DENTON (9/22/06) - The North Texas football team takes on a Mid-America Conference school for only the fourth time in school history tonight at Akron. The game will be carried by the Mean Green Radio Network. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT.
The Mean Green was handed a 28-3 loss at Tulsa last weekend, with the Golden Hurricane limiting North Texas to 89-total offensive yards. North Texas leads the Sun Belt Conference in net punting (36.9 ypp), and ranks 39th in the nation with a .33 turnover margin per game. For the second week in a row, the Mean Green will face one of the nation’s top-20 passing attacks. Akron recorded a win over North Carolina State in week two, but fell to Central Michigan 24-21 last week. The Zips lead the MAC in total defense (287.67 ypg) and passing offense with 278 yards per game, which ranks 18th in the country.
Akron took the only meeting between the two programs in 1971. The Zips topped a Rod Rust coached Mean Green squad 20-6 at Fouts Field.
The Akron Zips made their first trip to Denton a memorable one as they raced out to a 17-0 halftime lead, and cruised to a 20-6 victory over North Texas on Oct. 9, 1971. Akron outrushed North Texas 145-19 as the Eagles managed only 30 total yards in the fi rst half. Calvin Pierce had two second-quarter touchdowns, of one and 14 yards, and fi nished with 124 yards on 28 carries.
North Texas will face only its fourth Mid-America Conference team when it takes on Akron on Saturday. The Mean Green, which holds a 1-2 record against the conference, last faced a MAC team in 1996, beating Northern Illinois 24-21. North Texas fell in its first meeting with a MAC school in a 21-7 loss to Bowling Green at Fouts Field.
North Texas was unable to contain Tulsa’s second-half explosion, falling to the Golden Hurricane 28-3 at Skelly Stadium last Saturday. On the arm of quarterback Paul Smith, Tulsa (2-1) pulled away from a 7-3 halftime lead to down the Mean Green (1-2). Smith threw for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns while completing 21-of-31 passes. After a defensive struggle in the first two quarters, Tulsa didn’t waste any time in opening the second half. The Golden Hurricane drove 82-yards on 10-plays for a 34-yard Smith touchdown pass to Ryan Bugg on the frame’s first possession. The Golden Hurricane came right back on its next possession with a 70-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run from Brandon Diles. Diles added another touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The Golden Hurricane ended the game with a 401-89 advantage in total yardage, holding North Texas to 38 second-half yards.
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