The Nevada Wolf Pack ended their regular season with a resounding thud as they were dominated by the San Diego State Aztecs 31-14 on Saturday night. The loss drops the Wolf Pack's overall record to 6-6 and 4-4 in the Mountain West conference which is good for second place in the western division of the Mountain West while the Aztecs will play in the Mountain West Conference championship game next Saturday.
The Wolf Pack came into this contest averaging 221 yards rushing a game but was limited to 35 yards rushing tonight thanks to an Aztec defense that shut down the running back duo of James Butler (8 rushes, 20 yards) and Don Jackson (16 rushes, 49 yards) and the lack of a running game hindered the Nevada offense all night. The Aztecs dominance in the trenches extended on the offensive side as their offensive line opened up holes for their star running back Donnel Pumphrey as he ran for 154 yards and scored two touchdowns. Pumphrey's teammate, Chase Price, ran for 112 yards and scored a touchdown tonight as well. The Aztecs only threw for 88 passing yards but between the dominance in the running game and the Aztecs winning the turnover battle three to zero, they did not need to throw the ball much at all to defeat Nevada.
The game early on was a close contest when Wolf Pack wide receiver Jerico Richardson recovered a Don Jackson fumble in the end zone to tie the game at 14-14 late in the second half. But the Aztecs responded three minutes later when on a 3rd and 20, Pumphrey scored on a 72-yard touchdown run to give the Aztecs a 21-14 lead at the half. In the second half, the Aztecs tacked on a field goal to extend their lead to 24-14 and following a Wolf Pack turnover, the Aztecs scored on a Chase Price two-yard touchdown run to give the Aztecs the 31-14 lead.
For the Wolf Pack, they close out the season on a two game losing streak that have seen them blow a double digit lead against Utah State and getting physically dominated by San Diego State. The Wolf Pack under Brian Polian have been built on running the ball but the Aztecs stifled the running attack and Nevada produced the lowest rushing out put since 2004. The Wolf Pack won't know what bowl game they will play until after the Mountain West Championship Game and the Wolf Pack will need to use this time to regain their rushing identity under a new offensive coordinator and try to close out the season on a high note.