Article Originally Published by Matthew Suarez on North Texas Daily
Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily
North Texas (1-2) felt their second loss of the season after failing to produce a game-winning drive in the closing minutes against California with the final score being 23-17.
“We just executed better [in the second half],” head coach Seth Littrell said in a press release. “We got in a rhythm on offense and defensively we just settled in. We have to understand to just take it one play at a time and do your job and don’t let emotions of the game get you down. As we got more comfortable, we attacked better.”
The Mean Green was shut out in the first half and allowed two field goals from redshirt senior Greg Thomas. Cal scored two touchdowns with sophomore running back Chris Brown Jr. and sophomore wideout Nikko Remigio, who caught a 36-yard touchdown from redshirt sophomore quarterback Chase Garbers.
“We need to figure out what’s going on,” senior quarterback Mason Fine said. “It’s cost us for two weeks now, [California] came out and punched us in the mouth.”
Senior wideout Rico Bussey Jr came down on his right leg after trying to catch a pass. Bussey was helped off the field and taken out for the remainder of the game.
At the end of the first quarter Fine threw for 17 yards and was six-for-nine on his passes. Redshirt sophomore Tre Siggers led the team with three carries and 26 rush yards.
North Texas got their first points on the board in the second quarter after sophomore kicker Ethan Mooney was able to make it through the uprights from 24 yards out. The Mean Green ended the first half with 100 yards of total offense compared to California’s 181.
The second half got underway with Fine connecting with junior wide receiver Jaelon Darden for a 68-yard catch and run for their first touchdown of the game. California answered back later in the quarter with a 34-yard field goal, making the score score 23-10.
In the fourth quarter, Fine went down hard and injured his shoulder and took a visit to the medical tent. North Texas’ medical experts managed to remedy his injury and allowed him to continue playing.
With three minutes remaining in the game, Fine threw an 18-yard strike to redshirt freshman wideout Jyaire Shorter to trim their deficit to six. California was unable to repeat their offensive success they enjoyed in the first half after netting 97 yards of offense in the second.
North Texas’ defense, helmed by sophomore linebacker KD Davis, saw an improvement on defense despite losing the game. Davis recorded a career-high 13 tackles with two going for a loss and one sack. Junior defensive lineman Dion Novil also attributed to the defense’s success after registering eight tackles with three for-loss and a sack.
UP NEXT: North Texas (1-2) aims to rebound in their conference opener at Apogee Stadium against Texas-San Antonio (1-2) next Saturday on Sept. 21.
Featured Image: Senior quarterback Mason Fine walks away as his helmet lies on the ground after being tackled at the game against Southern Methodist at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on Sept. 7, 2019. Image by Jordan Collard
Source: North Texas Daily