LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Freshman Jamario Thomas rushed for a school
record 256 yards and two touchdowns and T.J. Covington returned a
fumble 100 yards for a score to lead North Texas past Utah State
The Mean Green (2-4, 2-0) extended their Sun Belt Conference
winning streak to 20 games, but needed Covington's 100-yard return
and two more late defensive stands to beat the Aggies (2-4, 1-2).
Utah State appeared to be headed for the go-ahead score, but
quarterback Travis Cox was hit by Markeith Knowlton at the Mean
Green 1-yard line and fumbled into the end zone. Covington picked
it up about 9-yards deep, broke a tackle and sprinted to the other
end to give North Texas a 31-20 lead with 3:57 remaining in the
Following a Jarrod Jakubiak 34-yard field goal for Utah State
that cut the lead to 31-23 with 1:56 left in the third, the Aggies
had two more chances in the fourth. But Trent Nate dropped a pass
from Cox in the end zone on fourth-and-2 from the Mean Green 3.
Later, the Aggies turned the ball over on downs with 1:19 left to
Thomas, a freshman who had 159 yards in the first half, broke
the school record of 247 yards he shared with Malcolm Jones. Jones
first set the mark against Northeast Louisiana in 1980 and Thomas
matched it Sept. 18 at Colorado.
Thomas scored on runs of 48 and 27 yards against the Aggies.
Cox was 22-for-40 for 290 yards and one touchdown. He also ran
for a touchdown, but threw four interceptions for Utah State, which
turned the ball over six times. North Texas converted four of those
turnovers into 24 points.
Kevin Robinson returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown to give
the Aggies a 13-3 lead with 11:49 remaining in the first half.
After scoring the touchdown, Robinson was ejected from the game
after receiving his second unsportsmanlike penalty of the game.