Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (11/8/08) Rusty Smith threw four touchdown passes to lead the Florida Atlantic football team to a 46-13 win against North Texas at Lockhart Stadium on Saturday night.
The Mean Green falls to 1-9 and 0-5 in the Sun Belt, while the Owls extend their record to 4-5 and 2-2 in the conference.
“We win as a team, we lose as a team,” said North Texas head coach Todd Dodge. “This is a tough one. We are very disappointed in the outcome. Offensively, we just did not do enough to win the game.”
North Texas was right in the thick of things in the second quarter, scoring a touchdown to cut the lead to 9-6. Unfortunately, the Mean Green extra-point was blocked and returned for two points, extending FAU’s lead to 11-6. The momentum had shifted, and North Texas was unable to recover. The game quickly moved out of reach for the Mean Green in the third quarter when a Giovanni Vizza interception and a 57-yard scoring play by the Owls led to two FAU touchdowns.
Smith passed for 237 yards, completing 15 of 23 pass attempts. He started with a 13-yard throw to Cortez Gent in the first quarter and then ended the half with a 16-yard strike to Gent to put FAU ahead, 25-6. Gent caught seven passes for 116 yards. In a span of two minutes midway through the third quarter, Smith found Willie Rose for a three-yard TD catch and then a long of 57 yards to D. Edgecomb.
FAU also controlled the ground game, rushing for 256 yards. Charles Pierre rushed for 140 yards on 12 carries, including a rush of 41 yards that ended in the endzone. The long run put FAU ahead, 18-6, in the second quarter.
On the Mean Green side, the lone North Texas score in the first half was started on the defensive end with a Tobe Nwigwe interception. The interception led to a Cam Montgomery rushing touchdown on fourth down. Montgomery rushed for 80 yards in the game on 12 carries.
Antoine Bush also had an interception in the game, giving the Mean Green offense the ball in FAU territory near the end of the second quarter. A penalty halted the drive, and Jeremy Knott missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt.
James Hamilton scored the Mean Green’s second touchdown, a one-yard rush for the freshman at the end of the fourth quarter. It was Hamilton’s first career touchdown. The touchdown was again set up by the defense. Kyle Russo recovered a fumble and ended up on the NT 41-yard line.
Vizza completed 13-of-23 passes for 125 yards and threw two interceptions.
North Texas returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 22 when it travels to play Middle Tennessee at 2:30 pm.