DENTON, Texas (11/10/07) The North Texas football team held a halftime lead against Navy but the Midshipmen pulled ahead for a 74-62 victory on Saturday night at Fouts Field in front of a crowd of 26, 012.
North Texas falls to 1-8 overall and 0-1 in the first meeting ever with Navy. The Midshipmen extends their overall record to 6-4.
“We knew it was going to be this type of game, but I have never been a part of a game quite like this,” said North Texas head coach Todd Dodge. “You have to give a lot of credit to Navy because they executed their offense very well and we couldn’t stop them.”
The 136 points scored between Navy and North Texas sets a NCAA record for most points scored in a regulation game since the NCAA started tracking the record in 1937. The 63 combined points scored in the second quarter was also a NCAA record for points in a quarter.
The Mean Green jumped out to a 14-0 lead and a 49-45 halftime advantage but Navy took over in the second half. North Texas held leads of 18 four times (28-10, 35-17, 42-24, 49-31) in the first half. Starting in the second quarter, Navy scored touchdowns on eight consecutive possessions. The Midshipmen punted once in the game.
Giovanni Vizza threw eight touchdown passes in the game, which is a NCAA record for most touchdown passes in a game by a freshman. He also tied a NCAA record for touchdown passes in a half with seven. His eight touchdown passes also broke a 38-year old school record for most touchdowns in a single game. The freshman threw for a personal-best 478 yards, which is the fourth most in school history.
“Everybody played hard and I thought we executed very well, especially in the first half,” said Vizza. “We just weren’t able to get on a roll in the second half. I thought our receivers did an incredible job. They made me look good. All I had to do was just get them the ball and they would make the play. Tonight’s game really shows what this offense can do when you execute well.”
Casey Fitzgerald caught a school record five receiving touchdown passes. With his 134 receiving yards, he came up five yards shy of setting the North Texas single-season receiving yards record. Fitzgerald is in second with 1,126 receiving yards. He also moved into second place with 12 receiving touchdowns this season.
Korey Washington set career marks in both receiving yards (127) and touchdowns (2). Freshman Sam Dibrell joined the touchdown crew with one touchdown reception and finished with a total of 113 receiving yards.
For the first time all season, North Texas scored on its opening possession of the game. The Mean Green drove 73 yards on 13 plays, capped off with Vizza finding Fitzgerald from eight yards out. The Mean Green went on to score on seven of its first eight possessions.
Truman Spencer recovered his own on-sides kick to help set up the Mean Green’s second touchdown which put North Texas ahead, 14-0.
Dibrell’s 75-yard touchdown reception at the 4:12 mark of the second quarter gave North Texas a 49-31 lead. Navy responded with four consecutive touchdown drives, including two in the final two minutes of the first half. Navy rushed for 575 yards in the game.
The attendance of 26,012 is the third-largest crowd ever to see a game at Fouts Field.
North Texas returns to action on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 6 pm on the road against Arkansas State.