Another Saturday and another game added to Nevada’s losing streak. After a brutal 27-9 loss to 25-ranked Fresno State, the longest losing streak in the nation extends to 15 games. For the Bulldogs, the second-longest winning streak continued to 14 games with the win. Nevada has dropped to 0-5 and is now 0-1 in the Mountain West.
The story of the game was how badly Nevada’s offense played. Until the 4th quarter, Nevada had a goose egg on the scoreboard. Its defense provided plenty of opportunities to get ahead, but major communication issues never got fixed throughout the game.
2:12- Mikey Keene 65-yard TD pass to Jaelen Gill (Dylan Lynch PAT)
Nevada 0 - Fresno State 7
4:15- Malik Sherrod 72-yard TD run (Dylan Lynch PAT)
Nevada 0 - Fresno State 14
9:13- Dylan Lynch 48-yard FG
Nevada 0 - Fresno State 17
4:51- Dylan Lynch 40-yard FG
Nevada 0 - Fresno State 20
12:37- Mikey Keene 12-yard TD pass to Jaelen Gill (Dylan Lynch PAT)
Nevada 0 - Fresno State 27
8:22- Davion Blackwell safety
Nevada 2 - Fresno State 27
0:11- AJ Bianco 19-yard pass to Spencer Curtis (Brandon Talton PAT)
Nevada 9 - Fresno State 27
Final: Fresno 27, Nevada 9
The fact that Nevada’s offense didn’t score until the final 11 seconds of the game tells you everything you need to know. The only thing the Wolf Pack did right offensively was the time of possession, which was actually better than the Bulldogs (30:33 - 29:27.) Nevada started the game with a drive that lasted more than half of the first quarter. After nearly 10 minutes, Nevada’s offense came up with nothing and punted it away.
Both Brendon Lewis and AJ Bianco played for Nevada, and neither performed well. Lewis got the start, going 10/21 with 70 passing yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Lewis rushed 16 times, netting 25 total rushing yards.
Bianco came in the second quarter, switching off with Lewis for the rest of the game. Bianco went 9/14 with 97 passing yards, 10 rushing yards, and is responsible for Nevada's only touchdown of the game.
Fresno State’s defense is just too dominant for Nevada to even have a shot. The Bulldogs limited Nevada to 220 total yards and only 1.7 yards per carry. The Wolf Pack also failed to convert on third down 11 out of 15 attempts.
Nevada made it clear that the game plan would be the running game, which just couldn’t get going. Fresno State’s defense recorded seven sacks, two interceptions, and 11 tackles for loss. Too many plays resulted in Lewis running it himself for minimal gain or a sack.
If it wasn’t for Bianco’s 19-yard TD pass to Spencer Curtis in the fourth quarter, Nevada would’ve only mustered up two points from a safety. This offense has just looked lost all season, and it might be time to let Bianco get a full start over Lewis soon.
Nevada’s defense was the only bright spot for most of the game. Fresno State QB Mikey Keene threw for 269 yards, but he was faced with pressure all night. Cornerback Jaden Dedman and linebacker Marcel Walker-Burgess each recorded a sack against Keene. Safety Emany Johnson recorded two interceptions, which are his first of the season.
Wide Receiver Jaelen Gill and running back Malik Sherrod did all the damage against Nevada’s defense. Gill hauled in 126 receiving yards on eight catches and two touchdowns. Sherrod rushed for 124 yards on 12 attempts and one rushing touchdown.
The first points of the game for Nevada came from the defense when linebacker Davion Blackwell recorded a safety on a two-yard tackle for loss.
Nevada still gave up 27, adding to an already horrendous line of defensive statistics. Nevada is giving up an average of 38.4 points per game and over 190 points total. The defense has tried to carry, but without any support from the offense it quickly falls apart.
Nevada will head into a much-needed bye week. The Wolf Pack will resume play on October 14 at home when they take on their in-state rival UNLV. The Rebels are 4-1 and coming off a 44-20 victory over Hawaii. Wolf Pack fans will riot if UNLV keeps the losing streak going, and rightfully so.
Repainting the Fremont Cannon blue and ending the losing streak is what this team needs. Ken Wilson has an extra week to figure things out, or else there needs to be a genuine conversation about the job security of him and his staff. Enjoy the week off, Wolf Pack fans. 0-5 is brutal, but an extra week off may be what Nevada needs to get back on track.