Thomas Sets School Record In Mean Green's 52-21 Loss To Colorado

Box Score

Boulder, Co. (9/18/04) North Texas freshman Jamario Thomas rushed for 247 yards and scored two touchdowns, but the Mean Green was unable to hold off Colorado in a 52-21 loss on Saturday evening at Folsom Field.


North Texas (0-3) falls to 3-16 against Big XII opponents, while Colorado (3-0) remains unbeaten on the young season.


Thomas set a North Texas record with the top performance by a freshman running back with 247 yards in the game, including 12 carries for 115 yards in the first quarter. Bernard Jackson previously held the freshman record with 207 rushing yards against UT-Arlington on Sept. 16, 1978. Thomas was two yards shy of tying NT’s single-game rushing record of 249, set by Patrick Cobbs last year against Idaho.

"I thought our offense made some improvement tonight, and obviously Jamario (Thomas) had a great game,” said NT head coach Darrell Dickey after the game.  “Defensively, we were not able to stop the run and that really opened the play action pass for them. 


“We have made improvements each week, but we still have a long way to go in some areas. I know we made some mistakes tonight that we have to work on this week to get ready for Baylor.


"We played with great emotion and intensity tonight. We need to keep that going into this week of practice and for the rest of the season.”


The Mean Green led Colorado, 14-7, in the first quarter after the two rushing touchdowns by Thomas before the Buffaloes responded with 38 straight points.

On his first carry of the game and third of his career, Thomas took the handoff, found a hole on the left side, and ran 57 yards for the first touchdown of his career. North Texas had started off the series with an 18-yard reception by sophomore Johnny Quinn, his longest of the season. The early seven-point lead by North Texas represented the Mean Green’s first points in the first quarter this season.

North Texas recovered an on-side kick after its opening score and began its second offensive drive on its own 45-yard line. The Mean Green was unable to convert on the possession after driving down to CU’s 38-yard-line and gave up the ball on downs. CU tied the game at 7-7 after a five-play drive that ended with a 12-yard TD run by Bobby Purify. The tailback ran for 112 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns in the game for Colorado.


Thomas scored his second touchdown of the first quarter, rushing this time for a 25-yard TD run after a six-play NT drive to give the Mean Green its second lead of the game, 14-7. The freshman recorded the first two touchdowns of his career in a span of seven minutes. Thomas had 115 rushing yards in the first quarter, which was the most rushing yards allowed by CU this season.


One of NT’s best drives of the season came in the second quarter after Purify tied the game again for the Colorado, this time with a 24-yard touchdown run.  Starting at its own seven yard-line, quarterback Scott Hall drove the Mean Green offense 84 yards, including five pass receptions. After a final pass to senior tight end Andy Blount, the Buffaloes stripped Blount of the ball after a hard hit on CU’s four-yard line. The turnover proved pivotal; Colorado responded with a scoring drive to get its first lead of the game, 21-14, and went on to score 31 unanswered points. CU quarterback Joel Klatt was 5-for-5 in the drive and overall was 26-of-33 on the night for 371 yards.

In the first half, North Texas combined for 281 yards of total offense, including 185 rushing yards. The Mean Green was 4-of-7 on third down completions and held the edge in time possession, 18 minutes to CU’s 12.


North Texas missed a potential scoring opportunity at the start of the second half with Colorado ahead, 35-14. Thomas found open space again, running for a 53-yard carry to CU’s 18-yard line. After two incomplete passes, junior Nick Bazaldua was unable to convert on a 41-yard field-goal attempt.


Colorado was able to convert on its field-goal opportunity in the next scoring drive with Mason Crosby connecting on a 49-yard kick. The field goal gave CU a 38-14 lead and a touchdown reception on a following drive by Joel Klopfenstein made it 45-14.


The Mean Green’s lone scoring drive of the second half came in the fourth quarter with an eight-yard scoring pass from Hall to Quinn. Thomas helped put the NT in good scoring position with a 33-yard run in the drive. The touchdown reception was a season first for Quinn. The wide receiver led NT with six receptions for 70 yards.


North Texas finished the game with 507 yards in total offense, including 258 rushing yards.


North Texas faces its third Big XII opponent in four games with an away matchup against Baylor on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 6 pm. The Mean Green returns to Fouts Field on Oct. 2 when it faces Middle Tennessee at 6 pm.








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