The Associated Press
Gainesville Daily Register
DENTON — Antoinne Jimmerson caught two touchdown passes, including a tiebreaking 78-yarder in the fourth quarter, to lead North Texas to a 30-23 win over Louisiana Lafayette on Tuesday night.
The Mean Green (3-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) used a 24-3 second half run to down the Ragin’ Cajuns at Apogee Stadium.
“I don’t want to over simplify it, but we just played better in the second half,” Mean Green coach Dan McCarney said. “Technique, fundamentals, real good effort, collapse the pocket and make plays. We were really outstanding on third downs, as well.”
After Jimmerson's second score, the Mean Green recovered Effrem Reed's fumble on first down to clinch the victory.
Jimmerson also had a 28-yard TD catch from Derek Thompson in the third quarter and North Texas overcame a 20-6 deficit. Thompson was 17 for 28 for 282 yards and the Mean Green finished with 525 total yards.
“The fight that this football team has is unbelievable,” Thompson said. “You saw it in the second half, we came out and were ae completely different football team. We played with our hair on fire and that’s what we have to do every time we step on the field.”
Terrance Broadway finished 26 for 41 for 265 yards and added a 75-yard TD run in the second quarter to give Louisiana Lafayette a 13-3 lead.
Reed had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter for the Ragin' Cajuns (4-2, 2-1). The freshman finished with 19 yards on 11 carries.
North Texas junior kicker Zach Olen connected on field goals of 25, 24 and 22 yards.
Mean Green linebacker Zach Orr had the first of two Ragin’ Cajun turnovers with a third quarter interception. The junior dropped back over the middle in zone defense where he was able to come away with a Broadway pass.
“We are 2-1 (in conference play) with a big win but lots of challenges ahead,” McCarney said. “We’ll enjoy this for 24 hours, meet tomorrow at 3 o’clock, watch the tape and put it behind us. It’ll be time to get ready for the next one. But a great victory and a really good night for North Texas.”