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North Texas handles Incarnate Word to reach 2-0 for first time in 23 years

Mason Fine put his name in the UNT record book some more Saturday night as the Mean Green throttled UIW

NCAA Football: North Texas at Florida Atlantic Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the long skid, North Texas made ending a 23-year streak look easy Saturday night.

The Mean Green’s 58-16 win against Incarnate Word at Apogee Stadium gave UNT its first 2-0 start since 1994. UNT’s first victory of the season was a 46-23 win against rival SMU last week, making the Mean Green’s 104 total points in the first two games the most since 1919.

UNT’s big offensive numbers are largely due to quarterback Mason Fine, who wasn’t even born the last time the Mean Green were 2-0. Fine was 25-for-40 Saturday night, throwing for 418 yards and four touchdowns before exiting late in the third quarter. After tossing 444 yards last week, Fine became the first quarterback in UNT history to record over 400 passing yards in back-to-back games. He also jumped his career completion total to 543, putting him at No. 3 all-time for UNT in that category.

Rico Bussey Jr. was on the other end of eight of Fine’s passes Saturday night, tallying a career-high 128 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Jalen Guyton was close behind with five catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.

The stellar passing performance almost overshadowed DeAndre Torrey’s three-touchdown outing. Torrey was responsible for UNT’s first two touchdowns until Fine found Guyton for a 15-yard score in the second quarter to make the score 24-6 in the Mean Green’s favor.

Fine still had the highlight of the game on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Bussey near the sideline of the end zone in the third quarter. Bussey caught the pass right over his shoulder while catching the pass on a dime and keeping his feet in bounds.

On defense, Kemon Hall got his second interception in as many games, while Nate Brooks pulled in his first pick of the season.

Cole Hedlund is still perfect on field goals, nailing three Saturday night from 29, 27 and 25 yards, respectively.

The Mean Green face their toughest challenge of the season next when they travel to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to play the Razorbacks in an SEC environment at 3 p.m. Saturday.