Football: UNT defense cools down Trojans

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DRC/David Minton
North Texas linebacker Zachary Orr, bottom, and defensive back Hilbert Jackson, far right, stop Troy receiver Eric Thomas, center, on Saturday at Apogee Stadium.

No team in the Sun Belt Conference had been hotter coming into the weekend than Troy.

The Trojans led the league with an average of 537.7 yards a game behind the duo of quarterback Corey Robinson and running back Shawn Southward.

That duo didn’t come close to producing the way they had in the first three games of the season against a North Texas defense that kept the Mean Green in the game against the Trojans, who hung on for a 14-7 win on Saturday night at Apogee Stadium.

Troy managed only two touchdowns just one week after nearly knocking off Mississippi State in a 30-24 loss.

“Defensively, I thought we improved and did some real good things,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said. “We are getting better and held them to their lowest point and yardage totals of the year. We are getting better. Have we arrived? No. Did we play good enough to win? No.”

McCarney said that he wouldn’t credit UNT with playing well in any phase of the game unless the Mean Green played well enough to win.

UNT didn’t quite get there, largely because it gave up a few big plays.

Troy converted on a third-and-10 situation from the UNT 15-yard line, as Robinson hit Jaquon Robinson for a 15-yard touchdown.

Robinson connected with Chip Reeves for a 76-yard touchdown pass for Troy’s only other touchdown of the night in the second half.

Robinson threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns, hitting on 29 of 42 attempts.

UNT got after Robinson and sacked him twice.

UNT also limited Southward, who was averaging 124.7 yards a game to just 56.

“The big plays killed us,” UNT defensive tackle Richard Abbe said. “We’ve just got to work through it.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is bvito@dentonrc.com.


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