North Texas 31

(2-4, 1-3 away)

Utah State 23

(2-4, 1-2 home)

8:05 PM ET, October 9, 2004

Romney Stadium, Logan, UT

1 2 3 4 T
UNT 3 14 14 031
USU 7 13 3 023

Top Performers

Passing: T. Cox (USU) - 290 YDS, 1 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: J. Thomas (UNT) - 38 CAR, 256 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: T. Pennyman (USU) - 8 REC, 117 YDS

North Texas 31, Utah State 23

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 31-23 Saturday.

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 third quarter.

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 play.

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.