Nevada beat the San Jose State Spartans 27-24 on the back of a late 45 yard field goal by kicker Brandon Talton.
The first quarter was more of a mixed start for Nevada. The team got off to a slow start, only producing 81 scrimmage yards on top of quarterback Carson Strong throwing an interception to San Jose State linebacker Jordan Cobbs. However, the defense was keeping the Pack in the game. Although they did allow one passing touchdown later in the quarter, defensive back Jordan Lee forced a fumble that linebacker Daiyan Henley took back for a touchdown. Adding to the individual efforts, the defense only allowed 76 yards. After 12 minutes, the Wolf Pack was tied 7-7.
The Pack’s second quarter performance was similar to their first quarter. The offense was starting to find their groove, adding 104 more scrimmage yards to their total. However, with three missed field goals and another interception by Strong, Nevada was unable to get on the board. On the other side of the ball, the defense continued to stay strong. For the quarter, the defense allowed only 90 scrimmage yards as well as produced an interception thanks to defensive back Tyson Williams, preventing the Spartans from reaching the end zone. At the end of the half, the score was still tied 7-7.
The Wolf Pack continued their first half performance into the third quarter. Despite only producing 40 scrimmage yards, the offense was able to get their first points on the board thanks to Talton kicking a 51 yard field goal set up by Strong and roughing the passer penalty on the Spartans.The defense added on to the point production with a pick six from defensive back Berdale Robins. However, San Jose State quarterback Nick Starkel was able to throw a 48 yard touchdown to wide receiver Malikhi Miller. Going into the fourth quarter, Nevada was up 17-14.
The Pack was pushed to the brink in the fourth quarter. San Jose State struck first as kicker Matt Mercurio kicked a 34 yard field goal. Afterwards, with 5:26 remaining, Strong completed a 20 yard pass to wide receiver Romeo Doubs for a touchdown, taking a 24-17 lead. With 1:47 remaining, the Spartans answered back with their own touchdown, evening the score. In Nevada’s next drive, Strong, with the help of Doubs and wide receivers Justin Lockhart, Melquan Stovall and Tory Horton, was able to get into the Spartan’s 28 yard line, setting up a 45 yard field goal for Talton. With three seconds remaining, Talton made the field goal, solidifying a 27-24 win for the Wolf Pack.
With this win, Nevada improves to 7-2 and 4-1 in conference play. The Pack’s next game is on November 13, where they will take on conference rival and leader San Diego State in San Diego.
Derek Raridon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush