DALLAS (AP) — HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
UNLV (7-5) vs. North Texas (8-4), noon, (ESPNU)
Line: North Texas by 6½.
Series record: UNLV leads 4-0.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
UNLV and North Texas, two of the most improved teams from 2012 to 2013, both end long postseason droughts in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Rebels are in their first bowl since 2000, and the Mean Green play in the postseason for the first time since 2004. UNLV improved from two wins — its total in each of the past three seasons — to seven this season. North Texas already has a four-win improvement after going 4-8 last season.
Brandin Byrd, who has 1,023 yards rushing, and the North Texas running game against the UNLV defense. The Mean Green are 7-0 this season when rushing for 150 yards or more. UNLV has allowed 222 yards rushing a game, and allowed at least 150 yards nine times.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UNLV: Running back Tim Cornett is UNLV's career rushing leader with 3,700 yards, including 1,251 this season with 15 touchdowns. He is also in reach of a couple of other 40-year-old school records — his 35 rushing TDs and 38 overall TDs are two short of in both categories. He could also break the all-purpose record with 214 yards.
North Texas: LB Zach Orr has 114 tackles this season, including 11 tackles for loss. He also returned a fumble 55 yards for a touchdown against Rice and goes into his final game with 22½ career tackles for loss, and nine fumble recoveries — four this season.
FACTS & FIGURES
North Texas has already set a school record with 4,939 total yards. ... The Mean Green are 2-5 in bowl games. ... UNLV is playing only the fourth neutral site game since its first football season in 1968, and its first since the 1984 California Bowl. The Rebels' other two bowl games were at their own stadium in Las Vegas. ... North Texas leads Conference USA and is ninth nationally, allowing only 18.1 points per game — only 6.5 after halftime. ... For the first time since 2004, UNLV players will have their names on the back of their jerseys. That is a reward from coach Bobby Hauck for making it to a bowl.
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