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Nevada vs Cal Poly: Wolf Pack’s defense struggles in overtime win

Nevada needs overtime to top FCS’ Cal Poly

NCAA Football: Cal. Poly - SLO at Nevada Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Nevada Wolf Pack offense came out in full force in the newly renovated Mackay Stadium against the Cal Poly Mustangs. The Cal Poly Mustangs come into this game with the most team rushing in the FCS for three straight years and will be a good test to find out how the Wolf Pack defensive line could match up. The first offensive drive for Nevada was very successful as star running back James Butler continues where he left off in his 2015 campaign with a 50-yard rushing TD, which only took six plays on 75 yards. On the first offensive drive for the Mustangs, Dano Graves fumbles on a lateral on their 27-yard line that Nevada recovers.

Quarterback Tyler Stewart takes advantage of the turnover by the Mustangs and turns it into a six-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Demps. Demps makes a phenomenal one handed catch over Kevin Griffen to increase their lead to 14-0. After along unsuccessful offensive drive for Cal Poly and a three-in-n-out by Nevada which resulted in punts, the Mustangs answered back with a 28-yard run touchdown by Joe Protheroe to bring the game within one touchdown behind Nevada. During their offensive possession, Graves fumbled the ball, but very quickly recovered to keep the drive alive. After giving up the touchdown to Cal Poly, Stewart’s first pass was to Victor Gonzalez for a 46-yard catch.

That huge play helped Nevada respond with a touchdown of their own with a 9-yard pass from Stewart to Jerico Richardson, who leaped over Kam Dennis to increase their lead against Cal Poly. Tyler Stewart really stood out in the first quarter by completing all seven of his passes and throwing for two incredible touchdowns. In the 2nd quarter, Cal Poly got the ball rolling as the offense slowly and consistently moved the ball down the field to tired out Nevada’s.

They ran the clock for seven minutes and twenty seconds, but Protheroe had a forced fumbled caused by Kendall Johnson. The fumble was picked Protheroe at Cal Poly’s 45-yard line. Finally, after 17 plays and 70 yards in 7:22, Casey Sublette kicked a 27-yard field goal to reduce Nevada’s lead to 11 points. After one offensive drive each after Cal Poly’s field goal, Nevada charged quickly down field in 35 seconds in just five plays to score a 25-yard field goal by Brent Zuzo and comeback with a field goal of their own.

At halftime, the score of Nevada vs. Cal Poly was 24-10, the Wolf Pack’s defense the Mustangs total offense to just 149 yards in the first half, which 110 yards were rushing and 39 yards were passing. On the other hand, Nevada had 239 yards of total offense, which 130 yards were rushing and 139 yards were passing.

The third quarter of the game was very silent from both teams on offense, but Cal Poly’s defense shined with forcing two three-in-outs on Nevada’s struggling offense in the start of the second half. Jared Mohamed had a 27 yard run to get a huge first down for Cal Poly and keep the offensive drive going and quickly get the touchdown in two more plays.

The Mustangs gained momentum throughout the second half and scored immediately as Graves ran into the end zone for a touchdown to bring the game with one touchdown to make the score 24-17. Nevada went back on the field to try to respond back Graves touchdown, but Zuzo missed 38-yard field goal as the ball went wide left. Zuzo’s missed field goal was a huge play that Nevada should’ve capitalized on it and could’ve won the game for them as well.

A game changer that could’ve won Nevada game was recover a fumble caused by EJliah Moody at Nevada’s one yard line , but Cal Poly recovered it swiftly by Joey Kuperman After Nevada missed the field goal, Cal Poly killed 9:06 minutes off Robert Deitersthe clock and Graves rushed in for one-yard touchdown. The false start on the 2-point conversion on Cal Poly cost them from winning the game and beating Nevada with a huge upset. On Cal Poly’s 18 plays of their successful offensive drive, 17 of those play ran by the Mustangs were running the football.

In the 4th quarter alone, Cal poly rushed for 152 yards and converted two huge fourth downs for them to tie up the game 24-24. Overtime was intense for both teams, as Cal Poly started with football and fumbled the ball once again that was forced by Asauni Rufus, but Nevada couldn’t recover it quick enough as it went out of bounds. The next play, Kori Garcia rushed for -1 yards that was huge for the defense and only allowed a 37-yard field goal to give Cal Poly the lead 27-24.

The last offensive drive for Nevada payed off after not scoring in the Second half. The drive started out as Stewart completed a pass to Richardson for 12 yards and set up James Butler for a 5-yard touchdown after his third run attempt to give Nevada the win and sending all the all the fans very overjoyed with a win to celebrate a 30-27 victory over Cal Poly. The next game on the schedule for the Wolf Pack are at Notre Dame, ranked 10th in College football. Nevada won’t have an easy against a ranked opponent, but will see the veteran offense and young defense line can hold up in the game.