North Texas football falls to Middle Tennessee after hot start

North Texas football falls to Middle Tennessee after hot start

North Texas football falls to Middle Tennessee after hot start
October 01
22:22 2016

A hot start for North Texas football had a sour ending Saturday as the Mean Green were defeated 30-13 at home by Middle Tennessee State University.

The Mean Green (2-3, 1-1) looked perfect on its first drive, going 87-yards in 17 plays. It was capped off by a one-yard Jeffery Wilson touchdown run. Despite the fast start, the junior running back finished with 24 yards on 10 carries.

Freshman quarterback Mason Fine excelled on the opening drive, and went 8-for-10 with 76 yards through the air. Unfortunately for North Texas, nearly everything after the first drive was a struggle. For two quarters, every Mean Green drive resulted in a three-and-out.

Freshman quarterback Mason Fine (6) throws to the outside late in the game against MTSU. Fine finished with 303 yards and a touchdown. Colin MitchellFreshman quarterback Mason Fine (6) throws to the outside late in the game against MTSU. Fine finished with 303 yards and a touchdown. Colin Mitchell

The offense was plagued by an inability to move the ball, as the rushing game finished with a meager five yards.

The Blue Raiders (4-1, 2-0) made it to the red zone twice in the second quarter, but were denied touchdowns by the North Texas defense. After settling for two field goals, Middle Tennessee finally broke into the end zone with an 11-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Brent Stockstill to senior receiver Dennis Andrews seconds before halftime to give the Blue Raiders a 13-7 lead.

Needing a spark after the intermission, junior defensive back Kishawn McClain snagged his third interception of the year to give the Mean Green momentum, but another three-and-out quickly extinguished it.

Middle Tennessee continued to move the needle in its direction with a nine-yard touchdown pass over the middle to freshman Ty Wilson to make it 20-7 Blue Raiders late in the third quarter.

With hopes of a comeback looking grim, the North Texas defense made one final stand to keep them in the game by holding Middle Tennessee to another field goal.

Trailing by 16 points with under four minutes to play, Fine connected with freshman tight end Kelvin Smith to make the score 23-13. Needing a two-point conversion and an onside kick, a penalty negated the try and after failing to recover the onside kick, the Blue Raiders added one final touchdown for good measure to seal the deal and send them home victorious.

Next up: North Texas hosts Marshall University at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Featured Image: Sophomore wide reciever Tee Goree (3) attempts to catch a pass while being covered by MTSU corner back Michael Minter (6). North Texas scored during their first drive of the game. Colin Mitchell

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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