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Nevada outlasts Texas State
by Tribune Staff
Sep 29, 2012 | 2498 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The University of Nevada football team traveled to San Marcos, Tex., Saturday to meet with Texas State. The visit to the newest member of the Western Athletic Conference capped an 8,000 mile road trip for the old WAC conference members and the Wolf Packs play in the first half reflected that.

After a half of play, which saw sloppy play for Nevada, the Silver and Blue trailed with the scoreboard reading 21-20 in favor of Texas State. From that point though, the Wolf Pack awoke from its slumber as the Nevada defense pitched a shutout in the second half to lead the Wolf Pack to a 34-21 victory.

After the game, Nevada head coach Chris Ault said he was not happy with the way the team performed in the first half, focusing mainly on the number of penalties against the Wolf Pack, including six personal fouls on the defense. Ault said he believed the team was a bit sluggish because of the amount of traveling the team had done in a matter of just a week, but that the performance from the defense in the final 30 minutes was the best of the season.

Forcing a punt on the Bobcats opening drive of the third quarter, Nevada took possession of the ball and turned it into points.

A 43-yard pass from Wolf Pack quarterback Cody Fajardo to wide receiver Richy Turner led to a 6-yard touchdown scramble from Fajardo to give Nevada a 27-21 lead with 8:08 on the clock in the third quarter.

The Wolf Pack defense again shut down Texas State on the ensuing drive, forcing a three-and-out to give the Nevada offense the ball yet again. And yet again the offensive attack capitalized.

Facing a third-and-23, Fajardo connected with wide receiver Brandon Wimberly for a huge 41-yard conversion. That kept the drive alive and eventually resulted in a 12-yard touchdown reception for Aaron Bradley and a 34-21 advantage for the Wolf Pack at the 1:18 mark of the third.

Neither side would find the end zone again as the Wolf Pack would hold its lead en route to the win.

To start the game, Fajardo threw an interception that resulted in a short field for the Bobcats at the Nevada 17-yard line. Texas State quickly turned that into seven points as running back Marcus Curry converted a 1-yard dive for the TD at 11:15 in the first.

Nevada responded with a lengthy drive that was capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass-and-catch from Fajardo to tight end Zach Sudfeld, marking his fourth TD reception in as many games after coming into the season with zero in his career. That left the game tied at 7-7 halfway through the first quarter.

The Wolf Pack forced a fumble on Texas State’s next drive as Lenny Jones forced and recovered the turnover. That quickly turned into three points for the visitors on a 24-yard field goal from Allen Hardison to give the Wolf Pack its first lead of the contest at 10-7 at the start of the second quarter.

An exchange of punts left TSU at the Nevada 23-yard line following a big return. That ld to a 2-yard TD pass from Shaun Rutherford to Tim Gray as Rutherford improvised on his option run and shuffled a pass to an open Gray for a 14-10 Bobcats’ advantage with 9:00 until the intermission.

A 41-yard Hardison field goal cut the lead to one at 14-13 with 5:49 left in the quarter, but a busted zone coverage on the next Texas State (2-2) possession left TSU’s Andy Erickson wide open for a 28-yard TD reception and 21-13 edge. Less than a minute later Nevada countered with its own touchdown as it marched 78 yards on four plays for a 2-yard TD to Sudfeld. That score left the hosts up 21-20 at half.

Fajardo totaled 286 yards through the air on 21-of-34 passing, resulting in a trio of TDs. Running back Stefphon Jefferson finished the day with 178 yards on 40 carries. Wimberly caught six passes to tally 135 yards.

Nevada (4-1, 1-0 Mountain West) returns home after its lengthy road trip to host Wyoming Saturday in a Mountain West clash. Kickoff is set for 4:05 p.m.

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