DENTON (10/7/06) The North Texas football team needed seven overtime periods to defeat Florida International, 25-22, on Saturday night at Fouts Field.
The seven-overtime game tied for the longest game in NCAA history and was the first overtime game for North Texas since joining Division-I-A. North Texas was the final NCAA Division 1-A team to never have played in an overtime game.
The Mean Green (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak with the win and take a 2-0 lead in the series against FIU. The game tied with a pair of seven overtime games
Down 13-5 with midway through the fourth quarter, North Texas began its rally. The Mean Green first cut the FIU lead to five points at 13-8 following a 23-yard field goal by Denis Hopovac with 5:12 to play.
A 4-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Quinn by Daniel Meager with 2:00 minutes to play and a two-point conversion gave the Mean Green a 16-13 lead. FIU rallied and sent the game into overtime with a 28-yard field goal by Dustin Rivest in the final seconds of regulation.
The seven-overtimes featured a combined 13 field goal attempts between the two teams. The game came to an end when Hopovac connected on a 34-yard field-goal in the seventh overtime to win the game.
North Texas quarterback Woody Wilson threw three interceptions in the game, including a 23-yard return for a touchdown by Antwan Barnes. The third-quarter pick extended FIU’s lead to 13-5.
After being shutout in the first half, FIU went on a successful seven-play, 80-yard drive on its first possession of the second half.
North Texas’ 5-0 halftime lead marked the lowest scoring half in a Mean Green game since the Nov. 9, 2002 match-up against Idaho. The Mean Green and the Vandals battled to a scoreless first half before North Texas pulled ahead in the third quarter to win 10-0.
The Mean Green did not get off to a good start at the first quarter, throwing an interception on its first offensive play.
North Texas turned a negative into a positive by forcing three and out at the FIU 22-yard line against the Golden Panthers. FIU’s center snapped the ball over the punter’s head for a Mean Green team safety to put North Texas ahead, 2-0, at the 8:16 mark of the first quarter.
After FIU kicked the ball back to North Texas, Woody Wilson led the Mean Green on a 13-play drive, culminating with a 35-yard field goal by Denis Hopovac midway through the first quarter. The drive took 7:34 off the clock, the longest Mean Green offensive possession of the season.
The Mean Green had a successful goal-line stand at the end of the second quarter to hold FIU scoreless in the first half. The Golden Panthers moved the ball 62 yards but were unable to convert a fourth and one on the one-yard line. Maurice Holman and a host of Mean Green defenders stopped running back Julian Reams from putting points on the scoreboard.
North Texas has the week off before returning to action on Saturday October 21, at Arkansas State.