Colin Kaepernick passed for 404 yards and Luke Lippincott scored five touchdowns to lead Nevada past Louisiana Tech 49-10 Saturday and keep the Wolf Pack's hopes alive for making a third straight trip to a bowl game.
Lippincott finished with 112 yards rushing and 105 yards receiving for Nevada (6-6, 4-4 in the Western Athletic Conference), which totaled 641 yards on offense. Kaepernick, a redshirt freshman, completed 18-of-29 passes with three touchdowns - two to Kyle Sammons, who had eight catches for 199 yards.
Phillip Livas scored on a 78-yard kickoff return late in the third quarter for the only touchdown for the Bulldogs (6-6, 4-4 WAC), who had won three league games in a row and finished the season with their first non-losing record since 2004.
Nevada's defense held Louisiana Tech to 55 yards rushing - minus 24 in the third quarter, recovered three fumbles and pressured Tech quarterback Zac Champion into two grounding calls.
Ezra Butler had 10 tackles, two for a loss, and forced two fumbles while Jerome Johnson had six tackles, forced one fumble and recovered another for Nevada, which was hoping for No. 11 Hawaii to beat Washington late Saturday night. That would secure a spot for Hawaii in a BCS bowl and open up a slot in one of the three bowl games with WAC tie-ins.
WAC Commissioner Karl Benson said before the game that if that happened, the winner in Reno on Saturday would be invited to the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque against a Mountain West opponent, the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu against a Conference USA opponent or the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl in Boise against a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Nevada led 21-3 at the half on a pair of 1-yard TD runs by Lippincott and Kaepernick's 16-yard scoring pass to Sammons.
On the third play of the second half, Sammons caught Kaepernick's pass across the middle and went 74 yards for a touchdown and a 28-3 Nevada lead. Three series later, Kaepernick's 21-yard pass to Sammons helped set up Lippicott's third score of the day on a 3-yard run for a 35-3 lead.
Lippincott, a junior, scored on a 1-yard run at 3:01 in the quarter after teaming up with Kaepernick on pass plays of 42 and 32 yards, then scored for the fifth time and 18th this season on an 11-yard pass with 13:27 left in the game to make it 49-10.
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