holding us back, he’s a heck of a football player,” head coach Dan McCarney said of Wilson. “He’s durable, he’s tough. But it’s not enough right now and we all know that. We have to get him some more help. Hat’s off to Southern Mississippi. They’re a good team and played a heck of a football game.”

Adding to North Texas’ offensive struggles was Southern Mississippi’s ability to get in the backfield. The Golden Eagles recorded five sacks in the first half, four of which came on third down.

Senior quarterback Andrew McNulty was the recipient of four of those sacks, which led to McCarney going to junior backup quarterback DaMarcus Smith midway through the second quarter.

“We’ll continue to look at [DaMarcus Smith], we’ll continue to evaluate him, but he has to work on managing our offense,” McCarney said. “He didn’t do a good enough job of that tonight, but we came in knowing we would give him a look and we did. But [McNulty] is still our starter.”

Smith’s best play of the evening came when he found senior wide receiver Carlos Harris Jr. for a 61-yard reception, giving North Texas life late in the second quarter. Harris had another big day for the Mean Green, hauling in 9 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown.

Unfortunately for the Mean Green. that drive ended when Smith was picked off on a 3rd and goal from the two-yard line, deflating any hopes of a score before halftime, allowing Southern Miss to take a 21-0 lead into the intermission.

Southern Mississippi junior quarterback Nick Mullens was 15/21 for 169 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. He ended the night 27 for 36 with four touchdowns and 325 yards before being pulled early in the fourth quarter.

Southern Mississippi continued to pile it on, scored again midway through the third quarter when Mullens threw for his third touchdown of the evening, a five-yard strike to senior wide receiver Mike Thomas, who ended the game with seven receptions, 155 yards and three touchdowns.

McNulty would reenter the game in the third quarter and eventually get North Texas on the board with 14:45 left in the fourth quarter when Harris caught a 23-yard touchdown pass. This cut the Golden Eagles lead to 35-7.

Southern Mississippi would add two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter before the Mean Green could answer for the final time, as sophomore running back Willy Ivery scampered into the end zone to make it 49-14.

North Texas gave up its most yardage so far this season, allowing Sothern Mississippi to gain 573 yards of total offense. McCarney’s squad has now given up more than 400 yards in every game this season as opponents are averaging 45 points a game against them.

“This is the time you find out about the resolve and strength of your football team,” McCarney said. “We all want to get out there and correct the mistakes. And we’re all anxious to get back and play a great homecoming game next week.”

Next Up: North Texas takes on Portland State University with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. next Saturday, October 10, at Apogee Stadium. 

Featured Image: Running back Antoinne Jimmerson rushes the ball as Andrew Mcnulty searches to make a block. File Photo | North Texas Daily

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