Despite losing to the University of Texas last week 38-7, the North Texas Mean Green gave their fans something to look forward to with the defensive touchdown and the ability to run the ball with some success. Today those fans saw even more in a 43-6 dismantling of local rival SMU to move to 1-1 on the season in front of 22,398 fans — the fourth largest crowd in North Texas football history.
Led by Reggie Pegram’s 81 yards on 21 carries, North Texas rushed for 245 yards and set the pace for a Mean Green offense that had 353 total yards. In addition to Pegram’s productive game, junior Antoine Jimmerson rushed for 47 yards on 15 carries. Freshman Jeffrey Wilson also contributed 56 yards on 14 carries
Having that much success on the ground removed all the pressure from sophomore quarterback Josh Greer to press the issue. He finished the game a modest 9-of-12 for 86 yards.
The run game garnered a lot of the attention on the day, but it was the defense that was the true star after forcing five SMU turnovers (three fumbles and two interceptions) and limiting them Mustang offense to 274 total yards — 79 coming in the final drive that set up their only scoring drive for the day.
With 3:32 left in the the second quarter, junior defensive end Chad Polk sacked SMU quarterback Neal Burcham and forced a fumble that was subsequently recovered by sophomore defensive end Jarrian Roberts and returned 31 yards to give North Texas a 20-0 lead.
In addition to the turnovers the Mean Green defense also had seven tackles-for-loss and limited SMU to only 1-of-11 third-down conversions.
The inability to convert stymied the Mustangs offense, especially Burcham who only connected on 12-of-22 passes for 99 yards but was eventually replaced at the start of the second half. Kolney Cassel fared slightly better completing 11-of-21 passes, but he did spark the downfield passing game as he threw for 134 yards including a 33 yard touchdown pass to Nate Halverson as time expired.
This is the third victory over their Dallas Metroplex rival at Apogee Stadium and gives North Texas its 65th all-time win in home openers. have a short week as they will host Louisiana Tech on Thursday September 11th at 7:00 p.m to start Conference USA play.