The North Texas (5-3 4-1) defense came up big in the fourth quarter allowing the Mean Green to keep control over its destiny of the West Division of Conference USA. The Old Dominion Monarchs (2-6 0-4) failed to convert three key fourth downs in the fourth quarter preventing the upset of the Mean Green.
|Scores by Quarter||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||Score|
|Old Dominion (2-6)||10||13||15||0||38|
|North Texas (5-3)||14||21||0||10||45|
Rico Bussey Jr. Becomes Third Receiver to Hit 100 Yard Mark
Sophomore Rico Bussey, Jr. lead the Mean Green Receiving Corp with seven receptions for 111 yards with a long of 34 yards and a touchdown. The 111 yards against Old Dominion and seven receptions was a career best for Bussey. So far in the 2017 season, he has three touchdowns.
|Southern Miss||Jalen Guyton||211||1|
|Old Dominion||Rico Bussey, Jr.||111||1|
Mason Fine moved to just 21 yards away from moving into 7th place. For the Season, he has 2,388 which is good enough for a tie with Giovanni Vizza at 9th place in the Single Season Passing Yards category. There are four regular season games left and if Fine continues to post on average 300 yards per game, he potentially will finish with 1,200 more yards putting him around 3,500 yards.
However, North Texas currently sits in first place for the West Division which means they play a 13th game for the Conference USA Championship. While no win is assured, there’s a fair chance that North Texas can win at least two, more likely three, games out their final four games left on their schedule. A seven win season should be more than enough wins to get into a bowl game giving the Mean Green its fourth game of the season and one final chance to add to his career stats possibly putting him north of 4,000 yards for the season giving him a healthy lead at first place in the Single Season Passing Yards category.
|Single Season Passing Yards|
|Career Passing Yards|
Defense Steps Up to Help Pull Out The Win
It’s well known that the defense has struggled at times but came through in crunch time with the game on the line. At the start of the 4th quarter, North Texas was down 38-35.
Final four Old Dominion offensive series:
- Turnover on Downs
- Turnover on Downs
- Turnover on Downs
Old Dominion got the ball with 10:45 on the clock and started driving when the defense forced a 4th and 1 near midfield on the ODU 48. Senior Defensive End Andy Flusche and Junior Defensive Tackle Roderick Young tackled Running Back Jeremy Cox for no gain forcing a turnover on downs. The Mean Green scored on the ensuing drive on a 20 yard run by Nic Smith.
Old Dominion started its third series with 4:26 left on the clock on its own 36 yard line. The Mean Green Defense again forced a fourth down and Senior Defensive Back Dee Baulkman broke up a pass to Melvin Vaughn forcing another turnover on downs. North Texas ended up going three-and-out and punted the ball to the ODU 23 yard line.
On the Monarch’s final time to possess the football for the game, the Mean Green forced a three-and-out. It was 4th and 1 on the ODU 32 and the Monarch’s called up a running play with a hand-off to Jeremy Cox, who was tackled by LaDarius Hamilton and Roderick Young for no gain forcing a third consecutive turnover on downs.
North Texas took control of the ball one final times at the ODU 32 yard line. North Texas got one critical first down and then was able to wind the clock down to 0:00 to win the game.
Special Teams are an Adventure
Special Teams continue to make things interesting for the Mean Green. Old Dominion managed not one but two kickoff returns for a touchdown — the first for 97 yards and the second 98 yards. The two kickoff returns allowed the Monarchs to stay in the game since their offense struggled to find the end zone.
Needless to say, there are some things that need to be cleaned up for the next game if North Texas wants to continue to lead the West Division and play for a possible Conference USA Championship.
Denton Record Chronicle
- Football: Smith shines in relief of Wilson
- Football: UNT makes key stops, beats Old Dominion
- Five thoughts on UNT’s win over Old Dominion
North Texas Daily
- North Texas’ defense comes up big in win over Old Dominion
- Smith fills in for Wilson to provide spark in win over Monarchs
- Five observations from North Texas vs. Old Dominion
Post Game Press Conference
|UT San Antonio||2-2||5-2|