JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) -- North Texas didn't need Jamario Thomas,
the nation's leading rusher, to get a 31-7 victory over Arkansas
Scott Hall and James Mitchell together were more than ASU (3-8)
could handle Thursday night.
Hall passed for three touchdowns and Mitchell, subbing for
Thomas -- out with a hamstring injury -- gained 166 yards and ran for
a touchdown to lead the Mean Green to their Sun Belt Conference
The win was the 25th straight in the conference victory for
North Texas (7-4), which will represent the league in the fourth
annual Wyndham New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 14 against a team from
"I am very proud of this football team," UNT coach Darrell
Dickey said. "Arkansas State came out and was fired up. I think
they had some revenge on their mind. But our kids played well.
Every week we have to take someone's best shot, and they just keep
The Mean Green capitalized on three turnovers by ASU to continue
its dominance in the league.
ASU, which has scored just one offensive touchdown in its last
nine quarters, was also penalized for 88 yards.
The Indians finished with 240 yards offense. UNT had 402 yards,
232 of that in the second half. North Texas also had no turnovers.
Hall passed for 200 yards and rushed for 21 more.
North Texas, with two first-half touchdowns, owned a 14-0 lead
at intermission. On the opening drive, Hall hit Andy Blount with a
25-yard touchdown pass with 13:50 left in the first quarter. With
19 seconds left in the quarter, Mitchell scored on a 3-yard run for
a 14-0 lead.
Arkansas State opened the second half with a drive that cut the
margin to 14-7. The Indians' Gary Vincent scored on a 4-yard run
with 12:23 left in the third quarter.
"We had a chance to get back in it, had things going well and
can't find a way to sustain it," said ASU coach Steve Roberts.
"We end up making mistakes and take the momentum away from us.
Have to give North Texas a lot of credit. No doubt, heck of a
football team. We wish them the best in the bowl game."
The Indians' next two possessions ended in turnovers -- a Nick
Noce interception and a bad pitch that resulted in a fumble. The
fumble was recovered at the Indian 13 with 7:01 left in the third
quarter and led to the Mean Green's third score, a 1-yard pass from
Hall to Johnny Quinn.
North Texas followed that with another Hall-to-Quinn TD pass,
from 5 yards out. UNT tacked on a final score, a 19-yard field goal
by Nick Bazaluda, with 8:45 left.