North Texas 36, UNLV 14: Derek Thompson shook off an early knee injury to pass for 256 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Mean Green to the win in the Heart of Texas Bowl in Dallas.
Brelan Chancellor rushed for two touchdowns and also caught six passes for 74 yards while Drew Miller and Darnell Smith each caught scoring passes for North Texas (9-4). It was the first bowl win for the Mean Green since a 24-19 victory over Cincinnati in the 2002 New Orleans Bowl.
Caleb Herring, who started the game 8-for-8 for 75 yards and touchdown, finished 22-of-41 for 196 yards, two TDs and an interception for UNLV (7-6). It was the first loss in four bowl games in school history for the Rebels, who were making their first bowl appearance since a 31-14 victory over Arkansas in the 2000 Las Vegas Bowl.
UNLV was impressive early, driving 95 yards in eight plays on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Herring to Marcus Sullivan. But North Texas rebounded to tie it on the ensuing possession with a 1-yard run by Antoinne Jimmerson.
The Mean Green scored the first 21 points of the second half to take a 28-7 lead with Thompson sandwiching touchdown passes of 7 yards to Miller and 34 yards to Smith around a 3-yard touchdown run by Chancellor on a fly sweep. After Herring connected with Jerry Rice Jr. for a 13-yard touchdown with 4:56 left, Chancellor finished the scoring with a 15-yard run on a reverse three plays after an interception and Miller scooped up a blocked extra-point attempt for a two-point conversion.
GAME NOTEBOOK: UNLV managed only 167 yards after its first drive. ... North Texas had five sacks to finish with 39 for the season. ... The Mean Green allowed just 36 points in the second half this season.