North Texas blasts Liberty, 47-7
Lightning delayed the start of the game for 42 minutes, with the contest getting underway at 6:48 p.m. Throughout the evening, the rain worsened and more lightning delayed the game for 53 minutes midway through the third quarter.
The Mean Green moved to 4-0 for the first time since 1977 and Liberty saw its three-game home win streak halted.
North Texas became the first opponent to score against the Flames on their first possession of the game this season. The Mean Green moved 70 yards on six plays, quickly capping the 2:24 drive on a sideline pass from Mason Fine to Jaelon Darden for a six-yard score.
Fine found wide receiver Rico Bussey for his fifth touchdown of the season and Fine’s 10th of the year with 4:41 left in the quarter. The 22-yard touchdown reception pushed the Mean Green lead to 14-0.
Liberty trimmed its deficit in half at the 7:30 mark of the quarter when B.J. Farrow caught a one-handed pass, a four-yard strike, to cut the home team deficit to 14-7.
The Mean Green pushed the lead back to 14 points, just seconds before the intermission. With the rain starting to pick up, Fine called his own number and scored on sweeping play to left from four yards out, giving North Texas a 21-7 edge with 12 seconds left before halftime.
On Liberty’s first full drive following the second-half delay, the Flames drove deep in to North Texas territory, but were not able to cut into the Mean Green lead. The Flames had back-to-back incomplete passes, including a dropped pass on a potential first-down play, followed by a missed 32-yard field goal to end the scoring effort.
With the continued steady rain, North Texas kept the ball on the ground for all six plays of an 80-yard scoring drive. Loren Easly finished the drive with a nine-yard rushing touchdown with 5:09 left to play in the third, pushing the Mean Green lead to 20 points, 27-7.
North Texas scored three times during the fourth quarter with all three touchdowns coming on the ground. North Texas finished the final 30 minutes of play with 271 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns during the second half.
The Mean Green came into the game ranked No. 3 in the country in passing offense (381.0 yards per game). However, North Texas was able to keep its high-powered offense going with a strong ground game, finishing the night with 346 rushing yards on five rushing touchdowns.