The Nevada Wolf Pack (6-3, 3-2 Mountain West) held the San Diego State Aztecs' (4-4, 3-2 Mountain West) struggling offense to just 14 points and won a huge MWC West division game 30-14 tonight in Reno.
The Aztecs did themselves in with three crucial turnovers. Running back Donnel Pumphrey first coughed it up at Nevada's 17-yard line with 8:12 left in the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter, quarterback Quinn Kaehler jumped on the turnover train, tossing a pick to Nevada linebacker Jonathan McNeal. Pumphrey lost the handle again around midfield halfway through the third quarter.
These three turnovers led to seven Nevada points and a some big losses in momentum -- especially Pumphrey's first fumble in the Wolf Pack's red zone.
Pumphrey eclipsed 1,000 yards tonight, but he carried it 13 times for just 85 yards -- not the kind of night he needed to have for SDSU to win. His backfield counterpart, Chase Price, was the more reliable back tonight, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. He SDSU's first touchdown in the first quarter.
SDSU's defense, which entered the game allowing the 13th fewest points per game in the country, eventually wore down in the second half and allowed 17 points in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Aztecs' offense scored zero second-half points.
Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo played a poor game by his standards, completing just 10 of 24 passes for 109 yards a touchdown and an interception.
The Wolf Pack running backs carried their team tonight. Don Jackson ran it 20 times for 124 yards and a touchdown, and freshman James Butler ran it 15 times for 103 yards and a touchdown.
Nevada has a bye next week before traveling to play Air Force on Nov. 15. SDSU plays its homecoming again against Idaho next Saturday.