The 1970s began disastrously for the Eagles with the 1972 season record of 1-10 marking a low point. Coach Hayden Fry was hired in December of 1972 to turn the program around. Over the next six seasons, he succeeded by obtaining a 40-23-3 record. Notable highlights of the 1970s include a 98 yard kickoff return by Sears Woods in a 1975 game with only 4:25 remaining to score a North Texas victory; and the 1977 season which witnessed a 10-1 record for the Eagles. The 1977 season also included a victory over SMU-the first North Texas win over SMU since 1933.
David Kervin (#14) of North Texas does a head-stand over a loose ball. Offensive tackle Fred Ende (#74) and Drake defensive back Gale Murphy (#25) went after the ball but the play was ruled an incomplete pass. The Mean Green won 19-7 at Denton, Texas, as co-champions with Tulsa of the Missouri Valley Conference.
Freshman running back Reggie Turner (#20) of North Texas goes high for a first down against the Drake Bulldogs. Rudy Holmes (#21) of Drake is braced for mid –air tackle. The other identifiable players are Scott Rainbolt (#45) of Drake and Red Johnson (#26). North Texas won the game 19-7 in Denton, Texas, as Mean Green shared Missouri Valley co-championship with Tulsa.