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Nevada Football: Wolf Pack outlasts Buffalo Bulls

The Wolf Pack relied on their strong running game in the first half and a pair of defensive turnovers in the second half to secure a close victory over the Buffalo Bulls.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Led by the talented running back duo of James Butler and Don Jackson and a pair of critical defensive turnovers, the Nevada Wolf Pack were able to outlast the the University of Buffalo Bulls by a score of 24-21.

As a team, Nevada rushed for 289 yards on the ground and most of those yards came from both Butler and Jackson and that was all they needed as Nevada only threw for 90 yards. Butler ran for a career high 177 yards and scored a rushing touchdown while Don Jackson rushed for 113 yards and scored two touchdowns.  After Buffalo took the early 7-0 lead, Nevada had the ball at their own four yard line when James Butler had a 91 yard run to set Nevada up in the red zone where Butler scored one play later to tie the game 7-7. The Wolf Pack took the lead when Don Jackson scored on a 55 yard touchdown run to make it 14-7.

The Wolf Pack were up 17-10 in the second half when Buffalo kicker Adam Mitcheson kicked a 43 yard field goal to make it 17-13 Wolf Pack. In the fourth quarter, the Wolf Pack went on a 12 play, 80 yard drive that was capped off by a ten yard touchdown run by Don Jackson to give the Wolf Pack a 24-13 lead. Buffalo responded quickly when Bulls quarterback Joe Licata threw a five yard touchdown pass to Collin Lisa to cut the Wolf Pack lead to 24-19 and the Bulls were able to complete the two point conversion to make it a 24-21 Wolf Pack lead.

But that would be as close as the Bulls came to Nevada as the Wolf Pack defense carried the team the rest of the way. After the Wolf Pack's offense stalled and was forced to punt, the Bulls were on the move offensively when Bulls running back Jordan Johnson fumbled the ball and Wolf Pack linebacker Alex Bertrando recovered it. After another Wolf Pack punt, the Bulls were driving late in the game when Wolf Pack freshman cornerback  Dameon Baber picked off a Joe Licata pass to seal the game for Nevada.

With the win, the Wolf Pack improve their record to 2-2 and start conference play next week in Reno as they face in-state rival UNLV in the Battle for the Fremont Cannon.