Fresno State 41 Nevada 23: 'Dogs Keep Rolling

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Fresno State knocked off the Nevada Wolf Pack on Saturday 41-23, behind another stellar performance from Derek Carr.

Taking the field in sharp black uniforms, the 'Dogs won their eighth straight game this season on Saturday and their 11th straight game at home under Tim DeRuyter, keeping their BCS hopes alive.

Nevada won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. The Wolf Pack were driving after a few short plays when Charles Washington delivered a vicious hit to a Nevada wide receiver on a sideline route. Targeting was initially called, but the ejection was overturned. Unfortunately, due to the new rule, the penalty remained and Nevada moved into Fresno State territory. Three plays later, Kendall Brock ran the ball 43 yards up the middle for a touchdown.

Fresno State immediately answered with four pass plays, the final one for five yards from Carr to Davante Adams in the corner of the endzone. From there until halftime it was all Fresno State, with Carr running for another touchdown, and tossing a second to Josh Harper from 21 yards out. Colin McGuire tacked on a field goal to give the 'Dogs a 24-7 lead going into halftime. A couple curious stalls on offense and resultant turnovers on downs - one after an interception of Wolf Pack QB Cody Fajardo - kept Fresno State from truly busting the game open.

This would reappear early in the second half, as more uncharacteristic drops kept points off the board, and DeRuyter was strangely aggressive on 4th down. Nevada, meanwhile, took advantage of this, tacking on a field goal and a touchdown pass from Fajardo to Wimberly to move within eight - the extra point was blocked by Nikko Motta) , making it 24-16.

The Bulldogs opened the third quarter in promising fashion, swiftly scoring on a third Carr touchdown pass to Josh Harper and forcing a Nevada punt. On the ensuing drive, however, Davante Adams was stripped of the ball by Charles Garrett on a short pass at the Fresno State 49. The Wolf pack scored almost immediately, with Fajardo throwing a second touchdown to Hasaan Henderson. Fresno State responded by running it on the back of Josh Quezada into Nevada territory, settling for a field goal and essentially icing the game, with the Bulldogs stopping Nevada right after on downs and getting the ball back with just over three minutes to go. Curiously, Nevada head coach Brian Polian stopped the clock twice on the 'Dogs final drive, giving Fresno State an opportunity to add a final statement touchdown on a Marteze Waller run from three yards out for the last score of the game, ending it at 41-23 Fresno State.

Notes:

  • This was Fresno State's "Blackout" game, with the Bulldogs wearing all-black uniforms and special black Fresno State apparel having been sold for it. The game sold out early in the week.
  • Derek Carr broke the Fresno State all-time passing record on the Bulldogs' final drive, finishing the night with 487 yards on 39/55 passing and three touchdowns. He now has 10,821 career passing yards.
  • His final pass went to Josh Harper, who utterly dominated the night. With Nevada heavily focused on Davante Adams, Harper went off with a career high 17 catches, racking up 252 yards and 2 touchdowns.
  • Fresno State finished with 160 total rushing yards, 115 of which came from Josh Quezada, while Marteze Waller contributed 45 more.
The Bulldogs travel to Wyoming next week.
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