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Nevada Bounces Back Against New Mexico 35-17

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Image: Nevada Wolf Pack Facebook.

“We can’t lose to UNLV twice in two weeks,” was the message that Coach Brian Polian preached to his team before Saturday’s game against New Mexico. “Basically I told the team, yeah we lost, but we can’t mourn over it forever — it’s a long season, and one loss doesn’t define us.”

The team certainly answered the bell on Saturday as they beat a pretty strong New Mexico team by the score of 35-17. The win was a solid team effort from everyone. It’s hard to pinpoint any one factor for the team’s success.

The defense played lights out holding the number nine ranked rushing team in the nation to a measly 3.6 yards per carry and a 142 rushing yards. The offense scored a season high 35 points and controlled the line of scrimmage with a total 371 rushing yards and an astounding 6.5 yards per carry.

“If you would have told me before the game we’d have two running backs that would go over a 100 yards and our defense would hold them to so few yards, I’d tell you to sign me up,” said Coach Polian after the game.

Quite frankly, if you would have told anyone that the offensive line would perform this well you’d get an audible sigh of disbelief. Nevada’s offensive line came in the game super banged up. Nevada had two forth string linemen in the game, one a redshirt freshman. Despite Nevada’s handicap on the line, they did an excellent job opening up holes for the running game.

Both Nevada running backs Don Jackson and James Butler ran for over 100 yards. Jackson led the team with 22 carries for 158 yards, and Butler followed that up with 149 yards on 21 carries. Nevada was very efficient when it came to running the football.

Another question mark from a week ago was the status of quarterback Tyler Stewart. Will he rebound from last week? And most importantly, will he find his comfort zone within the offense? Tonight’s game proved that Stewart is mentally tough.

Stewart only missed 3 passes, he went 16-19 for 166 yards and two touchdowns and he also chipped in with 64 yards on 9 carries in the running game. Stewart found wide receiver Jericho Richardson early and often including a 27 yard touchdown that wrapped up the game. Richardson had 9 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.

As far as Nevada’s defense was concerned, they completely shut down New Mexico’s triple option. Nevada’s defense was extremely stingy, only allowing one touchdown. The two other touchdowns came off of Nevada turnovers.

According to Nevada’s defensive linemen Lenny Jones, when you do your job all things are possible. “We just did our job, we came in knowing what they wanted to do and we just executed.”

Nevada certainly came in with the right game plan, and most importantly they didn’t harp on the disappointment of last week. It’s a long season and hopefully they use tonight’s game as a building block for what can set up a bright future for Nevada. With tonight’s win Nevada improves to (3-3) they also break even in division play with a record of (1-1)

Nevada will look to take their act on the road next week as they play Wyoming.

 

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Tarrian Rodgers
Tarrian Rodgershttp://thisisreno.com
Tarrian Rodgers is a writer and journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno. Tarrian has a year left to graduation and is looking forward to grad school where he will be studying Sports Management. When he isn’t studying trying to be the next Bob Costas, you can catch Tarrian at your local sporting event with his tablet in hand looking for the latest scoop.

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