Aired live on KNTU Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
Final score — Middle Tennessee 30 NT 13
DENTON, Texas (KNTU) The Mean Green (2-3, 1-1) scored on the first possession of the game, but a 13-point second-quarter lead to a 30-13 win for the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (4-1, 2-0) at Apogee Stadium on Saturday, Oct 1.
North Texas started on their own 13 yard line following the MTSU opening kickoff. Quarterback Mason Fine completed 8-of-10 passes with Jeffrey Wilson finishing a one-yard rush to score.
It was the first time North Texas scored on their first possession since taking on FIU in 2014.
Fine had a good game, relative to the score. The true freshman completed 33 of his attempted 54 passes for a touchdown and 303 yards, the most passing yardage in a game this season and counting for all but five of the 308 Mean Green offensive yards in the game.
Despite the career game, Fine was not happy with the result in his post game comments. “We could’ve executed better,” and continued with the first drive of the game as “an example of [their]potential.”
Terian Goree and Thaddeus Thompson were the recipients of most of Fine’s passing. Goree caught nine passes for 100 yards, a career high in both categories. Thompson had four receptions and a career-high 84 yards.
Mean Green Defensive Back Kishawn McClain snatched his third interception of the season, reaching out for Brent Stockstill’s pass in the middle of the third quarter. The possession did not come of anything, as North Texas punted on the fourth play of the possession.
McClain also lead the team in tackles with 11, nine of which were solo.
The Blue Raiders started their second quarter comeback back with a 25-yard field goal from Canon Rooker after an 80-yard drive carried over from the first. Middle Tennessee followed with another field goal on their next possession, three minutes later.
After holding MTSU to a one-point deficit for most of the 2nd, the Mean Green allowed an 84-yard drive capped off with an 11-yard pass from Middle Tennessee QB Stockstill, finishing the half 13-7.
The second half started with promise, with the Mean Green holding Middle Tennessee within comeback-range. It was not until the late minutes of the third quarter when the Blue Raiders started to put the game out of reach. MTSU freshman wide receiver Ty Lee caught a 9-yard pass from Stockstill to open up the margin.
The Mean Green also did not register a first down in the third quarter and into the fourth the quarter, going three-and-out six times in a row.
Middle Tennessee put the game further out of reach with field goal and a late touchdown in the fourth quarter.
North Texas punched in a late touchdown of their own, but missed out on the two-point conversion. Another time-expiring chance on the goal line failed to add any consolation points.
“We all have to play better,” Mean Green Head Coach Seth Littrell said after the game. “We all have to coach better. We’ve been way too inconsistent.”
The Mean Green return to Apogee to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd on Saturday, Oct. 8.