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Wolf Pack looks to finish regular season on high note at Colorado State

Nevada eliminated from Mountain West Championship picture after loss to Air Force
Nevada eliminated from Mountain West Championship picture after loss to Air Force(KOLO)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 3:42 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (Nevada Athletics) - Nevada (7-4, 4-3), following a 41-39 loss to Air Force, hits the road to face Colorado State (3-8, 2-5) for a 6 p.m. (PST) kickoff at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo. Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network with Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Corey Chavous (analyst) on the call. The Wolf Pack takes on the Rams looking to bounce back from two straight losses and close the regular season on a winning note. Nevada is 2-3 on the road this season with its last road victory coming on Oct. 2 at Boise State.  The Wolf Pack Radio Network will call the game as well on 94.5 FM with John Ramey (play-by-play) and Mike Edwards (analyst) in the booth, with the 60-minute pregame show to begin at 5 p.m. PT. 

SERIES HISTORY 

Nevada travels east to Fort Collins, Colo., for its final conference game of the year against Colorado State. The Pack took down the Rams, 49-10, in its last meeting on Nov. 10, 2018. Colorado State holds a 4-12 series lead over Nevada.   

NEVADA FINISHES REGULAR SEASON AT COLORADO STATE

Nevada opened its 2021 season with a 22-17 victory over the California Golden Bears in Berkeley on Sept. 4. Prior to the win over Cal, Nevada’s last road win at a Power 5 team also came at Cal when Nevada defeated the Golden Bears 31-24 on Sept. 1, 2012. After Cal opened the game with a 14-0 lead, Nevada scored 22 unanswered points to lead the remainder of the game. Carson Strong threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, posting his ninth 300-yard passing game of his career. Kicker Brandon Talton recorded his 12th multi-FG game of his career after going 3-for-4 for Nevada. Romeo Doubs finished with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, Cole Turner led all Pack receivers with seven catches (for 75 yards), and WR Tory Horton led the Pack with 94 receiving yards on three catches. Elijah Cooks recorded his first touchdown since the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3, 2020. The Pack defense came up clutch to secure Nevada’s victory. Cornerback Isaiah Essissima, a transfer from Wake Forest, made his first interception in a Nevada jersey in his Wolf Pack debut, stopping a late fourth-quarter Cal drive with a pick. Sam Hammond and Daniel Grzesiak tallied sacks for the Pack, including Hammond’s 13-yard loss which resulted in a missed Cal field goal attempt. JoJuan Claiborne led the Pack defense with 10 tackles (eight solo), and shared a tackle-for-loss.  Nevada handled business on Sept. 11 in its first home game of the 2021 season. The Pack defeated Idaho State, 49-10. Carson Strong powered the Pack offense, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Strong completed 34 of 43 passes, including two touchdowns to Elijah Cooks , who finished with seven receptions for 89 yards. Devonte Lee recorded a 2-yard  touchdown run late in the third quarter and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. Cole Turner had a touchdown catch. Backup quarterback Nate Cox stepped in the game in the fourth quarter, delivering a 43-yard touchdown to Harry Ballard.  Nevada dropped its first game of the season to No. 25 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 18. Despite the 38-17 final score being in favor of the Wildcats, the Pack and Kansas State began the fourth quarter tied at 17. WR Romeo Doubs made 7 catches for 121 yards for a season high in yardage. His previous season-best was 83 yards on six receptions against Cal on Sept. 4. It marked his most receiving yards since he gained 133 yards on 5 receptions at Hawai’i on Nov. 21, 2020. Nevada secured its first conference win of the season in Boise, Idaho, on Oct. 2. The Pack defeated the Broncos, 41-31, in a packed Albertson’s Stadium. Carson Strong threw for 263 yards and a touchdown while running back Toa Taua rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada snapped its six-game losing streak to the Broncos, dating back to 2010. Nevada last won in Boise in 1997. Tristan Nichols forced a fumble on Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier. Then, five plays later, Taua punched it into the end zone from 12 yards out to give Nevada a permanent lead. Placekicker Brandon Talton had a strong game, going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on PATs.  Nevada picked up its fourth win of the season after cruising to a 55-28 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday. Carson Strong threw a career-high six touchdown passes — four in the second quarter — and Nevada cruised to a 55-28 win over New Mexico State on Saturday night. Strong, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished 25-of-32 passing for 377 yards with one interception. His six touchdown passes were one shy of Nevada’s single-game record, and were the most by a Wolf Pack quarterback since Mike Maxwell twice tossed seven touchdowns in a game, against UNLV and Louisiana-Monroe, in 1995. Nevada took the opening kick of the second half and Turner’s 3-yard scoring catch capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive that made it 38-3. Strong connected with Henry Ballard for a 33-yard touchdown about four minutes later and cornerback BerDale Robins ripped the ball from New Mexico State’s Jared Wyatt and raced 25 yards for a score to give Nevada a 52-3 lead going into the fourth quarter. Carson Strong passed for 395 yards and two third-quarter touchdowns and Nevada pulled away after halftime to beat Hawaii 34-17 in Mountain West Conference play on Saturday. The Wolf Pack (5-1, 2-0) scored first on a Brandon Talton 23-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, but the lead lasted just one play after Dae Dae Hunter took a first-down handoff and raced 75 yards to the end zone for Hawaii (3-4, 1-2). Nevada went up 10-7 on Toa Taua’s 6-yard TD run with 12:58 left in the second quarter, but again the lead lasted one play after Hunter took a first-down handoff 81 yards for a TD. The Wolf Pack answered with a 10-yard TD run by Taua for a 17-14 lead. Both teams added field goals before halftime. Strong took over in the third quarter for Nevada, throwing scoring passes of 28 yards to Romeo Doubs a 3-yarder to Tory Horton as the Wolf Pack upped their advantage to 34-17 with 2:25 left in the period. Strong completed 34 of 54 passes. Cole Turner had a career-best 12 catches for 175 yards. Fresno State defeated the Pack 34-32 on Oct. 23. Down 34-26, Nevada’s Carson Strong threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Cole Turner to cut the deficit to two points with two seconds left, but the 2-point conversion attempt was caught out of the back of the end zone. The Wolf Pack recovered the onside kick but time expired in the scramble for the ball. Nevada football became bowl eligible for the fourth consecutive season with a 51-20 win over UNLV on Friday. Carson Strong threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, Nevada’s defense returned two interceptions for touchdowns and the Wolf Pack defeated UNLV. The Pack secured its 7th win of the season with a last-second game-winning 45-yard field goal by Brandon Talton to take down San Jose State 27-24. Nevada has matched its 2020 win total with seven wins (7-3) and sits at 4-2 in the conference after a two-point loss at SDSU (23-21). The Wolf Pack has dropped its last two games, marking its first two-game losing streak of the season with a 41-39 triple-overtime loss against Air Force on Nov. 19.  

