UNT notes art

North Texas running back DeAndre Torrey is tackled by Rice linebacker Antonio Montero during the Mean Green's win over Rice on Saturday at Rice Stadium.

North Texas didn’t have its best day offensively against Rice, at least not when it comes to points and yards.

That’s the nature of the game against the Owls, who run the ball and control the clock. What mattered to the Mean Green was the fact they did just enough to pull out a 30-24 win.

UNT hung with Rice in what was a one-possession game the whole way and pulled out the win when Ayo Adeyi scored on a 1-yard run in overtime.

“They had the ball dang near the whole game,” UNT quarterback Austin Aune said. “When we had the ball we were going to go score. Luckily we had it the last possession.”

Aune led the way. He threw for 121 yards and was also UNT’s leading rusher with 65 yards. UNT finished with 314 yards.

“We just stayed within ourselves,” UNT wide receiver Bryson Jackson said. “The offensive line did a good job, our running backs took care of the ball, our quarterback had an amazing [game] and wide receivers did their job. We took care of business.”

Littrell baffled by penalties

UNT was called for seven penalties for 74 yards in its win over Rice, including three that extended a Rice drive that lasted 19 plays and ended in a field goal in the first half.

Two of those penalties were unsportsmanlike calls on safety Sean-Thomas Faulkner and defensive lineman Roderick Brown.

“The penalties today were shocking,” Littrell said. “I would have to look at the film. It’s hard for me to comment on some of the stuff, but we overcame it. We talked about sticking together. We had to defeat a lot of different things today.”

Briefly ...

  • UNT kicker Ethan Mooney returned after missing UNT’s loss to Liberty last week due to undisclosed reasons.

Mooney came into the day having made all but one of his seven field goal attempts on the season and having made 77 straight extra points. He hit a 35-yard field goal and all three of his extra points against Rice.

  • UNT played without starting cornerbacks John Davis Jr. and Quinn Whitlock.

Both were injured last week in the Mean Green’s loss to Liberty and had had started five of UNT’s first six games of the season.

Safety DeShawn Gaddie moved from safety to corner to help fill the void. Gaddie played cornerback earlier in his career. Ridge Texada moved into the starting lineup at cornerback, while Faulkner started at safety.

“It was the next man up,” Thomas-Faulkner said. “Guys had to move around. I had to play safety, which I hadn’t played all year. Gaddie helped me.”

BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 and via Twitter at @brettvito.