LAFAYETTE, La. (10/26/02) Two touchdown runs each by Kevin Galbreath and Ja’Mel Branch combined with a dominating defensive effort to spark the North Texas Mean Green to a 27-0 Sun Belt Conference victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
In what may have been the Mean Green’s most overpowering performance of the season, North Texas remained unbeaten in Sun Belt play by posting its second shutout win of the season and knocking off its second consecutive SBC opponent to improve to 3-5 overall and 2-0 in league play.
The Mean Green now return home for three straight games at Fouts Field, beginning with Saturday’s Homecoming game against Louisiana-Monroe at 3:05 p.m.
“I’m really proud of the kids,” said North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey. “Louisiana-Lafayette is greatly improved from last year and it’s always tough to win on the road.”
In wet, sometimes rainy conditions, the Mean Green got outstanding efforts on both sides of the ball. Galbreath rushed for 133 yards to record his 12th career 100-yard game while scoring on a pair of two-yard touchdown runs, and Branch provided two scores on runs of two and seven yards.
And on defense, the Mean Green posted its second shutout of the season and now has held opponents to 17 scoreless quarters this season. North Texas’ defense ranked No. 14 in the country last week -- also forced UL Lafayette into three turnovers (one interception, two fumbles) and registered four quarterback sacks.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Smith also turned in a solid performance while completing seven of 12 passes for 147 yards. He hooked up on a 30-yard pass play to Michael Hickmon to set up Galbreath’s first TD and connected on a 59-yard George Marshall in the third quarter that set up Galbreath’s second score.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (1-7, 0-3) really had just three scoring threats, including two missed field goals from 40-plus yards and a drive in the game’s final minutes that was stopped at the North Texas five-yard line when the Mean Green’s Brandon Kennedy recovered a fumble to preserve the shutout.
Cody Spencer’s interception early in the second quarter set up Branch’s two-yard touchdown run with 12:28 left in the quarter. The extra point was blocked, giving NT a 6-0 lead.
On North Texas’ next series, the Smith-to-Hickmon pass play put the Mean Green at the four-yard line. Several plays later, Galbreath raced around the right side to score from two yards out to cap a nine-play, 58-yard drive.
North Texas took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and marched to Galbreath’s second TD, ignited by the long Marshall pass play.
Then with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter, Darrell Daniels’ fumble recovery at the Lafayette 48 set up North Texas for its final touchdown drive. The eight-play, 61-yard march completed with Branch’s seven-yard scoring run.