Sports

North Texas loses late lead to finish 1-11

Kavika Johnson passed for a touchdown and ran for another and Dashone Smith returned an interception 65 yards for a score to help UTEP beat North Texas 20-17 Saturday.

Johnson completed just 4 of 11 passes for 43 yards, but added 75 yards rushing on 16 carries and his 32-yard touchdown pass to Warren Redix with 7:51 left proved to be the winner.

Trevor Moore’s 28-yard field goal with 2:18 left in the first quarter opened the scoring and North Texas (1-11, 1-7 C-USA) took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

North Texas snaps a nine-game first-quarter scoreless streak with Trevor Moore’s 28-yard field goal. It was the Mean Green's first score in the first quarter since the Rice game Sept. 19.

Johnson scored on a 5-yard run early in the third but UTEP (5-7, 3-5) missed the PAT and led 6-3.

North Texas sandwiched Tre Johnson’s 53-yards punt return for a score and Cortney Finney’s 13-yard fumble return for a touchdown around Smith’s pick-6 to take a 17-13 lead into the fourth. The teams combined for 461 total yards and seven turnovers.

The North Texas defense forced six fumbles, recovered five, including Finney’s score, and allowed a season-low 256 yards total offense.

“It’s the story of this season,” said North Texas coach Mike Canales. “We were so close at times, but we just couldn’t get over the hump. We just can’t make make plays when we need to make plays.”

 

UTEP

0

0

13

7

20

North Texas

3

0

14

0

17

First Quarter

NT—FG T.Moore 28, 2:18.

Third Quarter

UTEP—Johnson 5 run (kick failed), 10:37.

NT—Tr.Johnson 53 punt return (T.Moore kick), 7:23.

UTEP—Smith 65 interception return (Mattox kick), 5:32.

NT—Finney 13 fumble return (T.Moore kick), 2:48.

Fourth Quarter

UTEP—Redix 32 pass from Johnson (Mattox kick), 7:51.

A—8,305.

UTEP

NT

First downs

15

10

Rushes-yards

48-187

31-129

Passing

69

76

Comp-Att-Int

8-16-0

10-29-1

Return Yards

67

52

Punts-Avg.

7-39.3

8-44.6

Fumbles-Lost

6-5

2-1

Penalties-Yards

2-20

10-120

Time of Possession

33:47

26:13

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—UTEP, Johnson 16-75, J.Laufasa 16-62, Redix 2-27, Hughes 4-16, Powell 3-8, D.Laufasa 2-3, Metz 2-2, Al.Jones 1-(minus 2), Team 2-(minus 4). North Texas, Wilson 15-56, Dam.Smith 7-42, Jimmerson 3-18, McNulty 5-13, Ivery 1-0.

PASSING—UTEP, Johnson 4-11-0-43, Metz 4-5-0-26. North Texas, McNulty 7-15-0-48, Dam.Smith 3-13-0-28, Greer 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING—UTEP, Redix 3-42, White 3-23, Lang 1-5, Powell 1-(minus 1). North Texas, Goree 3-28, Harris 3-19, Wilson 2-20, T.Thompson 1-6, M.Smith 1-3.

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