DENTON Mean Green fans got their first look at a new era of North Texas sports on Sunday as the White defeated the Green 48-29 in front of a crowd of 5,194 people at Fouts Field.
The Mean Green used a modified scoring system for the game that pitted the White (offense) versus the Green (defense). The offense scored points by means of a touchdown, extra point, explosive play, field goal and by converting three consecutive first downs. The defense scored points via defensive touchdown, forced turnover, quarterback sacks, blocked kicks, and three-and-out series.
Daniel Meager and Casey Fitzgerald turned out to be the stars of the afternoon, hooking up on a pair of long touchdown passes late in the afternoon that pushed the White’s lead to a comfortable margin. Meager would finish with 233 yards on eight of 16 passes with three scores. Fitzgerald would finish with 166 yards on four catches and two scores. The Mean Green has gone 31 games without a 200-yard passer in a regular season game, dating back to Scott Hall in 2004.
Overall, Mean Green quarterbacks threw for over 400 yards and three scores on the day.
“We are very pleased with the overall team effort today, we have a much better picture of where this team is and where we need to go when we start fall practice,” head coach Todd Dodge said. “The offense was more consistent today and that was what we were trying to accomplish. The defense is still the strength of this team and they showed what they are capable of. We set the goal at the beginning of the spring to get better during the 15 practices that we had and I can definitely say that we did that.”
Early on it looked as though the defense would have the upper hand as the offense sputtered. After a quick series led by Meager, redshirt freshman Nathan Tune came in to lead the second drive of the game and was promptly picked off by Tobe Nwigwe on the first play of the drive.
The White team took advantage of the good field position as Jamario Thomas took a handoff one yard around the right end and pranced into the end zone for the score.
After a Dominque Green interception that drew the Green team closer on the scoreboard, the White took control behind Woody Wilson at the helm. Wilson hooked up with Rice transfer Evan Fentriss three times for 41 yards on a 67-yard scoring drive that ended with Wilson taking it in himself from one yard out.
Fentriss and Wilson would both finish with solid days in front of the green clad crowd. Fentriss, who will sit out the 2007 season due to transfer rules, hauled in five catches for 93 yards on the afternoon. Wilson finished with 41 yards passing and was the leading rusher on the afternoon with 26 yards and a score.
The afternoon also had its other share of highlights including Meager hooking up with Brandon Jackson on a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a score, and Fitzgerald’s 85-yard touchdown that saw him bolt away from pursuing defenders.
The Mean Green offensive line also did an outstanding job, only allowing one quarterback sack in approximately 80 plays on the afternoon.