Special teams lose game to North Texas

USU falls to 1-6 overall, 1-1 in league contests

DENTON, Texas — Two bad snaps on punts led to 14 North Texas points in Utah State's 37-27 loss Saturday. The Aggies were forced to punt on their first drive, and the snap by back-up deep snapper Jaison Carriger sailed over the head of Ben Chaet and ended up on the Utah State 1. One play later, Mean Green running back Patrick Cobbs scored for a 7-0 lead 62 seconds into the game. In the second quarter, Chris Cooley, subbing for Carriger, snapped the ball wide of Chaet, and it ended up on the USU 9. North Texas scored again. Without those two plays, the game was virtually even. North Texas finished with 318 yards total offense to Utah State's 308; first downs: NTU 20, USU 19; turnovers, two each. With the win, the Mean Green improves to 4-3 overall and 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. It now has won 14 straight conference games, with the last eight by double-digit scores. The win also snapped a three-game Utah State winning streak over the Mean Green. With the loss, the Aggies fall to 1-6 overall and 1-1 in league play. For the third week in a row, the Aggies allowed 24 points or more in the first half. New Mexico scored 24; Wyoming 31 and North Texas 34. The Mean Green increased its lead to 14-0 on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Scott Hall to Justin early in the first quarter. The Aggies fought back to tie the score on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Travis Cox to Cooley, and defender John Chick returned a fumble 37 yards to knot the score at 14. North Texas followed with 20 unanswered points, thanks in part to two more touchdown runs by Cobbs. Cobbs rushed for 216 yards for his second consecutive 200-yard game. He also scored three touchdowns for the second week in a row. Utah State's final touchdown of the first half came with less than two minutes left when Raymond Hicks hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Cox. They trailed 34-21. The Mean Green got a 22-yard field goal for its only score of the second half. The Aggies still had their chances in the second half to close the gap. They drove inside the Mean Green 20 in the fourth quarter but lost the ball on a fumble. After forcing a Mean Green punt, the Aggies scored on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Cox to Cooley. The Mean Green scored five touchdowns in the first quarter, and each scoring drive averaged just four plays. Six of their eight first-half drives started inside the Utah State 50. Cox completed 26 of 38 passes for 230 yards, three touchdowns with an interception. Cooley and David Fiefia had eight catches each for 78 and 33 yards, respectively. Fiefia rushed for 83 yards. The Aggies will play the first of two home games beginning Saturday with Arkansas State.

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