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Aune leads North Texas to 31-13 victory over UTEP in opener

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Austin Aune threw three touchdown passes, including two in a pivotal third quarter, and North Texas pulled away for a 31-13 victory over UTEP in a season opener on Saturday.

Aune, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 236 yards, connected with Tommy Bush for an 11-yard TD to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.

Aune turned a 14-13 halftime lead into a 28-13 advantage for the Mean Green heading into the final quarter with scoring passes of 9 yards to Isaiah Johnson and an 11-yarder to Jake Roberts.

Gavin Hardison completed 21 of 48 passes for 293 yards. Hardison gave the Miners a 7-0 lead in the second quarter with a 32-yard scoring strike to Tyrin Smith, who had seven receptions for 127 yards. Gavin Baechle kicked two field goals in the period.

Ethan Mooney capped the scoring for the Mean Green with a 28-yard field goal in the final quarter.

UTEP outgained North Texas 400-399 on offense.

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