The Mean Green offense had a strong offense performance Saturday night as they notched 540 total yards in their 43-28 win over Southern Miss.
Southern Miss engaged with purpose early, scoring first on a 7-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. Midway through the first quarter, the Golden Eagles struck again with quarterback Kwadra Griggs’ four-yard touchdown run that allowed USM gain a quick 14-0 lead.
North Texas answered back in the final minute of the first with a 46-yard touchdown run from running back Jeffrey Wilson.
Southern Miss was rolling on offense in the first half and regained their 14-point margin on Ito Smith’s break away 63-yard touchdown run. At this point, Smith already recorded 117 yards on just six touches.
From there, North Texas went unanswered into the half. A two- yard touchdown pass by Mason Fine and a 48-yard field goal by kicker Trevor Moore helped UNT go into halftime down 21-17.
UNT quickly edged its way closer with a 20-yard field goal from Moore to open the second half. Soon thereafter, the Golden Eagles obtained their first lead of the game at 27-21 when Fine hit wide receiver Rico Bussey for a 16-yard touchdown. This was followed by a 43-yard run from Jeffery that left the Golden Eagles behind 33-21.
Southern Miss did get something out of the second half as Ito Smith rushed for a four-yard touchdown to get back within five points. However, another North Texas touchdown and field goal later led the Mean Green to their 43-28 victory.
Griggs went 19-for-42 with 270 yards and one touchdown alongside Smith’s 13 carries for 102 yards. Smith did call for the Golden Eagles offense to look to the run more often, but regarding the team’s spirit the running back stated he “never lost hope.”
As the Golden Eagles fall to 2-2, Head Coach Jay Hopson will be heading on the road to face UTSA next week and will
have something to prove.
“We knew North Texas was a really good football team and we know UTSA is a good football team,” said Hopson. “Everybody we play is going to be a good football team. We’re going to have to be ready every Saturday.”