On Senior Day at Mackey Stadium, the Wolf Pack and the Spartans played in one of the most entertaining games in conference play this season and in this contest, the Wolf Pack defeated a very tough and talented San Jose State Spartans team in overtime 37-34. The win marks the first Wolf Pack victory on Senior Day since 2011 and also, the win makes Nevada bowl eligible for the tenth time in 11 seasons.
The scoring started when Nevada quarterback Tyler Stewart (16 for 26 174 yards 3 touchdowns; seven rushes for 33 yards) found wide receiver Jerico Richardson (five catches 43 yards one touchdown) for a five-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolf Pack a 7-0 lead early in the game. Brett Zuzo's 27-yard field goal in the second quarter gave the Wolf Pack an early 10-0 lead. The Spartans finally got on the board when quarterback Kenny Potter (15 for 23 186 yards 3 touchdowns; 19 rushes 116 yards) ran the ball to the one-yard line but fumbled the ball in the end zone where it was recovered by his teammate Tim Crawley (3 catches 43 yards 2 touchdowns) for the touchdown which cut the Wolf Pack lead to 10-7. After the Wolf Pack went three and out, the Spartans got the ball back and scored on a touchdown pass from Potter to Crawley with 23 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Spartans a 14-10 lead at the half.
In the third quarter after Nevada went three and out, San Jose State took just four plays to score a touchdown and this time, Potter connected with tight end Billy Freeman for a 23-yard touchdown pass to extend the Spartan lead to 21-10. Nevada responded with a crucial 58-yard touchdown run by senior running back James Butler (16 rushes 119 yards 1 touchdown) to cut the Spartan lead to 21-17. In the fourth quarter, after a San Jose punt, the Wolf Pack scored again on a 12 play, 69-yard drive that concluded with a Tyler Stewart touchdown pass to Hassan Henderson to give the Wolf Pack a 24-21 lead. The lead did not last long as Spartans responded back when Potter connected with Tim Crawley again on a 13-yard touchdown pass as the Spartans retook the lead 28-24. After the Wolf Pack went three and out, the Spartans went on a 15 play scoring drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock and ended with a 37-yard field goal made by Austin Lopez to extend the San Jose State lead to 31-24 late in the fourth quarter.
Nevada got the ball back with 2:49 left in the game and went on a 13 play drive that saw Wolf Pack quarterback Tyler Stewart convert a pair of fourth down conversions to keep the drive alive. The drive was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run by Don Jackson to tie the game at 31-31. But San Jose State had a chance to win the game with a 51-yard field goal with six seconds left but it was blocked by redshirt freshman Ahki Muhammad and the game went into overtime. In the overtime period, San Jose State started with the ball but could not get the first down due to Wolf Pack senior defensive end Lenny Jones coming up with a key third down tackle on Kenny Porter. It forced the Spartans to kick a 35 yard field goal which they converted to give them a 34-31 lead. Three plays later, Tyler Stewart connected with tight end Jarred Gipson on a 11-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolf Pack a 37-34 victory in overtime.
The win gives Nevada their third straight win and improves their record to 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the conference and keeps their hopes alive of winning the Western division of the Mountain West conference. The road to potentially playing for a Mountain West title starts next week as the Wolf Pack travel on the road to face the Utah State Aggies next Saturday.