The UNR Wolf Pack defeated the visiting Spartans from San Jose State 27-24 on Saturday with a last-second field goal.
The Wolf Pack came into the game riding their high from dismantling their inner-state rivals UNLV the previous week.
Defense was the name of this game by both teams. There was a combined five turnovers in the game, including two that were returned for touchdowns by the Wolf Pack defense.
UNR’s only score of the first half was on a recovered fumble that was returned for a 56-yard touchdown by their defense in the first quarter.
Two drives later, the Spartans were able to get on the board with a touchdown of their own just before the first quarter ended. Both teams were held scoreless in the second quarter and they went into halftime tied at 7.
Carson Strong, Nevada’s junior quarterback, had his seventh game of the season with at least 300 passing yards. He finished with a total of 314 yards and one passing touchdown. His two thrown interceptions were a season high for him this year. He had only thrown five total interceptions for the whole season before this game.
Nevada’s leading rusher, Toa Taua, managed to gain just 57 yards on his 16 rushing attempts for the game. The Wolf Pack as a team had just 53 rushing yards on 30 rushing attempts.
Nick Starkel, San Jose State’s starting quarterback, went 21 for 40 with 255 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. This was his first game back from an injury he suffered in the Spartans’ game against Western Michigan back in September.
The Spartans’ run game was carried by their senior running back, Tyler Nevens. Nevens finished with a game-high and a season-high 116 rushing yards on his 14 carries. Before this game, he had only crossed the 100-rushing-yard threshold once this season and that was in a win against New Mexico State.
After a very exciting, back-and-forth second half, the Wolf Pack found themselves in a game tied at 24 and driving with the ball. Their drive started at their own 25-yard line with under two minutes to play.
After converting multiple third and fourth downs, the Wolf Pack found themselves on the Spartans 28-yard line with under ten seconds left on the clock. They were in a tough predicament. They needed a score to give them the win or they would be heading to overtime. Their field goal kicker, Brandon Talton, was having a rough day.
To this point, Talton had successfully made just one of his four field goal attempts in the game. Instead of taking a shot at the end zone to score a touchdown, or go to overtime if it was unsuccessful, Nevada head football coach Jay Norvell decided to put his faith in his kicker.
Talton stepped up to the ball and delivered a game-winning 45-yard field goal with just three seconds left on the clock to give the Wolf Pack the win.
Nevada’s next game is set for this Saturday, Nov. 13, when they travel to San Diego State to take on the No. 22 Aztecs. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org