FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (9/29/07) The Arkansas Razorbacks scored on its first five possessions on its way to a 66-7 victory over the University of North Texas Saturday night in front of 66,343 at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Mean Green (0-4, 0-1 Sun Belt) remains winless on the season and is now 4-30 all-time against SEC opponents.
The Arkansas backs combined to rush for 446 yards and five touchdowns. Heisman Trophy hopeful Darren McFadden rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way for Arkansas. Two other Arkansas backs broke the 100-yard mark against the Mean Green. Felix Jones finished with 132 yards and two scores, while Brandon Barnett rushed for a career-high 105 yards.
“Those two guys (McFadden and Jones) were as advertised,” said North Texas head coach Todd Dodge. “They broke off some big runs that really put us in a hole early.”
The Razorbacks (2-2, 0-2 SEC) racked up 507 yards of total offense during the first half on their way to a 45-7 lead at the half. It was the most first half yards allowed by the Mean Green all season. Arkansas finished the game with 713 total yards of offense.
The Mean Green defense allowed six scoring drives that were under two minutes in time of possession. North Texas has now allowed 17 scores on the season in which the drive took less than two minutes.
Daniel Meager got the start for the Mean Green, completing seven-of-15 passes on the night for 71 yards. True freshman Giovanni Vizza entered midway through the first half and finished the game eight-of-25 for 118 yards. Meager and Vizza both threw interceptions in the 59-point loss. It’s the first time on the season in which the Mean Green has not committed three or more turnovers in a game.
The only Mean Green touchdown of the game came with 1:24 left in the first half when Vizza ran it in from one-yard out for his first rushing touchdown of his career. The touchdown was set up by a 33-yard Jamario Thomas run on third and short. North Texas was 0-for-7 up to that point on third-down conversions.
North Texas forced a Razorback punt on Arkansas’ opening possession, but a costly illegal participation penalty gave Arkansas a first down and helped keep the drive alive. Two plays later, Jones took a reverse and sprinted 34 yards to give the Razorbacks a 7-0 lead just 1:52 into the contest.
“Our defense caused a stop early in the game that would have been a huge momentum boost,” Dodge said. “But when you make a mental mistake like that, it really hurts.”
North Texas finished the game with 329 total yards of offense, with 140 yards on the ground and 189 passing. After rushing for a combined 27 yards during the first two games, the North Texas offense surpassed the 100-yard mark rushing for the second consecutive game.
The Mean Green will be back in Sun Belt Conference action next week as they travel to Lafayette, La. to square off against winless Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.