Buechele completed 21 of 31 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He led the Mustangs on a 9-play, 75-yard opening touchdown drive in which he completed all five passes and had a 28-yard run down to the 10. His 5-yard scoring strike to Reggie Roberson Jr. put SMU on the board.
After forcing a three-and-out, SMU drove 83 yards on nine plays to take a 13-0 lead on Xavier Jones’ 24-yard scoring run. The extra-point attempt missed.
Fine finished 17 of 32 for 152 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His pass on 4th and 1 halfway through the first quarter to Deion Hair-Griffin was incomplete, which set SMU up on the North Texas 45.
Buechele, who attended Arlington Lamar and the University of Texas before transferring to SMU, led the Mustangs on another quick drive, including a 40-yard pass to Tyler Page, before Ke’Mon Freeman scored on a two-yard run. Buechele’s two-point pass to James Proche made it 21-0 with 3:16 remaining in the first quarter.
The Mean Green’s 8-play, 73-yard drive was capped by an eight-yard touchdown pass from Fine to Michael Lawrence that cut the SMU lead to 28-14.
But the North Texas defense couldn’t slow Buechele, and Fine rarely had much time to get the offense going. Tre Siggers led the Mean Green with 164 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Xavier Jones had 127 yards and three scores on 16 carries for SMU.
Proche led the Mustangs with 115 yards and a touchdown on seven catches.