Kendall Brock tries to pick up extra yardage after a catch. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)
Sept. 23, 2012
HONOLULU (AP) -- For the first time in more than 60 years, the Nevada football team will leave Hawaii feeling some aloha.
Stefphon Jefferson tied an NCAA record by scoring seven touchdowns to lead Nevada in a 69-24 win over Hawaii on Saturday. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak in Honolulu for the Wolf Pack (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West) that dated back to 1948.
It was the first time since 2007 that the home team had won in the series between the two former Western Athletic Conference teams. Both schools left the WAC for the Mountain West Conference in July.
"It was terrific," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "We've lost the last four times we've been here, and I'm the one who has been outspoken about it. ... We were fortunate tonight. I thought we played well on both sides of the ball."
Jefferson, a junior running back, carried 31 times for 170 yards and scored on 3-, 2-, 1-, 5-, 3- and 1-yard runs and added a 55-yard scoring reception.
It was the fourth time a player had seven touchdowns in a game, the first since Oklahoma State's Rashaan Woods did it in 2003. The mark is also a new Mountain West Conference record.
"I really didn't realize that at all," Ault said of Jefferson tying the NCAA record. "What can you say? He played terrific. He caught a couple screens, did a great job with it. Our offensive front did a terrific job up front for him, and Stefphon did a great job finding the holes."
Nevada racked up 575 yards of offense and had 30 first downs. It was 8 of 12 on third downs and 7 of 7 in the red zone.
After a three-and-out on their first drive, the Wolf Pack scored on their next five possessions to build a 34-17 halftime lead. Jefferson, who had 90 yards on 19 rushes at intermission, added a rushing touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters.
Hawaii's defense came in allowing just 62.5 rushing yards per game, but gave up 355 to Nevada. The Wolf Pack averaged 6.3 yards per rush on 56 attempts. It was their 13th straight game with at least one 100-yard rusher.
Sean Schroeder's 36-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Ostrowski pulled Hawaii within 20-17 midway through the second quarter, but Nevada scored 42 unanswered points until a Warriors touchdown in the game's closing minutes.
Cody Fajardo completed 14 of 20 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He had 69 yards rushing and was not sacked.
Fajardo's other TD pass was an 8-yarder to Zach Sudfeld in the third quarter.
Khalid Wooten had a 78-yard interception return for a score early in the fourth quarter, and Nick Hale closed out the scoring with a 52-yard run.
Brock Hekking recorded two of the Wolf Pack's four sacks and forced a fumble.
Schroeder was 22 of 40 for 234 yards with two interceptions. Will Gregory ran for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Warriors (1-2, 0-1).
It was the most points ever allowed by Hawaii at Aloha Stadium and the most in a home game since 1950, when it allowed 74 against Stanford.
"It's just one game. It's a disappointing one," Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. "Obviously, we didn't play as well as we could. Give (Nevada) an awful lot of credit."
Nevada took a 9-8 lead in the all-time series. The 45-point margin of victory is the second-largest in series history. The Wolf Pack beat Hawaii 73-12 in 1948.
Nevada Game Notes
Nevada vs. Hawai`i
Sept. 22, 2012
With the win over Hawaii on Saturday, Nevada improved to 513-442-33 all-time and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record go to 229-104-1.
JEFFERSON SHATTERS RECORDS
Junior running back Stefphon Jefferson broke school and conference records and tied the NCAA mark for most touchdowns scored against a major college opponent with his seven touchdowns against Hawaii on Saturday night.
Jefferson, who did not play in the fourth quarter, had six touchdowns and 170 yards rushing on 31 carries and also caught three passes for 76 yards and another score in the game. His seven scores tied the NCAA record held by three players: Arnold “Showboat” Boykin, Ole Miss vs. Mississippi St., Dec. 1, 1951; Marshall Faulk, San Diego St. vs. Pacific, Sept. 14, 1991; Rashaun Woods, Oklahoma St. vs. SMU, Sept. 20, 2003.
He also set the school and Mountain West conference records for most points scored in a game, most rushing touchdowns in a game and most touchdowns scored in a game.
Jefferson’s first score was a career first – a receiving touchdown. Jefferson caught a screen pass from Cody Fajardo and scampered 55 yards down the right sideline for the first score of the game. Then came four rushing touchdowns in the first half: A 3-yarder in the first quarter; a 2-yarder, 1-yarder and 5-yarder in the second quarter. The five touchdowns in one half is also a Nevada record.
He added an 8-yard TD run in the third quarter for his sixth score of the game – fifth rushing. He appeared to have added a second receiving TD late in the third quarter but replay showed his knee was down at the 1. That set up his final score of the game – a 1-yard plunge to give him six rushing TDs and seven overall.
Jefferson has now topped the 100-yard mark in all four games this season and it marked his sixth career 100-yard effort.
Last week, Jefferson set a career high and a 2012 FBS high with a 247-yard effort in a win over Northwestern State. It marked the best performance by a Nevada player since Vai Taua ran for 263 yards at Fresno State in 2008.
PACK ENDS SKID AT HAWAII
Nevada won at Hawaii for the first time since Dec. 17, 1948, ending a skid of seven straight losses to Hawaii in Honolulu. Nevada also took the lead in the all-time series against Hawaii 9-8. Nevada is now 4-7 all-time at Hawaii with three of the wins coming before 1948, including a 14-0 win in 1920 when Nevada became the first mainland team to travel to play Hawaii.
NEVADA WINS DEBUT
With the win at Hawaii, Nevada is now 1-0 in Mountain West play in its first season in the conference. The Wolf Pack was picked second in the preseason poll.
In the fourth quarter, Nevada corner Khalid Wooten recorded the second “Pick-Six” of his career with an interception and 78-yard return for a touchdown. It was his second career pick-six with his first being a 90-yarder against New Mexico State in 2010.
Nevada entered the game without an interception on the year but came away with two as sophomore Charles Garrett got his first career pick and Nevada’s first of the season in the first half.
THE STREAK CONTINUES
With Jefferson rushing for at least 100 yards, Nevada extended its streak to 13 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.
31 STRAIGHT AND COUNTING: Senior receiver Brandon Wimberly caught four passes for 35 yards on Saturday and extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 31 straight, which was the sixth-longest in the nation entering Saturday.
SUDFELD SCORES AGAIN: Senior tight end Zach Sudfeld entered his sixth year at Nevada without having ever scored a touchdown. Now he has three in his last three games.
His first career touchdown came in week two against USF came when he jumped on top of a Fajardo fumble in the end zone. In week three against Northwestern State, Sudfeld caught his first TD pass – a 25-yarder from Fajardo.
In the third quarter against Hawaii, Sudfeld made it three-for-three, hauling in an 8-yard TD pass from Fajardo as part of his three-catch, 41-yard night.
EXTRA POINTS: Nevada won the toss and deferred to the second half … Hawaii received the opening kickoff and Nevada 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 second start … Chris Barker started his 44th straight game, all 444 games of his career … Senior Ty Thompson started at one of the safety spots for the second straight week … Redshirt freshman Rykeem Yates started at one of the defensive tackle spots in place of Jack Reynoso … Khalid Wooten broke off a 32-yard punt return, which matched a career long set last week … Brock Hekking recorded a pair of sacks in the game and had a forced fumble … Rykeem Yates, Jeremiah Green and Sam Foster each had a sack.