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Fine named Offensive Player of the Year in C-USA

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

North Texas quarterback Mason Fine was voted as Conference USA's Offensive Player of the Year, the league announced Wednesday.

Fine has thrown for 3,749 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading UNT to the C-USA West Division title and a berth in the New Orleans Bowl against Troy on Dec. 16, UNT's second straight bowl appearance under coach Seth Littrell.

Wide receiver Jalen Guyton was one of Fine's favorite targets throughout the season and was selected as C-USA's co-Newcomer of the Year with Louisiana Tech wide receiver Teddy Veal.

Guyton has caught 48 passes for a team-high 764 yards and nine touchdowns, despite missing a game due to injury.

Fine and Guyton helped UNT put together one of the best offensive seasons in program history. The Mean Green have set program records for points (467) and total yards (6,071) in a season. 

The Mean Green rank second in C-USA in scoring with 35.9 points per game and have improved from last season, when they averaged 24.8.

That increase can be attributed largely to Fine, who has found a comfort zone this season. 

"Going into each game, I feel more comfortable and confident," Fine said earlier this fall. "Last year, my confidence got shaken in some games."

That hasn't been the case this season as Fine has led UNT to a series of dramatic wins. Fine drove UNT 98 yards in the final 1:07 and threw a game-winning, 22-yard touchdown pass to Rico Bussey with 10 seconds left to beat Texas-San Antonio 29-26.

Fine also led UNT on a late drive that resulted in Trevor Moore's 39-yard, game-winning field goal in a 52-49 win against Army.

Guyton quickly has developed into one of Fine's top targets and has made an immediate impact after arriving from Trinity Valley Community College. The former Allen standout started his career at Notre Dame and has begun to tap into his potential at UNT.

Guyton caught 14 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown in a win against Southern Miss. His two touchdown catches against UTSA helped UNT pull out a win on a night he caught eight passes for 182 yards.

Fine and Guyton helped lead UNT to the C-USA title game, where the Mean Green lost to Florida Atlantic 41-17. The Owls rolled past the Mean Green behind Devin Singletary.

The Owls' star running back was chosen as the conference's most valuable player after rushing for 1,796 yards and 29 touchdowns. Singletary ripped UNT for 287 yards and six touchdowns in a pair of wins. 

UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport was named C-USA's Defensive Player of the Year after setting program records for in tackles for loss (17.5) and sacks (8.5).

UAB coach Bill Clark was named the coach of the year for leading the Blazers to an 8-4 campaign in their first season back following a two-year hiatus after its program was shut down.

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.

FEATURED PHOTO: North Texas quarterback Mason Fine carries the ball as UAB safety Mar'Sean Diggs (2) tries to drag him down during the Mean Green's win at Apogee Stadium earlier this season.  (Jeff Woo/DRC)