HONORING THE CITY OF SPARKS FIRE DEPARTMENT 

For the remainder of the season, the Nevada football team will have a Sparks Fire Department  decal on the helmet to honor the dedication, bravery, and service during the devastating fire season that impacted those around Nevada, California, and Lake Tahoe. Sparks deployed more than 50 firefighters  this year to more than 20 separate fires in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Idaho, and Colorado. A photo of the helmet sticker can be made available upon request.   

DOUBS, TURNER ACCEPT SENIOR BOWL INVITE 

Wide receiver Romeo Doubs and tight end Cole Turner have accepted an invite to play in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5 in Mobile, Ala.  The game, which showcases the top NFL Draft prospects in the nation, will be televised on the NFL Network and will kick off at 11:30 a.m., Pacific Standard Time. Romeo Doubs and Cole Turner were both placed on the Reese’s Bowl watch list prior to the start of the season, which is the nation’s most prestigious college all-star game and has been played annually since 1950.  Nevada is the only team in the Mountain West Conference with more than one player invited to the game this year. This year is the first time Nevada will have a player in the Senior Bowl since 2018. It marks the first time Nevada will have more than one player playing in the game since 1998, and the second time in program history. Turner and Doubs are the 8th and 9th players to represent Nevada in the Senior Bowl.Doubs and Turner add their names to an exclusive list of Nevada football players who have been invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl: 1998: Deshone Myles and John Dutton. 2011: Colin Kaepernick. 2012: James-Michael Johnson. 2013: Duke Williams. 2014: Joel Bitonio. 2018: Austin Corbett. 2021: Romeo Doubs and Cole Turner.

TALTON NABS MW PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Brandon Talton is 55 made field goals after going 3-for-3 on field goals against UNLV. Talton kicked a 52-yard field goal which is the longest this season and second longest of his career (56, 2019). It marked the fourth perfect kicking-game of the season for Talton. UNLV’s win also secured Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week for Talton. Talton is 5th in the nation in made field goals this season (19).  

DON’T THROW NEAR HENLEY

Senior linebacker Daiyan Henley leads all FBS linebackers in interceptions this season with four. Henley’s four interceptions are tied for third nationally and he is one of two linebackers in the top-10 nationally in interceptions.  

OFFENSIVE POWER

The Wolf Pack features the 4th ranked passing offense in the country (371.6), and 33 passing touchdowns.  Nevada leads the Mountain West Conference in offense scoring 35.3 points per game, which is 23rd in the nation.  QB Carson Strong leads the charge with the 4th-most passing yards in the FBS (3,887, leads MWC) and the 4th-most passing yards per game (353.4 - leads MWC). Strong is 7th in the nation with 32 passing-touchdowns, leading the Mountain West Conference.  Strong is 11th in the nation in completion percentage (69.7), completing 349 of 501 pass attempts. He is 13th nationally in points responsible for (196), and 1st in the Mountain West.  Strong has thrown 70-career touchdown passes which is 4th all-time in Nevada history. He has thrown 32 touchdowns this season which is 3rd all-time single-season TD in Nevada history.  

NEVADA BECOMES BOWL ELIGIBLE FOR FOURTH-CONSECUTIVE YEAR

Nevada is bowl eligible for the fourth straight year under Head Coach Jay Norvell after moving to 6-2 on the year with a 51-20 victory over UNLV to retain the Fremont Cannon. The Mountain West Conference has bowl tie-ins with the Los Angeles Bowl (12/18), Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (12/22), New Mexico Bowl (12/18), Arizona Bowl (12/31), SoFi Hawai’i Bowl (12/24), and the Tropical Smoothie Café Frisco Bowl (12/21). Nevada defeated Tulane 38-27 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl to move to 2-1 in Bowl Games under Coach Norvell, after finishing third in the MWC with a 6-2 conference record in 2020. Bowl announcements will take place on Sunday, Dec. 5, and broadcast information for the selection show with more information will be shared prior to that date. 

TURNOVER TOWEL 

The Pack is 18th in the nation with 20 turnovers gained including nine fumble recoveries and 11 interceptions. Nevada is 30th in interceptions with 11 and 12th in interception return yards (210). Daiyan Henley is 10th in the nation with four interceptions.

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