Cards Fall at North Texas
DENTON, Texas – The Lamar University football team overcame a tough week to open the 2017 campaign at North Texas. Despite a courageous effort overcoming the impact of Hurricane Harvey, the Cardinals made the trip to Denton, Texas but dropped the opener, 59-14, at North Texas.
The Cardinals finished the night with 266 yards of total offense, while the Mean Green recorded 668, including 436 on the ground.
Junior Darrel Colbert jr. got the start at quarterback for the Red and White completing 14-of-24 (.583) passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Andrew Allen completed 6-of-12 (.500) passes for 40 yards.
UNT’s offense was led by two players who finished the night running for more than 100 yards, led by Jeffery Wilson’s 176 yards and three scores.
The Cards’ defensive effort was led by junior Rodney Randle jr. who recorded 11 tackles, including seven unassisted. Redshirt freshman David Crosley recorded nine tackles in his first career game, while brother, Daniel, added seven stops including a sack.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed,” said Schultz. “We need to make a lot of improvements from week one to week two. Teams usually make the most improvements from the first game to the second, so this is a very important week. We have a big work week ahead of us so we have to get ready to go.
“Defensively, we put ourselves in good places but didn’t come up with tackles – we have to tackle better as a team. Offensively we need to be more consistent. We have to sustain drives. Tonight we didn’t get the job done on third down,” added Schultz.
The Cardinals were faced with an early deficit after North Texas jumped out to a 17-0 first quarter lead. The Mean Green scored touchdowns on their first two possessions before Big Red responded with its first score of the Mike Schultz era.
The Cardinals’ score came from a couple of newcomers as Darrel Colbert jr. hit tight end Jarod Wood from a yard out to cut the deficit to 17-7. The touchdown came on a fourth down play which was set up by a Mean Green fumbled punt return. LU’s punt coverage forced the fumble and the ball was recovered by Brandon Dabney on the UNT two.
North Texas tacked on two more scores before the Cardinals were able to answer. Trailing 31-7, the Cardinals responded to the 24-point deficit with a 68-yard pass from Colbert to Martell Hawthorne. The scoring strike took just 71 seconds as the Cardinals cut the lead to 31-14 with just under five minutes remaining in the half. The Mean Green closed the half with another touchdown.
UNT finished the half with 398 yards of total offense, including 224 on the ground. LU finished the opening 30 minutes of action with 182 yards. North Texas recorded 18 first downs in the opening half, while the Cardinals were held to eight.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first as North Texas scored twice in the first nine minutes of the third quarter to take a 52-14 advantage. UNT opened the fourth quarter with a 12-yard TD run from Andrew Tucker to build their lead to 59-14. Big Red was unable to respond after that.
“You look around and see the things that are going on in Southeast Texas, and what our guys and their families are dealing with and you realize this is a game,” said Schultz. “You want to win it, but it is a game. We came here to compete and win and we didn’t get the job done tonight but you look at what so many are having to deal with right now and you realize this is just a game.”
The Cardinals are schedule to host Texas-Permian Basin Saturday, Sept. 9, at Provost Umphrey Stadium. Log on to LamarCardinals.com or follow on twitter, @LamarFootball, for further updates about the status of the game.
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