Headed down. UNT 28-13.
9:07 — Big stop for UNT. Tech had the ball at the UNT 45-yard line and kept throwing it sideways. UNT made the stop on fourth-and-2.
10:55 — Tech added a field goal and has forced a three-and-out from UNT, which was looking to milk the clock on that possession.
13:10 — Tech is driving and has the ball at the Tech 23.
:40 — Brandin Byrd scored from a yard out on UNT’s last drive. The Mean Green is up 28-10 and has pretty much put this one away.
5:04 — Tech picked up a first down, but has punted the ball away. UNT has the ball back at its 34-yard line.
7:05 — That might be it right there. UNT converted on third down on a 36-yard pass down the sideline and Derek Thompson scored on a 2-yard run. UNT is up 21-10. Darnell Smith made a great diving catch to keep the drive alive.
7:35 — UNT has just called a timeout before a key play. UNT is facing a third-and-5 situation from the Tech 38-yard line. The play clock was about to expire before Derek Thompson called the timeout. Mike Canales likes the misdirection pass plays in spots like this.
9:10 — That punt looms awfully large for UNT right now. Tech couldn’t get out of its own end of the field and punted the ball away. UNT has the ball back at the Tech 43.
10:15 — Great punt for UNT right there. Tech is pinned at its 2-yard line on its first possession of the second half.
Halftime — There is a huge break for UNT. Tech’s kicker bounced a 25-yard field goal off the left upright. It’s halftime with UNT up 14-10.
2:05 — Well, this game turned in a hurry. Zac Whitfield intercepted Ryan Higgins pass along the sideline and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. UNT is up 14-10.
3:53 — UNT is on the board. Derek Thompson scrambled toward the line of scrimmage and found Brelan Chancellor all alone behind Tech’s defense for a 61-yard touchdown pass. Tech’s defensive back came off Chancellor when he thought Thompson would run with the ball. UNT is down 10-7. That was a huge play before half.
6:13 — Tech has tacked on a 40-yard field goal and is up 10-0. Ryan Higgins hit Andrew Guillot for a 31-yard strike on the drive to get Tech going.
8:45 — UNT missed on a third-down pass after picking up a first down to get out of the hole. UNT punted it away. Tech’s cornerback made a good play on the ball to break up the pass. Tech has the ball back at its 30-yard line.
11:01 — Tech punted the ball away on its last possession and has UNT pinned deep at its 15-yard line. UNT is doing a good job against Tech’s running game and is controlling the line of scrimmage.
13:05 — UNT failed to convert on fourth down on a tipped pass. Tech has the ball and has picked up a first down.
14:19 — UNT picked up just a yard on a pass to Brelan Chancellor. It looks like UNT will go for it on fourth-and-3 from the 28. Big play right here.
End of first quarter — UNT will face a third-and-4 situation when we start the second quarter from the Tech 29-yard line.
2:12 — Lairamie Lee has been cleared to come back.
2:32 — UNT holds and will get the ball back at its 31 after a pretty bad punt. Zed Evans tackled Tech’s receiver a yard short of the first-down marker.
5:04 — It looks like safety Lairamie Lee is out with a concussion.
5:04 — UNT picked up a first down, but Derek Thompson threw an incomplete pass on third-and-6. Tech has the ball at its 20 to start this drive. UNT has looked good so far defensively.
7:50 — Tech cashes in. Ryan Higgins scores on a 2-yard run. Tech is up 7-0. This is a familiar position for UNT, which has been down early a lot this year.
9:56 — Big play right there. Derek Thompson throws an interception deep in UNT’s end. Tech has the ball at the UNT 25.
12:53 — UNT forces a punt after Richard Abbe picked up a sack on third down. UNT will have the ball at its 17.
13:48 — Tech has picked up a first down. Lairamie Lee just came out with an injury.
Kickoff — UNT won the toss and deferred. UNT will kickoff to start the game.
2:05 — In a side note, the same officiating crew that worked the Tulane game is working today’s game.
UNT and Tech will kick off in about a half an hour here in Ruston, which means it’s time to start the live blog for the day.
The Mean Green played one of its better games in recent years, beating Middle Tennessee 34-7 last week at home to improve to 3-3. UNT’s splits are perfect — 3-0 at home, 0-3 on the road.
UNT will aim to change that today.
The Mean Green can also win consecutive games for the first time since 2004 and the Glory Days bowl run with a win this afternoon.
I asked and everyone is healthy heading into today’s game. Tech should also be in good shape after a bye week.
At the beginning of the year I thought this game would be a referendum on UNT’s decision to sign Brock Berlund instead of throwing everything into trying to lure Scotty Young back to Denton. The former Ryan standout went to Tech. Well, Berglund never came close to unseating Derek Thompson and Tech benched Young in favor of redshirt freshman Ryan Higgins.
Tech has struggled offensively this season and is averaging 20.0 points a game, although The Bulldogs went off for 38 two weeks ago in a win over UTEP.
UNT has played really well defensively the last couple of weeks, allowing an average of 216.0 yards a game in its last two outings. UNT has been pretty good against the run, which could bode well against a Tech team that has gone to a lot of zone read with Higgins at quarterback.
UNT found its running game that was notably absent for two weeks in its last game against MTSU, rushing for 303 yards. Brandin Byrd went off 139 yards and was UNT’s first back to go over the 100-yard mark this season.
UNT didn’t throw it much at all last week.
Stay tuned. I will update the blog all day/night.