Sept. 15, 2012
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Stefphon Jeffersonrushed for 247 yards and two touchdowns to lead Nevada to a 45-34 victory against Northwestern State on Saturday night.
The contest featured 1,240 yards of offense, 655 by Nevada (2-1).
Jefferson, who had 27 attempts, shattered his previous career high of 147 rushing yards and had the Wolf Pack's best ground production since Colin Kaepernick ran for 240 yards against UNLV in 2008. Quarterback Cody Fajardoadded 118 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries.
Brad Henderson passed for 357 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 102 yards for the Demons (1-2).
In the second half, Jefferson had scoring runs of 48 and 52 yards, and Fajardo rushed for TDs from 10 and 22 yards, giving Nevada breathing room after it led 17-13 at halftime. Jefferson and Fajardo both eclipsed 100 yards rushing for the second straight game.
Fajardo was 21 of 33 passing for 237 yards with a touchdown and interception.
NEVADA POST-GAME NOTES
With the win over Northwestern State on Saturday, Nevada improved to 512-442-33 and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record to 228-104-1.
JEFFERSON RUNS WILD: Junior Stefphon Jefferson had a career game, running for 247 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in the win. The yards were a career-high for Jefferson by 100 yards as his career best entering the game was his 147-yard output at Cal two weeks ago.
The 247-yards effort is the best in the nation so far this year amongst FBS schools. It marked the best performance by a Nevada player since Vai Taua ran for 263 yards at Fresno State in 2008. Through three games, Jefferson is averaging 176.3 yards per game.
Jefferson has now topped the 100-yard mark in all three games this season and it marked his fifth-career 100-yard effort.
FAJARDO ACCOUNTS FOR FOUR SCORES: Sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo tallied 355 yards of total offense and accounted for four touchdowns in the win over Northwestern State. Fajardo completed 21 of 33 through the air for 237 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, Fajardo ran for 118 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns – runs of 2, 10 and 22 yards. This marks back-to-back games of Fajardo topping the 100-yard mark in rushing and the fourth time in his career.
ONE STREAK CONTINUES: With Jefferson and Fajardo each rushing for at least 100 yards, Nevada extended its streak to 12 consecutive games with at least one 100-yard rusher. The streak is by far the longest active stretch in the nation as no other school has even five straight. Jefferson started the streak against UNLV in 2011 and he is one of four different players to keep the streak going. Nevada’s school record is 24 straight games from 1978 through the end of the 1980 season and featured College Football Hall of Famer Frank Hawkins.
AND ANOTHER STREAK ENDS (and that’s a good thing): With Fajardo and Jefferson topping the 100-yard mark in rushing and Nevada getting the victory, it put an end to a bizarre statistical streak for Nevada. Going into the game, Nevada had lost its last three games in which it had two players rush for 100 yards or more in the same game. And the Pack’s defeats were heartbreaking – losing each of the three games in the final 51 seconds or later.
TURNER BREAKS OUT: Sophomore transfer wide receiver Richy Turner made his first career start and put up career highs in catches and yardage. Turner tallied seven catches for 74 yards and was second on the team in both categories. He also picked up a first down on the ground with a big 27-yard end-around in the second half.
30 STRAIGHT AND COUNTING: Senior receiver Brandon Wimberly caught eight passes for 82 yards on Saturday and extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 30 straight, which was the sixth-longest in the nation entering Saturday.
The eight catches marked a career high for Wimberly. The 82 yards were the most for the senior since a 104-yard effort against Colorado State in week two of his freshman season in 2009.
SUDFELD SCORES, THE CONVENTIONAL EDITION: Senior tight end Zach Sudfeld finally found the end zone after a reception as the sixth-year star hauled in a 25-yard pass from Cody Fajardo just before halftime to give Nevada a lead it would not relinquish. It marked the second career touchdown and second in as many weeks for Sudfeld. His first career touchdown last week against USF came when he jumped on top of a Fajardo fumble in the end zone.
EXTRA POINTS: NSU won the toss and deferred to the second half … Nevada received the opening kickoff and defended the north goal to start the game … Nevada opened in a two-tight end set with Kolby Arendse getting the start at TE and WR Richy Turner making his first start … Chris Barker started his 43rd straight game, all 423 games of his career … Senior Ty Thompson started at one of the safety spots after missing the first two games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery … Nevada is now 3-0 all-time against Northwestern State … Punter Chase Tenpenny placed three inside the 20, a career high … Nevada set season highs in rushing yards (418), yards per rush (8.4), rushing TDs (5), total offense (655), yards per play (7.9), points (45) and first downs (37) … Khalid Wooten broke off a 32-yard punt return, which marked a career long … Penalties plagued the Pack again with 12 for 118 … The attendance for the game was 19,399