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Nevada Football: Wolf Pack drop a close one to the Lobos

The Nevada Wolf Pack put up another good effort but it was not enough as they fall to the New Mexico Lobos 35-26.

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Nevada Wolf Pack went on the road tonight and put up a good effort against a talented New Mexico squad but it was not enough as they dropped their third straight game to the Lobos 35-26 on Saturday night. With the loss, the Wolf Pack's record drop to 3-6 overall and 1-5 in conference play while the Lobos improve to 6-3 with the win and 4-1 in conference play.

Despite the Wolf Pack out-gaining the Lobos in the air 301-100, the Lobos outgained the Wolf Pack on the ground by a count of 373-108 in the contest tonight. The action started in the first quarter when the Lobos struck first when running back Richard McQuarley scored on a three-yard touchdown run to cap off a 11 play, 75-yard drive to give New Mexico a 7-0 lead.

On Nevada's first possession, quarterback Ty Gangi (in his first career start, 19-34, 301 yards 3 TD, 2 INTs) threw an interception to Ryan Santos and the Lobos took over at the Wolf Pack 45-yard line. However, the Lobos could not do anything with the ball as they turned the ball over when a Lamar Jordan pass was intercepted by the Wolf Pack's Elijah Mitchell in the end zone and Nevada regained possession of the ball.

Nevada was able to capitalize off the New Mexico turnover when in the second quarter, the Wolf Pack got on the board when running back James Butler scored on a nine-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 7-7. The Lobos on their next possession lost the ball when Jordan fumbled the ball and the Wolf Pack recovered it.

A couple of plays later, the Wolf Pack took the lead when Gangi connected with Wyatt Demps on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-7. The Lobos responded on their next drive when on 4th and 1, the Lobos Tyrone Owens ran the ball up the gut of the Wolf Pack defense and scored to tie the game at 14-14.

After a weather delay that lasted more than 90 minutes, the game resumed and the Lobos took the lead in the third quarter when Jordan scored on a four-yard touchdown run to give New Mexico a 21-14 lead. The Lobos scored again in the third quarter when back-up quarterback Austin Apodaca came in for Jordan and connected with receiver Emmanuel Harris for a 44-yard touchdown pass to extend the Lobos lead to 28-14.

Early in the fourth quarter, Gangi connected with tight end Brandon Scott for a 19-yard touchdown pass (the Wolf Pack's PAT attempt was blocked) to make it 28-20 New Mexico. After a quick three and out by the Lobos, the Wolf Pack got the ball back and one play into the drive, Gangi connected with Ahki Muhammad for a 57-yard touchdown pass that made the score 28-26 New Mexico after the Wolf Pack missed on the two-point conversion.

On the next possession for the Lobos, they went on an eight play, 57-yard scoring drive which was capped off by an Apodaca four-yard touchdown drive which extended the Lobos lead to 35-26. The Wolf Pack got the ball back late in the game to try to cut into the Lobos lead by Gangi threw his second and costly interception with less than a minute in the game to end any hope of a comeback for Nevada.

The Wolf Pack will need to win their final three games to be bowl eligible and that will be difficult task for Nevada. The road to potential bowl eligibility begins next Saturday night as they host the San Diego State Aztecs at 7:30pm.