DENTON (11/18/06) Senior Johnny Quinn became the school’s all-time receptions leader and redshirt freshman Evan Robertson ran for 201 yards, but the North Texas football team fell just short, losing 17-16 to Florida Atlantic on Saturday night at Fouts Field.
The Mean Green falls to 3-8 overall and 2-4 in conference play, while the Owls go to 4-7 and 3-3 in Sun Belt action. Florida Atlantic is now 3-0 in the series against North Texas.
“We just made too many turnovers,” said North Texas head coach Darrell Dickey. “We moved the ball better on offense and we did enough defensively to win the game, but we can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win.”
North Texas held FAU scoreless the entire second half and was driving down the field in the last minutes of the game to regain the lead but was halted by its third interception of the game. The Mean Green led for most of the first half, but the Owls scored two touchdowns off interceptions in the last three minutes to take a 17-10 lead.
Quinn’s ninth reception of the game in the fourth quarter gave him 183 for his career, making him the all-time leader in receptions at North Texas, breaking the record of 182 held by David Brown. The senior wide receiver has also caught a pass in 46 consecutive games played.
Redshirt freshman running back Evan Robertson rushed for a personal-best 201 yards, including a long of 46 in the second quarter.
Robertson’s three-yard touchdown run put North Texas on the board with 10 minutes to play in the first quarter. Robertson rushed for 51 of the 67-yard drive. It was the redshirt freshman’s second career touchdown.
The touchdown marked the first offensive touchdown for the Mean Green since the 2004 season finale against Arkansas State, a span of 24 games.
Florida Atlantic responded by marching down the field and kicking a 24-yard field. The Mean Green defense stopped the Owls on third and goal with a tackle by Aaron Weathers. Weathers recorded a team-high 13 tackles in the game.
The Mean Green’s second drive of the game went 30 yards but was halted by a Daniel Meager interception in the endzone. The Mean Green defense forced FAU to punt after five plays.
Robertson broke free for a 46-yard run on NT’s next drive midway through the second quarter. The career-high run put him at 100 yards for the first time in a Mean Green uniform. The drive resulted in a 39-yard field goal by Denis Hopovac, giving North Texas a 10-3 lead.
Kris Bartels tied the game at 10-10 for Florida Atlantic with a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown with three minutes left in the second quarter. North Texas turned over the ball for the third time in the half just over a minute later on a Meager fumble.
Florida Atlantic took the lead for the first time four plays later with a one-yard touchdown run by Charles Pierre.
Hopovac hit two more field goals in the second half to put North Texas within one point of the lead, 17-16, with 12:06 left in the game. In the third quarter, Robertson brought North Texas to the one-yard line but the Mean Green was forced to kick a 22-yard field goal. Robertson’s 42-yard run in the fourth quarter put NT at the FAU seven-yard line, but again the Mean Green was forced to settle for a field goal.
North Texas returns to action for its final game of the season on Saturday, November 25 when it faces Louisiana Monroe at 6 pm in Monroe, La.