ODU erases big deficit, falls in fourth quarter at North Texas 45-38

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Mason Fine passed for 309 yards and a touchdown but his heads-up slide for a first down in the final minute allowed North Texas to run out the clock and defeat upset-minded Old Dominion 45-38 on Saturday night.

North Texas (5-3, 4-1 Conference USA) built a 28-10 lead after two quick scores to open the second quarter, only to see Old Dominion, seeking to end a five-game losing streak, rally to a 38-35 lead by the end of the third. But, one week after giving up 804 yards and 69 points in their first conference loss, the Mean Green held Old Dominion scoreless in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble and stopping the Monarchs on fourth-and-1 on three straight drives.

North Texas took advantage with a fourth-quarter field goal and a 20-yard Nic Smith touchdown run for the win.

Isaiah Harper put Old Dominion (2-6, 0-4) on the board early with a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He followed that up with a 98-yard kickoff return for a TD, finishing with 235 return yards — most in the FBS this season.

Jeremy Cox rushed for 109 yards and a score on 24 carries for Old Dominion.