DENTON (9/22/07) Florida Atlantic scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 30-20 victory from the North Texas football team on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 20,479 at Fouts Field.
The Mean Green (0-3, 0-1) remains winless in the season at 0-3 and is now 0-4 in the series against the Owls (3-1, 2-0). The Owls go up 2-0 in conference play.
“I thought we did some things really well, but we had too many mistakes in the second half,” said North Texas head coach Todd Dodge. “I thought our defense played better tonight and our offense had some real bright spots, but we couldn’t put everything together in the second half.”
North Texas held a 17-10 halftime lead before giving up 20 points in the second half. Thomas Moreland’s field goal in the third quarter was the only points the Mean Green would score in the second half. Moreland missed a 25-yard field-goal attempt at the end of the game, ending his streak of four consecutive field goals. He nailed a pair of 37-yard field goals in tonight’s game, which are season-long makes.
The Owls took its first lead of the game with a 74-yard touchdown reception from Rusty Smith to Cortez Gent midway through the fourth quarter. The touchdown gave FAU a 23-20 advantage. The visitors extended the lead to 30-20 with a rushing touchdown at 3:36, which resulted from a blocked punt.
FAU blocked two North Texas punts in the game. The first one led to the Owls’ first touchdown of the game at the end of the second quarter.
North Texas quarterback Daniel Meager completed 38 of 61 passes for 301 yards. He found Kory Washington for the first score of the day, a 15-yard reception. The touchdown was the first of Washington’s career. The 38 completions ranks fifth in school history, while the 61 attempts ties for second.
“We came out strong, just like the SMU game,” said Daniel Meager. “Then we had a couple turnovers and that really hurt us. Anytime you have turnovers and they are able to score quick points off them, that makes it pretty easy for them.”
Senior running back Jamario Thomas looked back to form with his 11th career 100-yard rushing performance with 117 yards on 14 carries. He had a 42-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, which gave the Mean Green a 17-3 lead. The 42-yard run was the senior’s longest since he got loose against Idaho for 47 yards in a 2004.
As a team, North Texas ran for 165 yards in the game, including 129 in the first half. In the Mean Green’s first two games, NT ran for a combined 27 rushing yards.
Casey Fitzgerald and Brandon Jackson led the receivers with 10 catches each. Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 89 yards, including a long of 21.
Aaron Weathers and Derek Mendoza led the defense with 10 tackles each. Maurice Holman recorded the team’s lone sack of the game.
Cergile Sinclair led the FAU defense with 15 tackles and two sacks.
The announced crowd of 20,479 and was the ninth-most in Fouts Field history and the most for a Sun Belt Conference game.
North Texas returns to action on Sept. 29 when it travels to Fayetteville to face Arkansas.