It appeared that Nevada would finally end the longest losing streak in the nation against Texas State. Leading 17-0 heading into the third quarter, the second half completely imploded for Nevada. The game ended in a 35-24 loss for Nevada, extending the losing streak to 14 games, and giving the Wolf Pack a 0-4 record.
Messy football was yet again the issue for Nevada. There’s no reason why Nevada shouldn’t have gotten the win, especially with how much they controlled the game through the first half. This was worse than the game against Idaho, and the chances of Nevada going winless continue.
9:27-Brandon Talton 30-yard FG
Nevada 3 - Texas State 0
5:08-KK Meier 98-yard Interception/Pick 6 (Brandon Talton PAT)
Nevada 10 - Texas State 0
11:11- Zac Welch. 0-yard TD run (Brandon Talton PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 0
9:43- 25-yard TD pass from TJ Finley to Joey Hobert (Mason Shipley PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 7
3:42- 77-yard TD pass from TJ Finley to Kole Wilson (Mason Shipley PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 14
0:49- Ismail Mahdi 46-yard TD run (Mason Shipley PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 21
8:30- Ismail Mahdi 36-yard TD run (Mason Shipley PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 28
4:50- Malik Hornsby 13-yard TD run (Mason Shipley PAT)
Nevada 17 - Texas State 35
0:57- AJ Bianco 2-yard TD run (Brandon Talton PAT)
Nevada 24 - Texas State 35
Final: Nevada 24, Texas State 35
Nevada got ahead early with the Talton field goal. While the defense was stealing the show and the points, Nevada’s offense was able to put up a sizable lead heading into halftime.
QB Brendon Lewis went 21-32 with 151 passing yards and an interception. He also led Nevada in rushing yards with 89 on 12 carries. Running back Sean Dollars got the second most action, rushing for 42 yards on 16 carries with a fumble.
Nevada continued to have issues holding onto the ball, as that fumble by Dollars was at the one-yard line. Luckily, offensive lineman Zac Welch recovered the fumble and fell into the end zone to stretch Nevada’s lead. Cross Patton and Dalevon Campbell also had fumbles which didn’t go in Nevada’s favor, turning into 14 points for Texas State.
Overall, it’s a pretty easy story on the offense. They dominated the first half and then went completely silent in the second half. Backup QB AJ Bianco made his third appearance of the season, rushing for a touchdown in the game's final minute.
Nevada is still waiting for that offensive breakout. Lewis has yet to break the 200-yard passing mark, and seven of the 17 first-half points came from the defense. Head Coach Ken Wilson is a defensive-minded guy, so offensive coordinator Derek Sage should be feeling some heat. Perhaps some needs to be put onto Lewis as well, especially since Bianco has played well in the three games he’s played in.
It’s the same story as Nevada’s offense. The defense dominated the first half by obviously putting up a shutout. A 98-yard pick-six looks pretty good as well. Texas State was completely defeated in the first half, especially in the red zone. The Bobcats made three different trips to the red zone, but Nevada’s defense shut them down.
Linebacker Drue Watts might need to learn how on offense because he has an eye for the ball. He recovered another fumble, something he’s done in every game this season for Nevada.
Just like the offense, Nevada’s defense went silent in the second half. The run defense especially, as Texas State running back Ismail Mahdi rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns. QB TJ Finley threw for 295 yards with two touchdowns coming in the second half.
It’s been a disappointment for this defense all season, but giving up the 17-point lead with no help from the offense was just sad. 21 unanswered points after half time, and all 35 of the Bobcats’ points coming in that second half.
Out-of-conference play is finally over, but there’s no confidence in this team. Eight fumbles in the past two games simply can’t happen, especially when 17-0 leads are getting blown.
I mentioned in my preview that Nevada needed to play clean football. That didn’t happen and there hasn’t been much hope of improvement. Nevada travels to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs, who have been dominating in the Mountain West. The Bulldogs just finished off a 53-10 win in Week 4 and are now 4-0. I said Fresno State could make it in a NY6 bowl this year, so I’m not excited to see this matchup.
The game will start at 7:30 pm PST as Nevada looks to end the longest losing streak in the nation. Leaving Fresno 0-5 is a very strong possibility for the Wolf Pack, so Ken Wilson needs to find anything to quickly turn this team around.