HOUSTON — North Texas bounced back from a tough night running the ball against Florida Atlantic last week with an impressive effort that went for naught on Saturday.
UNT had one of its best nights of the season running the ball against Houston, but couldn’t take advantage in a 44-21 loss to the Cougars.
Senior Jeremy Brown had his best game of the season, finishing with 80 yards and a touchdown on seven carries while complementing starter Brandin Byrd, who led UNT with 96 yards on 19 carries.
UNT finished with 231 yards overall.
“We did run the ball a lot better,” Brown said. “We have to give credit to the offensive line. They opened a lot of holes for us.”
Those holes were hard to come by against FAU, which held the Mean Green to 56 yards on 30 carries.
Brown made one of the biggest plays of the night for UNT in the running game and nearly surpassed that total on a single carry.
The former Whitewright standout broke free for a 48-yard touchdown run. Brown broke six tackles on his way to the end zone.
Brown’s previous season high for yards in a game was 42, a total he posted in a win over Texas Southern in the second week of the season on nine carries.
The former walk-on has served as the third running back in UNT’s three-back rotation that also includes Byrd and Antoinne Jimmerson.
Byrd led UNT with 40 rushing yards in its season-opening loss to LSU. Jimmerson had led the Mean Green in rushing yards in each of its last four games and posted 139 yards — a season high for a UNT running back — in a win over TSU.
“It was an outstanding effort,” UNT head coach Dan McCarney said of Brown’s big night. “Ever since he came and he joined the program as a walk-on, he became one of my favorite guys. Everyone respects him, loves him and cares about him. He made some great plays. He will get more and more opportunities.”
Power returns to lineup
Tight end Andrew Power returned to UNT’s lineup after missing the Mean Green’s win over FAU with an undisclosed injury.
Power has helped power UNT’s running game throughout his two seasons at the school.
UNT appeared to miss him in its win over the Owls in its last game before facing Houston.
The Mean Green had rushed for at least 150 yards in three straight games before facing FAU without Power.
Feeley returns to lineup
Senior Coleman Feeley started at right tackle in place of LaChris Anyiam.
Feeley started the first two games of the season before giving way to Anyiam, a junior who started the next three games.
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .