Mean Green Wins Sun Belt!

DENTON (11/13/04) North Texas clinched its fourth straight Sun Belt Conference championship and a berth to the Wyndham New Orleans Bowl with a 51-29 victory against Idaho at Fouts Field on Saturday night.


The Mean Green (6-4, 6-0 Sun Belt) won its 24th consecutive conference game and advanced to a Bowl Game for the fourth straight year. The 24-game conference winning streak is tied with Boise State for the longest in the nation.


Freshman running back Jamario Thomas set a North Texas record for rushing yards in a single game with 291 yards and single season with 1,709 yards. He also tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns. He became just the fourth freshman ever in NCAA Div. I-A to rush for 1,600 yards and tied the NCAA record for most consecutive games gaining 200 yards or more.


Thomas started the scoring off on the third play of the game with a 70-yard touchdown run, his second longest run of the season. NT scored on its next possession to take a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. Thomas gained 119 yards at the end of the first quarter and amassed 195 at halftime.


The Mean Green led by as much as 22, 30-8, in the third quarter after Thomas scored his third touchdown on a one-yard run.


Idaho made a comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 points in the final period. The Vandals came within eight, 37-29, after quarterback Michael Harrington found Smith-Anderson in the end zone with 2:46 left in the game.


Senior quarterback Scott Hall connected with Johnny Quinn on a two-yard pass to put the Mean Green ahead, 44-29. Maurice Holman intercepted a Vandal pass on their next possession, which senior Walter Priestley ran back for a touchdown to further seal the win.


North Texas concludes its regular-season schedule on Thursday, Nov. 18 at Arkansas State on 6 p.m. The Mean Green will play in the Wyndham New Orleans Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 14.




North Texas Mean Green