This was suppose to be the Mean Green’s day.
After hammering UTSA last week, and coming in favored by 7.5, as well as facing Houston’s backup QB, it still just wasn’t to be, as Houston dropped UNT in Denton, 46-25.
Coogs quarterback Clayton Tune was perfectly adequate, finishing 16 for 20 on passing, with 126 yards and a touchdown.
But the problem for the UNT defense— and a strength in this game for Houston— was the ground game. Patrick Carr carried the ball 16 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, along with four receptions for another 29 yards, to keep North Texas on their toes. Tune ran only nine times but amassed 100 yards.
Despite two of Houston’s touchdowns coming from special teams (one on a kickoff, the other on a punt return), North Texas was never really in it. There was a couple spectacular plays for UNT and the usual Mason Fine heroics. Fine certainly won the battle of the quarterbacks, going 35 for 55 passing to rack up 353 yards and two touchdowns.
But the Cougar defense utterly contained the UNT running game, as breakout star Tre Siggers was limited to only 83 yards and one touchdown. The Mean Green finished with a scant 96 yards rushing on the day.
There was a time, historically, when North Texas owned this series, but momentum has certainly swung the other way, as Houston takes an 8-7 lead all time with only one more game currently scheduled, next year in Houston. North Texas’ last win in this series came in 1975.
Houston racks up their first win against FBS competition this year, and heads into a much-needed bye week, coming off playing three games in 15 days. They’ll return to action when they host Cincinnati in two weeks.
The Mean Green will need to work on some consistency issues and how to stop that run, as they also head into a bye week, before playing at Southern Miss on Oct. 12.