LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) -- Jamario Thomas, the nation's leading
rusher, had two touchdowns and ran for 203 yards on 36 carries to
lead North Texas to a 27-17 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday
Thomas scored on a 1-yard run early in the first quarter to get
the Mean Green off to a quick start. By the end of the quarter, the
Ragin' Cajuns trailed 17-3.
In the opening quarter, North Texas (5-4, 5-0 Sun Belt
Conference) scored with 7:53 left on a 1-yard run by quarterback
Scott Hall. The touchdown came after the Mean Green converted on
fourth down at the 2-yard line. Hall rolled to the right side on a
busted play into the end zone untouched to make it 14-0.
Nick Bazaldua tacked on a 23-yard field goal with 20 seconds
left in the first quarter.
After the two teams combined for 20 points in the first quarter,
the defenses took charge of the second quarter.
But Louisiana-Lafayette (4-5, 2-3) battled back with Jerry Babb
completing six straight passes to march the Cajuns from their own
34-yard line down to the NT 20.
A 10-yard completion to B.J. Crist moved the chains, setting up
a first-and-goal. Three plays later Babb found Bill Sampy in the
back of the end zone to cut the deficit to 17-10 with 1:08 left
Bazaldua made it 20-10 for the Mean Green with a 26-yard field
goal midway through the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Chester Johnson scored on a 1-yard run
for Louisiana-Lafayette to make it 20-17 with 13:12 left in the
But Thomas broke out for a 58-yard TD run 50 seconds later to
pad North Texas's lead.
The Ragin' Cajuns were hurt by fumbles. Hall's TD run in the
first came after Dwight Lindon dropped a ball in the backfield
passed to him Babb. North Texas recovered at the UL 26.
Babb completed 24 of 36 passes for 169 yards. He was intercepted
once. Hall connected on 9 of 15 passes for 104 yards and he was