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Nevada, 3-0 for first time since 2010, set to face New Mexico in Las Vegas

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 11:26 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. -

Nevada Game Notes:

Back to Las Vegas it is. Nevada will face New Mexico in a neutral site contest this Saturday, Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. PT from Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The game was originally set to be played in Albuquerque, but due to current state health orders in New Mexico that prohibits large gatherings, the game was moved to Las Vegas, where the Lobos have been practicing for the last week. The contest will be held at Sam Boyd Stadium, former home to the UNLV Rebels. This will be Nevada’s second trip to Las Vegas after the Wolf Pack defeated UNLV 37-19 back on Oct. 31 in Las Vegas.Nevada is 3-0 for the first time since 2010 and is receiving votes in the AP Top 25 poll (one vote) and the USA Today Coaches Poll (five votes).

ON THE AIR

John Ramey and Mike Edwards will have the call in Northern Nevada on ESPN Radio 94.5 FM with a 60 minute pregame show prior to kickoff. Fans can also tune in to listen to Ramey and Edwards' broadcast online at TuneIn.com or via the TuneIn app. Fans can watch the game on FS2 (Fox Sports). Anthony LaPanta and Ron Johnson will have the call on the television broadcast.

SERIES HISTORY

The Wolf Pack and Lobos meet for the ninth time in school history on Saturday. Nevada, which leads the series 4-3-1, is looking for its second-consecutive win over New Mexico. The Pack defeated New Mexico 21-10 in Reno last season. Nevada has won four of the five last meetings since 2011. Since the 2011 matchup, Nevada has out-scored New Mexico 162-93. The first game between the two teams was in 1941 in Albuquerque when the Lobos defeated Nevada 23-7.

PACK BEGINS SEASON 3-0

Saturday’s 34-9 win over Utah State moved the Pack to 3-0 for the first time since its historic 2010 season. Nevada went on to finish the 2010 regular season 13-1 and ranked 13th in the country.

MW SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Sophomore PK Brandon Talton earned his first Mountain West weekly award, and fourth of his career, Monday afternoon after he was named the conference’s special teams player of the week. Talton helped pad the Wolf Pack lead towards the end of the game on Saturday vs. Utah State, scoring Nevada’s last seven points, which included a PAT and his two made field goals. He was perfect all-around against Utah State, going 2-for-2 on field goal attempts and 4-for-4 on PATs. Talton connected on a 26-yard field goal and a season-long 36-yard field goal during the contest. Those two makes helped him remain perfect on the season, hitting 6-of-6. He is one of two placekickers in the MW, and one of 17 around the nation, to have not missed a field goal attempt this season. Talton has made 12 consecutive field goal attempts dating back to last season.

THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE

Sophomore quarterback Carson Stronghad taken care of the football pretty well through his last few games of the 2019 season. Strong threw six interceptions in the first six games of his redshirt freshman season, but had just one in the last four. The last time Strong threw a pick was against a nationally ranked opponent as the Pack upset No. 24 San Diego State on the road. Since that interception, Strong has gone 282 pass attempts without a pick, which includes 193 completions and ranks first in the nation. Strong’s streak is the second-longest in Mountain West history and trails only Fresno State’s Derek Carr’s 306 set in 2013. Consecutive Pass Attempts Without an Interception 1. Carson Strong (Nevada) - 2822. Tyrrell Pigrome (WKU) - 1823. Jayden Daniels (Arizona State) - 1804. Ian Book (Notre Dame) - 1685. Dillon Gabriel (UCF) - 166In addition to leading the country in pass attempts without a pick, Strong also remains near the top in several other categories. Strong ranks second in the country in passing yards per game, averaging 393.7 yards through three games. He also holds a fifth place ranking in total offense after averaging 368 yards per contest. Strong also ranks 17th in passing efficiency.

DE-FENSE

The Wolf Pack defense has been excellent on third down through three games, like really excellent. Heading into Saturday’s game, Nevada is leading the way in the Mountain West and is fourth nationally in third down defense, allowing opponents to convert on third down just 23.4 percent of the time. Part of why the Pack has been so good is evidenced by both its passing and rushing defense. Nevada allows 185.3 passing yards per game, which ranks in the top three in the MW and in the top 20 in the nation. When it comes to stopping the run, the Pack ranks in the top 30 nationally in rushing defense. Put those two together and you get the 14th-best total defense in the nation, giving up just 306.3 yards of total offense per game.

PACK ATTACK

Fueled by the strong play of quarterback Carson Strong and wideout Romeo Doubs, among others, Nevada’s offense is off to a white-hot start to the 2020 season. It’s still early in the year, but through three games, Nevada has improved its ranking in the Mountain West in scoring offense, rushing offense, passing offense and total offense.

STRONG STRETCH

Carson Strong opened his collegiate career by directing a stunning come-from-behind win over Purdue in the season opener of 2019. He battled an injury over the next few weeks and missed some time. But by the Pack’s stretch run in November last year, Strong was fully healthy and that began a stretch of dominating play to close the 2019 season, a stretch that has continued into the start of 2020. In those last eight games, Strong has a 17-to-1 touchdown-to-interception rate and he has completed 68.9 percent of his pass attempts. He’s also put up five consecutive 350-yard passing games, including three 400-yard efforts. During the 2020 season, Strong leads the Mountain West in passing TDs (9), passing yards (1,181), passing yards per game (393.7), completions per game (32) and points responsible for per game (18).

DOUBS PACES THE NATION, MOUNTAIN WEST

Junior WR Romeo Doubs posted a career night against the Rebels on Oct. 31, hauling in seven receptions for a career-best 219 yards. Doubs averaged 31.2 yards per catch with a long of 65 yards. The Pack’s victory over UNLV was his first 200-yard receiving game and sixth game registering 100 yards or more. Doubs broke onto the scene early in the game, tallying 189 first half receiving yards on five catches, also marking a career-high. Against Utah State on Thursday, Doubs tallied seven receptions for 137 yards and three TDs, becoming just the fourth Nevada player to record three touchdown receptions in a half in program history, and the first since 1994. Additionally, Doubs leads the nation in receiving yards per game (157.7). Through three games, Doubs ranks first in the Mountain West in receiving yards per game (157.7), receiving yards (473), receiving TDs (5) and receptions per game (8.7).

NEW KICK RETURNER IN TOWNTrue freshman WR Jamaal Bell seems to have found himself a permanent spot as the Wolf Pack’s primary kick returner after solid performances against Wyoming and UNLV. Bell, who made his collegiate debut against Wyoming on Oct. 24, returned six kicks for 116 yards, with a long return of 25 yards. Bell became the first Wolf Pack player to record over 100 return yards in a single game since 2017 when Dameon Baber totaled 139 interception return yards. It was the most return yards by a Nevada kick returner since Sept. 16, 2017 when senior Berdale Robins recorded 105 kick return yards against Idaho State. Bell nearly broke the back-to-back 100 return yards after an 85-yard performance on three kick returns against the Rebels. During the UNLV game, Bell returned a kickoff 50 yards in the first quarter, the longest kickoff return by a Nevada player since Daiyan Henley’s 47-yard return vs. Air Force on Oct. 20, 2017. He currently ranks fifth in the conference and is in the top 30 nationally averaging 22.5 yards per kickoff return.

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