Rushing champion Cobbs done for the year

DENTON, Texas -- North Texas running back Patrick Cobbs, the NCAA's leading rusher and scorer last season, will sit out the rest of this season because of a knee injury.

Cobbs sprained ligaments in his left knee against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 11, the second game for the Mean Green (0-4). He missed the last two games.

Coach Darrell Dickey said there was too much a risk of permanent damage if Cobbs tried to rush his recovery. The school will seek a medical redshirt for Cobbs to return next season as a fifth-year senior.

Cobbs ran for a school-record 1,680 yards and 19 touchdowns last season with four 200-yard games. His 152.7 yards rushing and 11.5 points per game led the nation.

After breaking a bone in the thumb on his right hand just before the season, Cobbs had just 1 yard on eight carries in an opening 65-0 loss at Texas to end his streak of nine straight 100-yard games. He had 20 carries for 57 yards against Florida Atlantic before getting hurt on a short run in the third quarter.

Jamario Thomas ran for a North Texas freshman record 247 yards in his first start at Colorado. Dickey is hopeful that Thomas, since slowed by a hamstring injury, can start Saturday against Middle Tennessee when the three-time defending Sun Belt champion Mean Green open conference play.

Cobbs has 2,896 career rushing yards. The school record is Ja'Quay Wilburn's 3,120 from 1997-2000.