Sophomore running back DeAndre Torrey scored four touchdowns — including three in the fourth quarter — to ignite UNT over Rice 41-17 on Saturday at Apogee Stadium.
“When you have some adversity and make some mistakes, it’s easy for everybody to start pointing fingers,” head coach Seth Littrell said. “But one thing about this group is that they stick together very well. It wasn’t perfect today, but we found a way to win.”
North Texas (7-2, 3-2 C-USA) needed to add kindling to the fire from quarterback Mason Fine in the second half.
On the second drive of the game, Fine connected with Rico Bussey Jr. on a 68-yard touchdown to give UNT an early lead 10-7.
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Rice (1-8, 0-5 C-USA) opened up the second half with a fumble recovery and proceeded to tie the game, 17-17, on a 3-yard Wiley Green touchdown throw.
“I think we played well late,” Fine said. “We had a lot of adversity hit us and shot ourself in the foot a couple of times.”
The Mean Green offense extended its lead 27-17 in the fourth quarter, as Fine led his troops to a 95-yard drive capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Torrey.
Fine completed 18-of-35 passes for 333 yards and two touchdowns.
On the ground, Torrey had himself a field-day charting a career-high 132 yards and four total touchdowns.
“I knew the team needed me,” said Torrey. “When the fourth quarter came I knew it was my time, I wanted the ball and weight on my shoulders.”
Bussey Jr. established himself as Fine’s primary target, hauling in four passes for 145 yards and one touchdown.
After nine straight games to open the season, the Mean Green will be idle next week. “We’re going into our off week and we’re going to be mentally and physically drained, but we have a chance to come back and be refreshed and get back to working on fundamentals,” said Littrell.
Following the bye, UNT heads to Norfolk to take on Old Dominion on Nov. 10 at 2:30 p.m.