ATHENS, Ohio — North Texas followed up one of its finest offensive performances in recent years last week with a tough night in a loss to Ohio.
UNT struggled early in Saturday’s game to cash in on key opportunities and couldn’t quite finish a comeback in a 27-21 loss to the Bobcats.
UNT turned the ball over four times and finished with 299 yards just one week after rolling up 591 yards in a 40-6 win over Idaho.
Ohio linebacker Javon Johnson intercepted a pass from UNT quarterback Derek Thompson and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. That was just one of a few mistakes that came back to haunt UNT.
“We made some critical errors and big mistakes and a couple of turnovers,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said. “The interception for a touchdown, if we get a little more air under it we might have had a touchdown. It was a 14-point swing. A little better throw, it could have been a touchdown.”
Thompson finished with 195 yards and two touchdowns on a night UNT struggled to run the ball, finishing with 104 yards on 38 carries.
Ohio limited Brelan Chancellor to one reception for 33 yards just one week after he finished with six catches for 135 yards against Idaho.
Paul gets nod at kicker, misses field goal
McCarney said that Zach Olen and Zach Paul would compete for the kicking job in practice after Olen missed an extra point and had another blocked in the Mean Green’s season-opening win over Idaho.
UNT turned to Paul to open its game against Ohio. Paul hit all three of his extra points but missed his only field goal attempt, a 44-yarder in the second quarter that missed wide left.
Ohio also missed a field goal in the first half when Grant Venham was wide right from 40 yards out before turning to Matt Green in the second half. Green hit two fourth-quarter field goals that gave Ohio the win.
McCoy in, Mason out at DE
Senior defensive end Brandon McCoy made his season debut against Ohio when UNT juggled its lineup on its defensive front.
McCoy missed the Mean Green’s season-opening win over Idaho with a sprained ankle. Daryl Mason and Ryan Boutwell were in the starting lineup at defensive end against the Vandals, but Mason suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing against Ohio.
Chad Polk and Aaron Bellazin started against Ohio.
McCoy finished with six tackles and was credited with a quarterback hurry.
UNT forces key turnover
UNT forced a key turnover early in the first half when it appeared as if Ohio would have a chance to grab control.
The Bobcats scored on their first possession on a 75-yard pass from Tyler Tettleton to Chase Cochran. UNT ran just three plays before punting. Travis Carrie fielded a punt from Blake Macek and broke free.
Lynrick Pleasant caught Carrie from behind and stripped the ball.
UNT recovered at its 48-yard line.
Chancellor’s wildcat run
UNT picked up key first down on its lone scoring drive of the first half when it went to the wildcat formation on fourth-and-1 at Ohio 37-yard line.
Chancellor lined up at quarterback and picked up 2 yards and the first down on a run up the middle.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.