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November 22, 2008A truck ran over North Texas Saturday and its name was Phillip Tanner.
Tanner scored five rushing touchdowns, all in the first half, and returned the second half opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown as the Blue Raiders decimated the Mean Green 52-13.
The Blue Raiders opened the scoring right away with a 45-yard touchdown pass from senior Joe Craddock to Eldred King.
After that, it was all Tanner.
The junior from Dallas (Tex.) scored on runs of 12, 1, 19, 66, and 36 yards while rolling up 159 rushing yards for the game on just 14 carries.
North Texas closed a 17-0 deficit to 17-13 late in the first quarter but Middle Tennessee dropped the hammer in the second quarter.
The Blue Raiders scored 28 unanswered second quarter points to take a 45-13 halftime lead.
Once Tanner made the 92 yard gallop to start the second half, the scoring was over as the Blue Raiders relented their assault and emptied their bench as the game continued.
In his final game at Floyd Stadium, Craddock completed 19 of 31 passes for 251 yards and a touchdown.
Seven different Blue Raiders caught passes during the game, including walk-on Caleb Dugger.
On senior day, several seniors made key plays in the game.
Trevor Jenkins made a fourth-and-goal tackle to save a North Texas touchdown. Ivon Hickmon recorded a tackle for loss and Wes Hofacker had a sack.
The Blue Raiders improved to 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Sun Belt.
They will play for bowl eligibility on December 3rd at Louisiana-Lafayette.