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Fine’s 3 TD passes lift North Texas over SMU 46-23

September 2, 2018
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North Texas quarterback Mason Fine (6) prepares to begin a play during an NCAA college football game against SMU on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at Apogee Stadium in Denton, Texas. (Jake King/The Denton Record-Chronicle via AP)

DENTON, Texas (AP) — Mason Fine threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns, Kemon Hall returned an interception for a touchdown and DeAndre Torrey had a 96-yard kickoff return for North Texas in a 46-23 win over SMU in a season opener on Saturday night.

Fine threw two TD strikes to Jalen Guyton, and another to Nic Smith. Hall picked off a pass by Ben Hicks and returned it 36 yards for another Mean Green score.

SMU trailed 36-0, and had only one first down compared to UNT’s 27, before scored all of its points in the final 8 1/2 minutes of coach Sonny Dykes’ debut with the Mustangs. Braeden West had a 5-yard TD run and Hicks threw two TD passes in the final 1:41 — 59 yards to James Proche and 71 yards to West.

North Texas outgained the Mustangs 529 total yards to 256. Hicks threw for 252 yards, and SMU had only 4 yards rushing on 19 carries.

Fine completed 40 of 50 pass attempts and has thrown a TD in each of his last 13 games. Rico Bussey Jr. had nine catches for 109 yards and Cole Hedlund kicked four field goals.

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