DALLAS, Texas (9/8/07) Despite school-record performances by Daniel Meager and Casey Fitzgerald, the SMU football team scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 45-31 victory against North Texas on Saturday night at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.
The Mustangs (1-1) won its first game of the season and avenges last season’s loss to the Mean Green. North Texas is still winless at 0-2 and trails in the series vs. SMU, 28-4-1. The Mustangs lead the series in Dallas against NT, 22-1-1.
Meager broke Steve Ramsey’s 38-year old single-game passing record with a 601-yard performance. The junior had a career night, completing 46-of-64 passes, both school records. He also had three touchdown passes. Meager also had a career-high long pass of 66 yards to Fitzgerald, which set up a third-quarter field goal.
Meager also threw three fourth-quarter interceptions, two of which led to SMU touchdowns.
Fitzgerald set the North Texas single-game receiving record with 327 yards. He caught a career-high eight passes, including two touchdown passes. The 327 receiving yards is also the fourth-best single-game performance in NCAA Division I history.
As a team, North Texas also broke school records. The Mean Green broke single-team records for total offensive yards (613) and passing yards (524). The previous record was set in 1969 game against Southwest Louisiana.
North Texas tied the game at 31-31 midway through the fourth quarter after losing a first-quarter lead. North Texas tied the game with a two-yard touchdown carry by Micah Mosley, the first of his career. The Mean Green drove 99 yards with a 34-yard catch to Fitzgerald to set up the Mosley run.
Similar to last year’s match-up, North Texas scored first, this time with an offensive score. Brandon Jackson caught a four-yard touchdown reception from Meager to put North Texas ahead, 7-0. Jackson set up his own touchdown with a 38-yard catch during the drive.
Jackson caught a career-high 10 passes for a personal-best 133 yards.
After SMU responded with a field-goal, North Texas drove 71 yards to score its second touchdown in the first quarter. Fitzgerald caught his first touchdown pass of the game, a 25-yard reception to give NT a 14-3 advantage.
SMU took the lead in the second quarter with two touchdowns, 17-14. James Mapps and DeMyron Martin each had rushing touchdowns for the Mustangs. Mapps finished with 46 yards, while Martin rushed for 40. As a team, SMU finished with 181 rushing yards, compared to NT’s 12 yards.
North Texas was shutout in the second quarter, but Truman Spencer bested his career-long punt with a 73-yarder, pinning SMU at its three-yard line.
The Mustangs extended its score to 31-17 in the third quarter before North Texas began a fourth-quarter comeback. Meager led an 80-yard drive at the start of the fourth quarter, resulting with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald to bring NT within seven points, 31-24.
After the off-week, North Texas returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 22 with a home game against FAU.