FAYETTVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Mason Fine threw for 281 yards and a touchdown to lead North Texas to its first win over a Southeastern Conference opponent in more than 40 years with a 44-17 victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
Fine completed 24 of 45 passes and also rushed for a score for the Mean Green, which won for the first time in 10 games against the Razorbacks and is 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 1989.
North Texas improved to 5-37 in its history against the SEC with the win, with two of those victories coming via forfeits after losses to Mississippi State in 1976 and 1977. The Mean Green’s last on-the-field win over an SEC team was a 21-14 victory at Tennessee in 1975.
“I don’t think it’s an upset,” North Texas coach Seth Littrell said. “We’re very confident as a football team.”
The defeat is Arkansas’ second straight against a non-Power 5 conference team, following last week’s defeat at Colorado State.
Cole Kelley started at quarterback for the Razorbacks (1-2) but was replaced by freshman Connor Noland in the third quarter after throwing his fourth interception of the game. Kelley finished 16-of-35 passing for 185 yards, and he, Noland and freshman John Stephen Jones combined to throw six interceptions in the loss.
“Disappointed,” Morris said. “We took a punch today, especially in the first half … I think they scored 17 points in 16 plays in the first half and just stunned us right there. We never could rally back.”
North Texas entered the game averaging 457.5 yards passing per game, tops in the country. The Conference-USA member Mean Green didn’t reach its average through the air on Saturday, but it outgained Arkansas 376-336 in total yardage.
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