DENTON, Texas (NWN) – No. 15 UTSA’s undefeated season ended with a bang as North Texas overtook DeAndre Torrey and Icaca Ragsdale for five touchdowns in Roadrunner’s 45-23 route on Saturday.
Quarterback Frank Harris had two of UTSA’s three lost rumbles before sitting in the second half at UNTA’s rain-soaked Apogee Stadium, a 10-year-old facility where a top 25 team had never played.
UTSA (11-1, 7-1 Conference USA), which never started with more than five consecutive victories in the program’s first nine seasons, is still hosting a Friday night conference championship game against Western Kentucky or Marshall. Is. No. 1 Georgia and fourth-placed Cincinnati are the remaining undefeated FBS teams.
Nationally ranked 10th in rushing defense, the roadrunner had missed six touchdowns on the field throughout the season. Mean Green (6–6, 5–3) scored his fifth consecutive win late in the third quarter, earning UNT Bowl eligibility.
Ragsdale, a redshirt freshman, had a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns as North Texas’ conference-leading rushing offense ended a week with 340 yards when UTSA scored in a last-second victory over UAB. His last season allowed a high of 220.
Toure’s third and final TD run was a stellar 19-yard run where he broke a tackle in the backfield and dashed past two more defenders while at the back of the line. He finished with 108 yards, easily outplaying UTSA’s Honest McCormick (60 yards) in a matchup of two of the top 10 active career rushers in FBS.
The Roadrunners were called in to interfere in their first defensive game, leading to an early field goal from North Texas after failing a kickoff and muffing two punts, losing possession on the first.
Harris’ 69-yard touchdown run pulled UTSA to within 17-13 in the second quarter, but Senior later lost a fumble when he dropped the slick ball trying to make a quick throw at third down. Toure’s dazzling 19-yard score came as part of 28 consecutive points for UNT after two plays.
Josh Adkins replaced Harris to start the second half, but the Roadrunners were disappointingly behind before they were relegated at the end of the offense on a 56-yard run by Brendan Brady at the start of the fourth quarter.
UTSA: Despite wet conditions, Roadrunner didn’t defend his quarterback. Mean Green had five sacks from Harris and Adkins, and both were running under quick pressure at times.
North Texas: Coach Seth Littrell’s future was in question as losing streak drew Mean Green to a 1-6 draw. Not so much after UNT’s ranks improved to 2-47 over opponents. The only other victory was 14–9 over No. 20 San Diego State on November 2, 1974 at Old Fouts Field, just across the interstate from the new stadium.
UTSA: The Western Kentucky-Marshall winner advances to the conference championship game late Saturday.
North Texas: The Mean Green will await word on a bid for a bowl that wasn’t even considered a month ago.
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