Bowling Green, Ky. (11/24/12) - WKU scored
15 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 14-point deficit and defeat the
North Texas football team, 25-24, on Saturday afternoon at L.T. Smith Stadium.
The Hilltoppers improve to 7-5 and
4-4 in the Sun Belt, while the Mean Green concludes its 2012 season with a 5-7
mark and 3-5 conference record. With the loss, North Texas finished play in the
Sun Belt Conference and will move to Conference USA for the 2013 season.
North Texas held a 24-10 lead
heading into the fourth quarter, but a Mean Green turnover gave the momentum to
WKU, who reeled off 15 straight points.
WKU's Antonio Andrews rushed for 230
yards, including the game-winning 21-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Mean Green held a 17-10 halftime
lead after two rushing touchdowns and a 22-yard field goal. A 12-yard touchdown
passing play from Derek Thompson to Darnell Smith gave North Texas a 24-10 advantage at
the end of the third quarter.
A Thompson interception that was
returned for a touchdown by Jonathan Dowling at the 12:44 mark in the fourth
quarter changed the game for the Mean Green. Andrews then moved into another gear,
and the North Texas offense stumbled.
After a North Texas drive halted
after 16 yards, WKU took the ball 41 yards and used a 27-yard field goal to cut
into the lead a little more, 24-19. On WKU's next possession, Andrews used his
own 53-yard run to set up a 21-yard TD rush to give WKU a 25-24 lead with 3:30
left in the game.
North Texas was unable to move the
ball on its last possession, and the Hilltoppers ran out the clock to seal the
opened the game with a touchdown score, North Texas tied the game with a first
quarter-touchdown on a Brandin Byrd 61-yard scoring run. It was just the
second time in the last seven games that the Mean Green scored a touchdown in
the opening quarter. With his 61-yard run, the junior running back now has
the two longest rushing plays of the season for North Texas, which includes
an 85-yard touchdown run against South Alabama.
back Jeremy Brown rushed for a 20-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give
North Texas a 14-7 lead. It was the first time since the FAU game on Sept. 29
that the Mean Green has held a lead of seven or more points in the first
half. Byrd led the rushers with 102 yards.
linebacker Derek Akunne recorded his second interception of the season and the
second interception of his career which helped set up a second-quarter field goal
by Olen. The 17 points in the first half tied the most points by the Mean Green
in the first half this season.
Texas forced two turnovers in the third quarter but failed to convert either of
them into points.
14-point lead to begin the fourth quarter was the largest lead by North Texas
after three quarters this season. The Mean Green led Texas Southern by 13
to begin the fourth quarter. North Texas surrendered a second-half lead for the
first time this season.