DENTON (10/13/07) The North Texas defense scored two touchdowns off interceptions and Casey Fitzgerald recorded the longest passing play in school history to lead the Mean Green football team to 31-21 victory against ULM and its first win of the season.
The Mean Green (1-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) is now tied in the series with the Warhawks, 12-12. ULM falls to 1-5 and 1-2 in the Sun Belt.
"It was nice that we finally put everything together and it paid off," head coach Todd Dodge said. "Our defense played its best game of the season and we got some breaks to go our way. I am so proud of this team that they kept working hard and didn't get discouraged after starting the season 0-5."
The North Texas defense held the Warhawks scoreless in the first half, while helping the offense out with two scores of its own. The Mean Green held a 21-0 lead at the half. ULM outscored NT in the second half, 21-10, but ran out of time.
The NT defense recorded three interceptions in the game, resulting in 17 points. Prior to tonight’s game, the Mean Green had only one interception in its first five games. NT also had four sacks in the game after posting four in the first five games.
Fitzgerald posted the school’s longest passing play with a 99-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. The 99-yard passing play was also just the 16th time that the feat has occurred in NCAA history. Micah Mosley had the other offensive touchdown, a one-yard run that capped the scoring for the Mean Green late in the fourth quarter.
"This is exciting," said Fitzgerald. "We've been working hard and finally got a win. The defense played a great game. I think they led us to the win. It's a big weight off our shoulders. Now we've got to get a win streak going."
North Texas was the first to turn over the ball in the second quarter, but Montey Stevenson quickly returned it to the Mean Green with a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown on ULM’s following play.
ULM had pinned North Texas down on its one-yard line after a Scott Love 47-yard punt, but the Mean Green responded with the longest passing play in school history. Casey Fitzgerald caught a short pass from Giovanni Vizza, shrugged off a ULM player and ran 99 yards to put the Mean Green ahead 14-0.
Dominique Green picked off ULM for a second time near the end of the first half and ran 75 yards for NT’s third touchdown of the game.
ULM jumped on the scoreboard at the start of the third quarter with a 46-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Trey Revell to Zacharie Zeek. Revell threw two more touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter to close the gap.
Craig Robertson had NT’s third pick in the third quarter, which resulted in a 20-yard Thomas Moreland field goal. Moreland’s second field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter was blocked.
Mosley led the team in rushing with 73 yards on 11 carries. Vizza followed with 66 yards, including a long of 38 yards. Fitzgerald and Brock Stickler led the receivers with six catches each.
North Texas returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 20 against Troy on the road at 2:30 p.m.