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NCAA Game Summary - Florida Atlantic at North Texas

(Saturday, October 8th)

Final Score: North Texas 31, Florida Atlantic 17

Denton, TX (Sports Network) - It was a strong defensive effort in Denton this evening for the home team, as North Texas earned its first conference win of the season, knocking off Florida Atlantic at Apogee Stadium, 31-17.

North Texas (2-4, 1-1 Sun Belt) managed just 237 yards of total offense but cruised nonetheless thanks to a stellar defensive effort that limited Florida Atlantic (0-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) to 334 yards, while forcing four turnovers and scoring two defensive TDs.

North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson was ineffective passing the ball, completing just 13-of-27 attempts, for 108 yards, with no TDs or INTs. Star tailback Lance Dunbar led the offense with 105 yards rushing and one TD on 29 carries. In the process, he moved into second place on the school's all-time rushing list with 3,589 yards.

Thompson's counterpart, FAU's Graham Wilbert was much worse, completing a meager 11-of-30 passes, for a mere 95 yards, with three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores. It spoiled a strong performance by FAU tailback Alfred Morris, who rumbled for 162 yards and one score on 23 carries.

Neither team did much offensively in the first quarter, but the Mean Green took advantage of a fumbled punt just past the midway point of the frame, taking over on FAU's four-yard line. Four plays later, Thompson was able to cross the goal line to give the Mean Green a 7-0 lead.

That's how the score would remain at the half, as again the two offenses struggled to either sustain drives or capitalize on their opportunities.

North Texas remedied that after the intermission however, extending its lead to 31-0 in the third quarter. First it was a 52-yard field goal by Zach Olsen, then a two-yard touchdown run by Dunbar three minutes later, followed by an 85-yard interception return for a score by Royce Hill and finally a 15-yard interception return just 10 seconds later by Steven Ford.

The Owls finally got on the scoreboard with 4:19 left in the third quarter with a 30-yard field goal by Vinny Zaccario.

FAU would provide the only scoring in the fourth quarter with a 28-yard TD run by Morris and a six-yard TD pass from David Kooi to Darian Williams, making it a 31-17 final.

FAU won the first six meetings in the series, but North Texas has claimed the last two.

10/09 00:40:04 ET

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