DENTON, Texas -- — Austin Aune threw two touchdown passes and North Texas fought off Rice for a 21-17 win Saturday to secure a bid in the Conference USA title game against UTSA in the Alamodome on Dec. 2.
The Mean Green (7-5, 6-2) will get a chance to avenge their 31-27 loss to the Roadrunners — also played in the Alamodome — which occurred on Oct. 22.
With the win, North Texas denied Rice (5-7, 3-5) a chance at bowl eligibility.
On third down, Padgett, lined up in shotgun formation, dropped the ball and kneeled to pick it up but was ruled down as officials believed his knee touched the ground on the recovery attempt.
Ikaika Ragsdale ran for 122 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown for North Texas. His 6-yard touchdown catch with 10:35 left put North Texas up for good.
Padgett threw for 229 yards and a touchdown for the Owls.