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Nevada takes down Tulane in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl 38-27

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 9:31 PM PST
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BOISE, Idaho. (KOLO) - After putting up impressive numbers in a losing effort at last season’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Nevada quarterback Carson Strong made sure the Wolf Pack was victorious this time around. Strong matched a bowl record with five touchdown passes and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as Nevada defeated Tulane 38-27, for its first win in four trips to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Strong, a redshirt sophomore and the 2020 Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, threw for three scores in the first 18 minutes of game action and staked Nevada (7-2) to a 19-0 lead.

The Wolf Pack led 26-7 at halftime, but Tulane outscored Nevada 13-0 in the third quarter to make it a one-score game. The Green Wave (6-6) got another stop after Nevada missed a field goal with just over a minute to play in the third quarter. Tulane’s ensuing drive ended with an interception near midfield, which was returned to the 20 yard line.

Strong took advantage three plays later, connecting with tight end Cole Turner for the second time in the game. Strong threw for his record-tying fifth touchdown with 4:19 to play, this time a 21-yard hook up with Jamaal Bell, to put Nevada in control at 38-20.

While Nevada’s aerial attack made headlines, the ground game for both teams provided plenty of punch. Three different running backs rushed for at least 100 yards for the first time in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl history.

Tulane’s Cameron Carroll carried the ball 10 times for 120 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown with seven seconds remaining to provide the final score. Carroll’s 120 yards rank 15th all-time in game history.

Devonte Lee and Toa Taua paced Nevada’s offensive backfield. Lee totaled 105 yards and Taua tallied 102. They are the second set of teammates to eclipse the century mark in the same Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Taua scored twice on big plays. He hauled in a 44-yard pass from Strong on a flea flicker to take a 19-0 lead early in the second quarter. Five minutes later, he took a direct snap on fourth down and sprinted 50 yards to the end zone for a 26-7 advantage.

Nevada’s defense bothered Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt all night, registering season highs of three interceptions and eight sacks. The Wolf Pack’s eight sacks are the most in Famous Idaho Potato Bowl history.

Pratt finished 12-of-25 on the day for 168 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.

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