Thomas and Bazaldua were named Sun Belt players of the week for their efforts against New Mexico State Saturday night.
Offense Jamario Thomas, RB, Fr. 5-11, 195, Longview, TX
Thomas broke the school record that he set in the last game by rushing for 258 yards and one touchdown to lead North Texas to a 36-26 win over New Mexico State. It was the best rushing performance in the nation Saturday and the seventh best performance in the nation this season. Thomas carried the ball 33 times and averaged 7.8 yards per carry, scoring his lone touchdown on a 33-yard run in the third quarter. With his performance Thomas vaulted into the top spot among the nation’s leading rushers, improving his average to 166.2 yards per game. He fell just three yards short of becoming the first player in NCAA Div. I-A history to rush for 1,000 yards in his first six games of his freshman year. Thomas’ biggest run against New Mexico State came late in the fourth quarter when the Aggies cut the lead to three points and he was broke a 77-yard run that led to a North Texas touchdown and the eventual 10-point victory.
Special Teams Nick Bazaldua, K, Jr., 5-10, 171, DeSoto, TX
Bazaldua kicked a career-long 51-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter and was the difference in the game, scoring 10 points in a 36-26 win over New Mexico State. Bazaldua was perfect on all his kicks in the game, including field goals of 40 and 51 yards and four PAT attempts. His 51-yard field goal came at a critical juncture in the game as North Texas held a one-score lead and if he had missed it, New Mexico State would have taken control of the ball near midfield trailing by only a touchdown. With his 51-yard field goal he became one of only 23 kickers in the nation and the only kicker in the Sun Belt to convert a field goal from beyond 50 yards this season. He has made 8-of-11 field goals this season and is perfect on all 17 PAT attempts.