UAB 26, UNT 21

Photos by Dominic Ceraldi

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
UAB 3 14 9 0 26
North Texas 7 7 7 0 21

Senior quarterback Mason Fine became the first player in school history to account for 100 career touchdowns and surpassed 3,000 passing yards in a season for the third straight year, but the Mean Green would fall to UAB 26-21, ending the 2019 campaign.
 
With the win, the Blazers (9-3, 6-2 in Conference USA) clinched the Conference USA western division and will face off with FAU next Saturday in the Conference USA Championship game.
 
The loss ended the career of Fine along with the 22 other players who were honored pregame as part of senior day festivities.
 
“They’ve accomplished a lot together,” head coach Seth Littrell said of the 2019 seniors, most of which were in his first recruiting class back in 2016. “I’m proud of their leadership ability and just how much they’ve grown. I hope they’ve learned as much from me as I’ve learned from them. I seriously can’t wait to watch them go through life.”
 
North Texas (4-8, 3-5 in Conference USA) got on the board early with a four play touchdown drive ending in a 12 yard toss from Fine to redshirt freshman Jyaire Shorter to take a 7-0 lead to open the game. The drive was started by a 56 yard completion from Fine to redshirt junior Jason Pirtle on the game’s first play.
 
The Mean Green defense would then force the Blazers to go three-and-out to open their offensive night. UAB would respond one drive later with a field goal, followed up two drives later with a 10 play, 95-yard, 6:03 touchdown drive to take a 10-7 lead.
 
Junior DeAndre Torrey would punch in his second rushing touchdown of the season on the next drive to put the Mean Green back in front with just over a minute left in the half. The Blazers would respond with a touchdown drive to take a 17-14 lead at the half. Their drive was aided by two North Texas pass interference penalties on their side of the 50 yard line.
 
The teams would trade scoring drives to open the second half. UAB would tack on another field goal to push their lead to 20-14, but Fine would respond on the ensuing drive when he accounted for his 100th career touchdown on a 2-yard pass to junior Jaelon Darden. The reception gave Darden 12 receiving touchdowns on the season, tying him for second most for a single season in school history.
 
North Texas would close the quarter with a drive inside UAB’s 30 yard line, but a pick-six would put the Blazers up to stay at 26-21. The Mean Green would have a shot to piece together a game-winning drive late in the game, but a sack on fourth down would end North Texas’ chance of their fifth win of the season.
 
Postgame Notes
 

  • Senior QB Mason Fine (Peggs, Oklahoma) finished his North Texas career with 12,505 yards passing and 93 passing touchdowns, both program records.
    • Fine finished 22-34 for 268 yards and two touchdowns
      • Fine’s third quarter touchdown pass was the 93rd of his career and marked his 100th career touchdown responsible for (93 passing, 7 rushing).
    • Fine finishes his career in 28th place on the all-time FBS career passing list after surpassing the following players:
      • Jake Browning (Washington – 12,296), Matt Barkley (USC – 12,327), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech – 12,429), Trevor Vittatoe (UTEP – 12,439) and Brent Stockstill (Middle Tennessee – 12,483)
    • Fine also finishes his career in 39th place on the all-time FBS career passing touchdowns list with 93 after surpassing the following players:
      • David Klingler (Houston – 91), Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State – 92) and Keith Wenning (Ball State – 92)
  • RB DeAndre Torrey (Gautier, Mississippi) scored his second rushing touchdown of the season, and 17th of his career.
    • He is now just one rushing score shy of the top-10 in career rushing touchdowns in program history.
      • 10th place belongs to Antoine Jimmerson (2011-15) and Mitch Maher (1991-94), with 18 apiece.
  • Senior DL LaDarius Hamilton recorded 1.5 sacks in his final game in Denton, moving him into a tie for 6th in program history (stat kept since 1983) with Brandon Akpunku (2008-11) with 17.0.
  • Freshman WR Jyaire Shorter (Killeen, Texas) caught his ninth touchdown of the season on the opening drive, moving him into a tie for 8th place in single season touchdown receptions in program history, tying him with Jalen Guyton (2017), Johnny Quinn (2004) and Charlie Murray (1978).
  • Junior DL Dion Novil (Abilene, Texas) finished with a career-high 11 tackles, bringing his season total to 61. Two of those were tackles for loss, bringing that season total to 13.0
  • Senior WR Michael Lawrence (Sweetwater, Texas) finished with two catches for 44 yards, bringing his career totals to 143 receptions (ninth all-time), 1,929 yards and nine touchdowns.
  • Junior WR Jaelon Darden (Houston) finished with 10 catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, finishing his season with 76 receptions (tied for fifth all-time for a single season in program history with John Love’s 1965 season), for 736 yards and 12 touchdowns (tied for second most in program history in a single season with Rico Bussey, Jr.’s 2018 season and Casey Fitzgerald’s 2007 campaign).
  • Senior DB Dominique Harrison (Houston) forced a fumble in the third quarter on kickoff coverage, which was recovered by freshman LB Kevin Wood (Converse, Texas).
  • Redshirt junior TE Jason Pirtle (Locust Grove, Oklahoma) had two catches for 74 yards, including a career-long of 56 yards on the opening drive.

Courtesy; Mean Green UNT Football