Lafayette, LA (11/11/06) The North Texas football team held Louisiana-Lafayette scoreless in the second half as the Mean Green snapped a three-game losing streak with a 16-7 victory on Saturday night at Cajun Field.
North Texas (3-7, 2-3 Sun Belt) holds an 8-3 lead in the series against Louisiana-Lafayette (4-5, 1-3 Sun Belt) and has won the last four meetings at Cajun Field.
The Mean Green used two offensive units and strong showings from the defense and special teams to come up with the victory. After the Ragin’ Cajuns tied the score at 7-7 in the second quarter, the Mean Green scored a touchdown and recorded a safety in the third quarter to take the victory.
The North Texas offense was unable to score points in the fourth quarter but was effective in running out the clock with long drives. Louisiana-Lafayette had one last attempt to score in the final three minutes of the game, but Steve Warren came up with a big hit to dislodge the ball from the UL Lafayette receiver on fourth down to seal the victory for the Mean Green. The defense held Ragin’ Cajuns running back Tyrell Fenroy to 60 yards rushing.
The North Texas defense held Louisiana-Lafayette to the fewest total yards of offense that it has had in the last seven games. Only LSU and Texas A&M held the Ragin Cajuns to fewer yards this year.
North Texas was held scoreless in the first quarter for the seventh time in 10 games this year. The Mean Green offense has not scored a touchdown since the 2004 regular season finale against Arkansas State - a span of 22 games.
Deavin Cox blocked a punt in the first quarter to set North Texas up with starting field position at the Louisiana-Lafayette 31-yard line. It was the third blocked punt by North Texas this year. Cox rushed for 98 yards on 28 carries in the game.
Quarterback Daniel Meager led the Mean Green on a five-play, 31-yard drive that resulted in a four-yard touchdown pass to senior Johnny Quinn in the far left corner of the endzone. The wide receiver caught a pass in the first quarter to extend his streak to 45 straight games with at least one reception, which is the third-longest active reception streak in the nation. His touchdown reception gave him 21 for his career. Quinn ranks third in career touchdown receptions at North Texas, trailing Ron Shanklin by 10.
Ahead 7-0, NT’s Green Team made its first appearance with 8:00 to play in the second quarter and it moved the ball from its own 33-yard line down to the Louisiana-Lafayette 32-yard line before needing a little help from the first-team offense to pick up a fourth-down conversion. The Green Team came back in on the very next play and continued the drive down to the 7-yard line before eventually turning it over with an interception.
Louisiana-Lafayette responded with a 13-play, 93-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown and a tie game as time expired in the first half. It was the second time this year that North Texas gave up a long touchdown drive at the end of the first half after Tulsa went 96 yards on 13 plays to score as time expired in the first half earlier this year.
The Green Team went on a long drive in the third quarter and took a 14-7 lead on a Casey Fitzgerald touchdown reception from quarterback Matt Phillips. The touchdown reception was Fitzgerald’s second in as many games. The Mean Green then increased the lead when UL Lafayette snapped the ball over the punter’s head and the Rajun’ Cajuns had to kick the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
North Texas returns to action when it plays its final home game on the season on Saturday, November 18 against Florida Atlantic at 6 pm in Fouts Field.