Nevada football lost to 9-1 San Diego State University 23-21 on Nov. 13… The loss essentially put the nail in the coffin on Nevada’s chances of being ranked in the top 25 this season.
The Wolf Pack offense had a total of 358 yards. Senior quarterback Carson Strong had a solid performance, passing for 350 yards and three touchdowns. Strong completed 34 of 48 passes and finished with a quarterback ranking of 73.
There were two main targets for Strong, one of course being senior wide receiver Romeo Doubs. Doubs led the team in all three categories with nine receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Tory Horton had an outstanding performance, finishing with eight receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Melquan Stovall had a good game, with five receptions for 48 yards. Junior wide receiver Justin Lockhart ended with four receptions for 31 yards. There were not many positives to be found in the Nevada run game against San Diego State, but senior running back Toa Taua did finish with nine carries for 31 yards and five receptions for 48 yards.
The Nevada defense had a modest game as they only gave up 23 points and 362 yards of offense, but they had only one sack and no forced turnovers. Senior defensive back Jordan Lee had a team high eight tackles with seven solo tackles. Senior defensive back Tyson Williams finished with six solo tackles and two tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Daiyan Henley and senior defensive back Jojuan Claiborne each finished with seven total tackles. Junior defensive end Daniel Grzesiak had one tackle for a sack, which was the only sack that Nevada had against San Diego State.
The game started with two punts, and then San Diego State put together a 99 yard drive to take the lead 7-0 in the first quarter. Nevada responded on the next drive with a touchdown of their own. The first play of the second quarter was a 28 yard touchdown pass from Strong to Horton to make the score 7-7. San Diego State would kick a 48 yard field goal on their next drive. Both teams would trade punts back and forth until SDSU missed a 65 yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. The score was 10-7 with San Diego State leading at half time.
Nevada would not figure things out to start the second half as they punted on their first drive and gave up a touchdown on their first defensive drive. San Diego State scored with nine minutes left in the third quarter to make the lead 17-7. The Wolf Pack finally got their heads in the game and forced a stop, scoring on the following drive. Strong threw a five yard touchdown pass to Doubs to make the score 17-14 late in the third quarter. The tough San Diego State team marched down the field again and kicked a 39 yard field goal. Now Nevada trailed 20-14 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Wolf Pack responded on the next drive with a Strong to Doubs connection on a 54 yard touchdown pass. The successful drive gave Nevada their first lead of the game as they went up 21-20 with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Wolf Pack defense did not come up big as they surrendered a 35 yard field goal with 1:21 left in the fourth. Nevada now trailed 23-21 with a chance at a miraculous final drive to win the game. Unfortunately, Strong and the offense could not get into field goal range. San Diego State defeated Nevada 23-21 in a close game.
Nevada once again does not rise to the occasion of an important game to possibly get ranked in the top 25 as they lost another close heartbreaker. Nevada drops to 7-3, and they are now sitting at third in the Mountain West West division. The Wolf Pack looks to bounce back against an impressive 7-3 Air Force team at home on Nov. 19.
Anthony Miranda can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush