UAB seized momentum early on with an interception on UNT’s first play from scrimmage and found the end zone less than three minutes into the game, and the Blazers never relinquished that momentum in a 40-6 win over the Mean Green on Saturday night at Apogee Stadium.
The Mean Green (1-2) were held scoreless until early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jace Ruder found freshman Detraveon Brown for a 3-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal on what was Brown’s first collegiate reception and touchdown.
Another bright spot for the North Texas offense came in the form of senior running back DeAndre Torrey, who had 24 carries for 82 yards and finished the game with 108 all-purpose yards to move him past Johnny Quinn (2003-06) into fifth on the program’s all-time list for career all-purpose yards.
UNT avoided its first shutout loss since the third game of the Seth Littrell era against Florida in 2016, but that game was followed by the first big win of the Littrell era – a 42-35, double-overtime win on the road at Rice.
Littrell said his team can rebound with the right mindset as it looks toward its next game on Sept. 25 at Louisiana Tech, with a 6:30 p.m. kickoff in Ruston, Louisiana.
“I think the first step (to bouncing back) is the mentality, and after you get whipped you’re either gonna lay down and take it or everyone’s gonna man up and do better and do their jobs,” Littrell said. “I thought we had a good week of preparation. Everything about it was good. It just snowballed on us, especially early on. We just couldn’t ever get back. The biggest thing about bouncing back is just owning up and figuring out what we need to do to do better. We have to make sure we get in tomorrow and really look ourselves in the mirror and figure out who we are and what we want to get accomplished.”
- The Mean Green loss extends UAB’s all-time series advantage to 5-1, with the Mean Green’s lone win in the series coming at Apogee Stadium on Sept. 23, 2017. The teams’ game last season was canceled due to COVID-19 issues.
- The loss puts head coach Seth Littrell at 32-33 in his Mean Green tenure, and he is in sixth place on the program’s all-time wins list – behind fifth-place Hayden Fry (40). He falls to 1-3 in his career against UAB.
- The Mean Green loss puts the program record at 22-11 in Apogee Stadium under head coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green are 1-1 at home this season. One of Littrell’s 22 wins at Apogee was technically a road game when UTEP traveled to Denton last season for a Miner home game due to COVID-19 restrictions in El Paso.
- The last time a North Texas team was shut out for a half was the first half of a game at Rice on Nov. 23, 2019 – a game UNT went on to lose 20-14.
- Sophomore QB Jace Ruder (Norton, Kansas), who transferred from North Carolina, made his third collegiate start and finished the day 6-for-13 for 34 yards and a touchdown.
- Sophomore QB Austin Aune (Argyle, Texas) entered the game on the Mean Green’s third drive of the game, which began with 7:35 to play in the first quarter. He played the remainder of the first half and finished 8-for-21 for 65 yards.
- Senior RB DeAndre Torrey (Gautier, Mississippi) had 82 rushing yards on 24 carries and a two catches for 4 yards along with 22 kickoff return yards to give him 108 all-purpose yards.
- Torrey’s 108 all-purpose yards on the day moved him past Johnny Quinn (2003-06) into fifth on the program’s all-time list for career all-purpose yards. Torrey now has 3,839 in his career.
- Torrey’s 82 rushing yards put him at 2,410, just seven yards shy of sixth all-time on the career rushing list (Kevin Galbreath, 2001-02, who had 2,417 yards).
- Freshman RB Ikaika Ragsdale (Las Vegas, Nevada) had six carries for 25 yards.
- Ragsdale had a 12-yard run to set a new career high for longest run.
- Freshman WR Detraveon Brown (Shreveport, Louisiana) finished the day with one catch for 3 yards and a touchdown.
- Brown’s 3-yard touchdown reception with 13:47 left to play got the Mean Green on the scoreboard and was the first reception and touchdown of Brown’s career.
- Sophomore WR Deonte Simpson (Beaumont, Texas) caught one ball for 18 yards.
- His 18-yard grab was his first of the season in his first game action of the season. He had his helmet knocked off and ran for what was seemingly a touchdown without it but the ball was blown dead after the 18-yard gain because his helmet was knocked off.
- Freshman WR Khatib Lyles (El Paso, Texas) caught one ball for 3 yards.
- Lyles’ 3-yard reception late in the game was the first of his collegiate career.
- Redshirt freshman WR Damon Ward (Beaumont, Texas) had two catches for 13 yards.
- Ward’s 8-yard reception late in the third quarter was the first of his collegiate career.
- Junior LB KD Davis (Ennis, Texas) finished the day with six tackles, including three solo stops.
- Sophomore DB DeShawn Gaddie (Arlington, Texas) finished the game with seven tackles, including five solo stops and a pass breakup.
- Senior defensive lineman Dion Novil (Abilene) finished the game with five tackles, including three solo stops, a tackle for-loss and a quarterback hurry.
- Novil’s blocked extra point late in the first half was the first blocked kick by the Mean Green since a blocked field goal attempt by Middle Tennessee on Oct. 17, 2020.
- Sophomore LB Kevin Wood (Converse, Texas) finished the day with five tackles, including two solo stops.
- Senior DL Kameron Hill (Fresno, Texas) finished the day with four tackles, including two solo stops, a tackle for-loss and a sack.
- Hill now has 17.0 sacks in his collegiate career.
- Senior LB Tyreke Davis (Denton, Texas) finished the day with eight tackles, including five solo stops, two tackles for-loss and a sack to give him 6.5 career sacks.
- Senior safety Makyle Sanders (Tyler, Texas) finished the day with four tackles, including a solo stop.
- Two players made their first career starts on Saturday: freshman left guard Gabe Blair (Denton) and sophomore wide receiver Bryson Jackson (Houston).
Courtesy UNT Football