Fajardo Lifts Wolf Pack To 34-21 Victory Over Texas St.
Sept. 29, 2012
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) - Cody Fajardo threw for three touchdowns and ran for one more as Nevada (4-1, 1-0 Mountain West) defeated Texas State 34-21 on Saturday afternoon.
Fajardo was 21 of 34 passing for 286 yards, connecting twice with Zach Sudfeld, including on a 9-yard pass. A 12-yard pass to Aaron Bradley led to another touchdown. In the third, Fajardo kept the ball for a 6-yard run to add to the score. Allen Hardison made two field goals in the second quarter to keep the points coming for the Wolf Pack.
The Bobcats got on the scoreboard first with a 1-yard run by Marcus Curry. Matt Gay caught a 2-yard pass from Shaun Rutherford and Andy Erickson caught a 28-yard pass for touchdowns.
Texas State (2-2, 0-0 Western Athletic) was scoreless after halftime. Nevada closed out its scoring in the third quarter. The win was the 37th second-half come-from-behind victory in the Hall of Fame career of Nevada head coach Chris Ault.
The game marked the first meeting between the two teams.
Nevada vs. Texas State
Sept. 29, 2012
With the win at Texas State on Saturday, Nevada improved to 514-442-33 all-time and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record go to 230-104-1.
FAJARDO COMES UP BIG
Sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo threw an interception on his first attempt of the game but things got a lot better after that. He finished the day 21-of-34 for 286 yards and three touchdowns, with the yards and the scores representing season highs. Fajardo tallied 381 yards of total offense on the day as he rushed for 95 yards on just 10 carries.
JEFFERSON THE WORKHORSE
Junior running back Stefphon Jefferson was a workhorse for the Pack offense, carrying the ball 40 times for 178 yards in Nevada’s win. The 178 yards was just over his average of 174.6 coming into the game. His 40 carries were a career-high and tied for fifth in school history (with Anthony Corley v. Pacific in 1983). The record is 45 by Chance Kretschmer against UTEP in 2001.
Jefferson, who entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher and scorer, is now averaging more than 175 yards per game.
THE STREAK CONTINUES
With Jefferson topping the 100-yard mark again in rushing, Nevada extended its streak to 14 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.
WIMBERLY BREAKS OUT
Senior receiver Brandon Wimberly had a career day for the Wolf Pack, catching six passes for a career-best 135 yards in the win. It was Wimberly’s second career 100-yard game and first since Sept. 19, 2009, when he caught seven passes for 104 yards at Colorado State.
He also extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 32 straight, which was the sixth-longest in the nation entering Saturday.
SUDFELD SCORES AGAIN AND AGAIN
Senior tight end Zach Sudfeld entered his sixth year at Nevada without having ever scored a touchdown. Now he has five in his last four games.
Sudfeld caught a 9-yard pass from Cody Fajardo in the first quarter for Nevada’s first touchdown of the game. Just before halftime, Sudfeld caught a 2-yard pass for his first multi-touchdown game of his career. He finished the game with five catches for 40 yards
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.
AVERY GETS SACK
Fifth-year senior Mark Avery made his first career start and registered his first career sack in the win. Avery, a defensive tackle, got through for an 11-yard sack in the fourth quarter on a second-and-long play. Avery finished with two tackles on the day.
Sophomore defensive end Brock Hekking entered the game in the top 25 in the nation in sacks per game with four in four games. He now has six in five games after recording a pair of sacks against the Bobcats.
Hekking finished with a team-high seven tackles, including the two sacks, which totaled 14 yards in losses.
A pair of Nevada defensive players received their first career start on Saturday. Senior Mark Avery started at one of the defensive tackle spots over Jack Reynoso/Rykeem Yates. And sophomore Evan Favors started at one of the cornerback starts over Khalid Wooten. Wooten (turf toe) did play in the game but only as the team’s holder on extra points and field goals. He did not play defense nor return punts.
HARDISON STAYS PERFECT
Senior kicker Allen Hardison connected on a pair of field goals in the game, from 24 and 41 yards. The 41-yarder marks a season-long for Hardison. The senior is now 5-of-5 on field goal attempts this year.
EXTRA POINTS: Texas State 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 third start … Chris Barker started his 45th straight game, all 45 games of his career … Senor free safety Marlon Johnson returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with an injury … The game was the final non-conference matchup of the year for Nevada, which returns to Mountain West play next week by hosting Wyoming for Homecoming at Mackay Stadium … Nevada has travel approximately 8,000 miles in the past nine days for wins at Hawaii and Texas State … Punter Chase Tenpenny and kicker Colin Ditsworth each recorded a tackle on the day … Freshman defensive end Lenny Jones notched a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the game.