On a crisp and cool Dallas afternoon, the North Texas Mean Green and UNLV Rebels met in the historic old Cotton Bowl Stadium in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The game started off with a lot of offensive fireworks with each team scoring early in the first quarter, but as the first half wore on, it looked like the defenses got the jitters out of their system and this game turned into a proverbial chess match.
What could have been a track meet, turned into a defensive stale mate, and while most fans would bicker and cry about it being boring. It felt like an old school game where you don’t know if the next score would be the one to win the game. Unfortunately for the Mean Green they had chances to put more points up in the first half, but some costly penalties ended up keeping them from scoring more. But on the other hand, mistakes were few and far between, and both quarterbacks had precision passing through most of the first half. While the first half ended in a 7-7 tie, you knew the second half would be something to enjoy.
The 2nd half started much like the first ended, with defensive stand after defensive stand, but all of a sudden Thompson and the Mean Green offense broke through and the Mean Green took the lead with 6:07 in the 3rd quarter. At that point you could start to feel the momentum shift to the popular “home” team from Denton. After taking the lead, the Mean green would real off 21 unanswered points to put the game away, but UNLV still showed a never say die attitude and got a score, but didn’t have any timeouts are even able to stop the Mean Green one last time. The Final score was 36 – 14, but the game was a lot closer than the score would lead you to believe.
Coach McCarney said in his post game press conference “The goal was to leave here a champion, and we accomplished that today” and he also hinted this victory was just “a building block” for the future. With McCarney at the helm, there is a lot of upside to this Mean Green program. The announced attendance was 38,380, and it looked like 35,000 of them were wearing Green. It was a great game, with a great atmosphere. The MVP was Senior Derek Thompson, who won by one vote over team mate Brelan Chancelor. It was the closest vote in the four year history of this bowl game.
The North Texas Mean Green won a Bowl game for the third time in school history and for the first time since 2002, It is a safe bet they will have a few more to add in the future.