Jamario Thomas ran for his NCAA-record-tying fourth 200-yard game and set the NCAA record for most yards by a freshman in his first seven games as North Texas beat Louisiana-Monroe 45-30 in Sun Belt Conference play on Saturday night in Denton, Texas.
Thomas, who entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher at 166.2 yards a game, also scored three touchdowns as the Mean Green (4-4, 4-0 Sun Belt) won their 22nd straight conference game.
He ran 41 times for 218 yards for his third straight 200-yard game. He tied Herschel Walker of Georgia and Ron Dayne of Wisconsin with four 200-yard games as a freshman.
Thomas passed 1,000 yards with a 10-yard run on the game’s first play, becoming just the fourth freshman to reach the milestone in seven games. His seven-game total of 1,215 is the best ever, surpassing Marshall Faulk’s 1,157 in 1991 at San Diego State.
Thomas hit the 1,000-yard mark just a week after Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson accomplished the same feat. Faulk and Emmitt Smith were the only other freshmen to do it within seven games. Smith did it for Florida in 1987.
Thomas had touchdown runs of 17, 2 and 4 yards, the last one putting UNT up 28-7 before halftime.
Louisiana-Monroe (3-5, 2-2) pulled to 28-17 when Mason Denham scored on a 1-yard run on the opening drive of the third quarter.
But then Scott Hall threw two touchdown passes in a 2:17 span to put the Mean Green up 42-17 late in the third.
Mid. Tennessee 21, Utah State 0
Clint Marks threw for 317 yards, including two long TDs to Kerry Wright, to lead the Blue Raiders (4-4, 3-2) past the Aggies (2-6, 1-3) in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Wright caught nine passes for 167 yards, including TD passes of 58 and 42 yards.
New Mexico St. 56, Florida Int. 31
Buck Pierce passed for a career-high 367 yards and three touchdowns and the Aggies (3-5) scored on two interceptions in a win over the Panthers (2-4) in Las Cruces, N.M.