I had to run to the field, but as you know, UNT falls 45-21, a deceiving final score. I will be back later.
10:00 — UNT is running out of chances here. Another three-and-out and a punt has given Georgia the ball at its 12-yard line with 9:52 left. You can bet UNT is going to be ripping at the ball here looking for a turnover.
13:16 — UNT went for the fake with Blake Macek punting the ball out of a field goal formation. The punt made it just 12 yards.
13:19 — UNT is lining up for a field goal from 52 yards out. Not sure about this one right here.
13:19 — This might be the play of the game right here. UNT has the ball at the Georgia 34. It’s fourth-and-11. UNT’s last two passes have fallen incomplete.
13:23 — Huge turnover. UNT recovers a Todd Gurley fumble and is in business. Derek Akunne forced it. Kenny Buyers recovered it.
14:52 — Georgia has the ball at the 22. UNT really needs a stop here.
End of third quarter — UNT is on the ropes now. Georgia drove down and scored to go up 35-21 and forced a three-and-out from UNT. We are about to start the fourth quarter.
5:24 — There’s a tough break for UNT. Derek Thompson was looking for a receiver to break toward the sideline. He wasn’t there and Georgia picked it off.
7:11 — Georgia has gone back up on an Aaron Murray 1-yard sneak. Todd Gurley picked up a big third down on the drive that has put the Bulldogs back up 28-21.
9:53 — UNT went with the conservative play-calling right there and went three-and-out. Georgia has the ball back at its 47-yard line. It is pouring and Georgia has not run the ball particularly well. It will be interesting to see what the Bulldogs do right here.
11:35 — UNT gets a stop on defense. Here we go. UNT will get the ball with a chance to take the lead. UNT nearly blocked another put right there. It rolled down to the 9-yard line.
14:17 — We talked earlier in the week about special teams plays being a key to an upset. There is was. Marcus Trice blocked a punt that Zac Whitfield recovered in the end zone. We are all tied up at 21-21. UNT’s players are going nuts.
14:23 — UNT comes up with a big stop on Georgia’s first possession of the second half. Aaron Murray had a guy open twice and missed him on the sideline.
Halftime thoughts — UNT is hanging around with Georgia here in Athens. Georgia is up 21-14 and will get the ball to start the second half. Derek Thompson had a good half, throwing for 136 yards and a touchdown.
The passing game is keeping UNT afloat. The Mean Green has lost a total of 2 yards on 16 carries in the first half. The big plays UNT has come up with loom large right about now. Will Wright’s interception saved the Mean Green when it was backed up to its goal line early on. Brelan Chancellor’s 99-yard kickoff return was another huge play at the end of the half.
UNT talked over the last few days about hanging around late into the second half and having a chance to pull off the stunner late. It still has that opportunity at this point. It’s starting to rain pretty hard.
Halftime — That was a close call there. Georgia forced UNT to punt from its end zone, fielded the ball at its 35 and called a timeout. Georgia’s 52-yard field goal attempt was just a big off. I will be back later with some halftime thoughts.
:57 — UNT’s defense came up big there, stopping Todd Gurley on third-and-1. UNT is going to sit on the ball and go into halftime down 21-14.
2:48 — UNT couldn’t get anything going on its last possession and had to punt the ball away. Here’s a big possession for UNT’s defense.
4:13 — UNT came up with a stop on Georgia’s last possession, thanks largely to stuffing the Bulldogs on a couple of runs that went for just a yard. UNT has the ball back at its 10-yard line with a chance to tie this game up.
7:12 — We’ve been waiting on that one for a while. Brelan Chancellor is always a threat to score and one would assume he would break a kickoff returner sooner or later. He got it right there on a pretty well blocked return up the middle for a 99-yard score.
7:27 — Georgia came right back down the field and scored on an Aaron Murray touchdown pass over the middle to tight end Arthur Lynch. Murray is torching UNT.
9:53 — UNT is on the board. Darnell Smith made a great finger-tip catch in the end zone. Drew Miller made a catch over the middle to convert a key third down on the drive. UNT is throwing the ball pretty well today overall.
14:35 — Georgia just might have taken control. Reggie Davis beat Zac Whitfield deep for a 98-yard touchdown. That is what speed can do for a team, and Georgia has a ton of it. The Bulldogs are up 14-0. Aaron Murray was 4-for-5 in the first quarter. That interception by Will Wright looks awfully big right about now.
End of first quarter — UNT is down 7-0, but just got a key play from punter Blake Macek, who boomed one that bounced down to the Georgia 2, where the Mean Green downed it. UNT has played pretty well against the run. It should be interesting to see what Georgia does here.
3:41 — Georgia is on the board. The Bulldogs just drove 59 yards in six plays and scored on a Todd Gurley 12-yard run. UNT will really need to move the ball on this possession.
6:14 — There is something you don’t see often for UNT. Derek Thompson was just sacked on third down. UNT punted it away.
8:40 — Huge play for UNT. Will Wright intercepts Aaron Murray in the end zone after Georgia pushed the ball to UNT’s 3-yard line. That is UNT’s 12th turnover forced on the year.
Update 9:26 — UNT couldn’t get anything going on its last possession and punted it away.
Update 11:24 — Maybe Dan McCarney is on to something. Georgia went three-and-out on its opening possession. UNT has the ball back at its 21-yard line. Aaron Murray nearly picked up the first down on fourth-and-12, but came up a yard short on a scramble.
Update 12:43 — UNT moved the ball some on its first drive, but stalled and had to punt the ball away.
Update 11:19 — UNT has won the toss and taken the ball to start the game in a total change from what Dan McCarney has done in the past.
Update 11:18 — For what it’s worth, there is nothing like a game at an SEC stadium in college football. I’ve been to LSU, Alabama and now Georgia. UNT is about to run onto the field.
I have made my way to the press box in Athens for UNT’s game against Georgia.
The eternal UNT debate will rage about playing this one. In UNT’s situation, I like it. You have to play a game against a big-time team like this every year. Facing a Texas or an SEC team is a great recruiting tool.
We like to joke around about this being the “Body Bag” “Opportunity” or “Opportunity to Get in a Body Bag” game, but the point remains the same.
UNT is a 33-point dog in this one against the Dogs.
So what does hope for today? Well, getting out of town injury free for one. I have asked about it over the years and most coaches say the chances to losing someone to injury are just as great in a game against a team with similar talent as in a game against a national power.
UNT could also build a lot of confidence today if it could run the ball effectively like it did last week in a win over Ball State. The Mean Green really struggled at times to run it in its first two games of the season.
In a side note, there are no scratches today for UNT. It looks like everyone will play who is supposed to play.
I will update the blog throughout the day. Check back