El Paso, TX — Brandin Byrd ran for a career-high 202 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns as North Texas defeated UTEP 41-7 on a breezy and chilly afternoon at Apogee Stadium.
The Mean Green (7-3, 5-1 Conference USA) handed the Miners (1-8, 0-5) their seventh straight loss.
With the score 21-0 in favor of North Texas in the third quarter, Byrd put a dagger into the UTEP defense when he found an open field and sprinted 82 yards for his second touchdown of the day. The Miners finally got on the board in the same quarter when freshman Mack Leftwich found junior Jordan Leslie in the back of the end zone for a 22-yard score off a tipped pass that Leslie was able to haul in.
Leftwich, son of current UTEP assistant coach and former North Texas offensive line coach Spencer Leftwich, was pulled from redshirt status mid-week and made his first-career start under center for the Orange and Blue. He completed his first three passes and ended the day 14-of-20 for 128 yards, an interception and a score. The native of Wexford, Pa. was poised in his first start, but was sacked eight times by the no. 1 ranked scoring defense in the conference.
Leslie led the Miners with five receptions for 41 yards, including his sixth score of the season (ties his career high for a season).
North Texas racked up 471 yards of offense, including 317 yards on the ground. The Miners were held to 184 yards of total offense.
The Miners will attempt to get off the snide when they host FIU on Saturday, Nov. 16 in the Sun Bowl on Senior Night. It will mark the fifth and final home game of the 2013 season.