AKRON, Ohio (9/23/06) Luke Getsy and the Akron offense put North Texas in an early hole and held on as the Zips bounced the Mean Green 33-13 at the Rubber Bowl on Saturday.
Getsy threw for 133 yards and three scores in the first half alone to give the defending Mid-America Conference champions a 33-7 lead at the break. The senior finished with 173 yards on 14 of 20 passing.
“Unfortunately, we played with no intensity in the first half and allowed them to run all over the field, and that falls entirely on me,” said North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey. “Fortunately our players never quit. They came out in the second half and made a few plays that put us in position to score a couple of times.”
North Texas struggled out of the gate as it took the Zips only 43 seconds to get on the scoreboard. Akron’s David Harvey returned the opening kickoff 78 yards and running back Andre Walker finished the job on the next play. Walker took an off-tackle handoff on the first play from scrimmage and went untouched 21 yards into the endzone.
The Mean Green stalled on its opening possession and the Zips charged back. Getsey hooked up with Jermaine Lindsay for a 37-yard touchdown pass to put the Zips up 13-0 only 5:38 into the game.
Things kept rolling the Zips way as North Texas quarterback Woody Wilson was intercepted on the next drive, giving Akron the ball at the NT 48-yard line.
On Walker’s back, the Zips found the endzone for a third time in as many tries. The junior slipped past a host of Mean Green tacklers and racked up his second touchdown of the quarter with just over five minutes left in the first.
The Mean Green finally came alive second quarter. Jamario Thomas broke a couple of tackles and bounced outside for a season-long 23 yard scamper. Wilson then found Johnny Quinn who walked a tightrope down the left sideline into the endzone to put North Texas on the board.
Quinn has recorded a catch in every game of his career (40) at North Texas, which ties for the second longest streak in the nation. The senior also ranks eighth in the country in career touchdowns with 18.
Thomas showed a renewed intensity against the Zips, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. The junior had three runs of over 20-yards, including a 22-yard touchdown scamper where the junior shook off a trio of Akron defenders. The 2004 national rushing champion finished with 120 yards on 18 carries.
“We just came in at half time and made some adjustments,” Thomas said. “I think the coaches did a great job of adjusting for the second half, and we did a pretty good job in the second half of keeping the ball moving.”
A couple of special teams plays gave the Mean Green new life and a pair of red-zone possessions in the second half. Antoine Bush recovered an onside kick, and Evan Robertson blocked and recovered his second punt of the season. On both series the Zips defense kept the Mean Green from capitalizing on fourth down.
North Texas returns home next week to open Sun Belt play against Middle Tennessee. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at Fouts Field.