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Two former Wildcats will be in action representing the University of North Texas (8-4) in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, vs. UNLV (7-4) Jan. 1 at 11 a.m. in the Cotton Bowl. The game will be televised on ESPNU. Blake Macek is No. 40 for the team and the starting punter for the Mean Green. Macek, a 5-9, 186-pound redshirt freshman, has earned high praise in Denton. He was named the 2013 Conference USA All-Freshman team. He has the highest freshman punting average (40.8) in school history. Forty percent of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, that was 15th in the nation. Macek had 11 kicks of over 50 yards and a career long of 61 yards against Georgia. In seven games he had at least one punt downed inside the 20-yard line. Mason Y’Barbo has already received his diploma from North Texas. He is a 6-2, 307-pound offensive lineman wearing No. 57. This year he was named to the 2013 Conference USA All-Conference Second Team at offensive line. He also was named Midseason All-C-USA Third-Team by Phil Steele while starting all 12 games. A highlight of his season was when he recovered a fumble for a touchdown at Tulane. Y’Barbo has been part of an offensive line that has allowed only 10 sacks on the season and the fewest sacks in the nation with 16 over the last two years. He blocked for Brandin Byrd to rush for over 1,000 yards. In 2012 he was named Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference in 2012 for the first time in his career. That year he started all 12 games and has started 24 straight games. Y’Barbo was part of an offensive line that led the nation in allowing the fewest sacks in 2012. The Mean Green offensive line gave up just six sacks last season and did not allow a sack in nine of the 12 games in 2012. That year the North Texas squad rushed for over 2,000 yards for the third time in the last four years He helped North Texas rush for over 200 yards in four games in 2012 and a season-high 352, which was the ninth-highest total in school history. Y’Barbo played and started all 12 games as a freshman. The Heart of Dallas Bowl is the Eagle’s second appearance in a New Year’s Day bowl. North Texas played Jan. 1 in 1948 in the Salad Bowl, which was a precursor to the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. North Texas is he only school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to earn a bowl invitation this year. Read more: http://www.myssnews.com/news-telegram/sports/24148-5-former-wildcats-in-bowl-games.html
DENTON — Blake Macek of Sulphur Springs was recently awarded a full four-year scholarship as punter for the University of North Texas. Macek made the football team as a 5-9, 180-pound walk-on and recently continued to impress coaches during the spring game with a 49-yard punt. Read more: http://www.myssnews.com/news-telegram/sports/21866-macek-gets-unt-scholarship.html