Aired live on KNTU Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017
Final score — UNT 46 UAB 43
by David Patterson
The North Texas Mean Green opened conference play with an emotional home win over University of Alabama at Birmingham that came down to the final seconds on Saturday, September 23.
Trevor Moore, North Texas’ senior kicker, drilled a 22-yard field goal to secure the 46-43 win.
UAB scored on the opening drive of the game and looked to build on that, but the stingy Mean Green defense held the Blazers to six first downs and 135 total yards in the opening half. North Texas piled up 339 yards of offense in the first half with 150 coming on the ground leading to a strong 30-10 halftime lead.
North Texas’ rushing attack was led by Jeffery Wilson who carried the ball 26 times for 211 yards. Wilson became the Mean Green’s fifth all-time leading rusher in the process. The Elkhart, Texas product now has 2,508 career yards rushing.
Coming in to the game UAB averaged 254.7 rushing yards per game, good for 16th in the nation. Stopping the UAB rush attack was key for the Mean Green to come out with a win and they did just that, holding the Blazers to 74 yards on the ground.
North Texas’ quarterback, Mason Fine, had an off night completing just 51.7% of his attempts. However, the offensive leader made the most of what the defense was giving him hooking up with Michael Lawrence and Jalen Guyton for 40 and 47-yard touchdowns respectively.
The Blazers put together 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 43 with 27 seconds left to play. Overtime seemed a sure thing before freshman Evan Johnson returned the ensuing kickoff for 48 yards to the UAB 44-yard line. Wilson carried the ball on the next play for 37 yards and gave Moore a chip shot to win. The win proved to be the Mean Green’s 500th all-time.
Up next North Texas travels to M. M. Roberts Stadium on Saturday, September 30, to take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles who are 2-1 with no conference games played and sit at fifth in the West Division of Conference USA.