White rally towels and cups of hot chocolate doubling as hand warmers were popular items with the Homecoming crowd Saturday night as the Mean Green took on the Owls of Florida Atlantic University. Among the 23,319 in attendance was special guest Barbara Orbison, widow of legendary singer and former North Texas freshman Roy Orbison. After her introduction, the Green Brigade serenaded her with a rendition of Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.”
Other guests included former Mean Green standout Ja’Quay Wilburn (’04), fresh from his UNT Athletic Hall of Fame induction earlier in the day. The four-year letterman and only player to lead North Texas in rushing four straight seasons served as honorary captain for the coin toss. At halftime, students Ryan Nguyen and Andi Minatrea were named the 2009 Homecoming King and Queen.
With the opening kickoff, the Mean Green came out strong, jumping to a 13-0 lead before falling behind 37-19 by early in the third. UNT then scored 21 unanswered points to regain the lead, 40-37, but an Owls touchdown with 4:55 to go spoiled the comeback and sealed the FAU victory, 44-40.
Mean Green running back Lance Dunbar rushed for a career-high 238 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Quarterback Riley Dodge left the game in the second quarter with a high ankle sprain. Up next, the team travels to Alabama to face the Troy Trojans.
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