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North Texas uses late run to get past Rice in homecoming game

The Mean didn’t get going until late to put Rice away

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at North Texas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

North Texas didn’t look like North Texas until the fourth quarter Saturday.

The Mean Green survived an early scare against Rice, using the fourth quarter to break away for a 41-17 win in UNT’s homecoming matchup. The lost extended the Owls’ losing streak to eight straight.

Rice had the UNT offense’s number until late in the third quarter when the Mean Green finally broke loose and posted 24 unanswered points in four straight drives with the score tied at 17. Cole Hedlund made a 23-yard field goal to give the Mean Green a 20-17 lead with four seconds left in the third after missing a 44-yard attempt the drive before. Mason Fine then found running back DeAndre Torrey for a 5-yard touchdown the next possession to give the Mean Green a 27-17 cushion with 9:27 left.

Rice quarterback Wiley Green was sacked and fumbled on the Owls’ next possession, giving UNT the ball on Rice’s 14-yard line. Torrey then turned the first play of that drive into a touchdown up the middle. Torrey had his hand in every fourth-quarter touchdown, including the last, a 12-yard run with 5:35 left.

Torrey ran for 130 yards and four total touchdowns on 15 rushes in the game. He averaged 8.7 yards a carry.

Fine came up just short of becoming UNT’s all-time leading passer, throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns on 18 of 35 passing. He entered the game needing 349 to pass Mitch Maher on the Mean Green’s career passing yards list.

UNT will get an open week before traveling to Old Dominion, where Fine will most likely become the Mean Green’s leader in career passing yards. Rice will look to end its losing streak in a home game against a winless UTEP team.