Nevada's Late Surge Seals Win Over UNLV, 42-37

Devin Combs avoids a UNLV linebacker to drop back for a pass.

Oct. 13, 2012

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Nevada's Stefphon Jeffersonrushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns to help the Wolf Pack defeat UNLV 42-37 Saturday.

Starting in place of Cody Fajardo, who left last week's game against Wyoming with back spasms, redshirt sophomore quarterback Devin Combsthrew for one touchdown, while rushing for 111 yards and another score.

The Wolf Pack (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West) outscored the Rebels (1-6, 1-1) in the second half 28-6. UNLV, which hosted a day game for only the second time since 2006, was outgained in the second half 283 yards to 111.

The win extended Nevada's winning streak against its in-state rival to eight straight games, as the two meet annually in the ''Battle for the Fremont Cannon,'' the largest trophy in college football.

Postgame Notes
Nevada vs. UNLV
Oct. 13, 2012

With the win over UNLV on Saturday, Nevada improved to 516-442-33 all-time and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record go to 232-104-1 ... Nevada is now 6-1 overall on the season and a perfect 3-0 in its first season in the Mountain West Conference ... Nevada is now bowl eligible for the eighth straight season.

With the win, the Fremont Cannon will return home to its sacred place in the Cashell Football Center for the eighth consecutive year. Nevada's eight-game winning streak is the longest in the 38-game series and Nevada now leads the overall series 23-15. With the win in Las Vegas, the Wolf Pack is now above .500 on the road in the series with 10 wins in 19 games played in Southern Nevada.

With an 11-yard rush in the second quarter, Wolf Pack running back Stefphon Jefferson went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He entered the game with 955 yards and by hitting the 1,000-yard mark in game seven of the season, he became the Wolf Pack's fastest back to 1,000 yards. The previous record was eight games by Vai Taua in 2010.
Jefferson's 1,140 yards on the season is already 18th best on Nevada's single-season charts and the Wolf Pack still has five regular season games and a potential bowl game remaining.

For the eighth time in his career and sixth time in seven games this season, Stefphon Jefferson topped the 100-yard mark in rushing. Jefferson carried it 34 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns in the game. He entered the game second in the nation in rushing and is now averaging 162.9 yards per game with 14 touchdowns.

With starter Cody Fajardo out, sophomore Devin Combs saw his first collegiate start on Saturday against UNLV and the game ended much like Combs' appearance last week against Wyoming - with a come-from-behind victory.
Combs completed 14-of-19 for 167 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. He also recorded the first 100-yard rushing game of his career with 111 yards on 19 carries, including his first career touchdown - a 2-yarder in the fourth quarter that put Nevada up 42-31 with just over two minutes to play.
After a rocky start, which included his first career pick in the second quarter, Combs settled down in the second half. He completed 9-of-11 and tossed both touchdowns in the final 30 minutes as he led Nevada back to the win.

With the come back from deficits of 21-0, 28-7 and 31-14 (at halftime), the Wolf Pack recorded its third comeback win of the season and the 39th come-from-behind win in the Hall of Fame career of head coach Chris Ault. Nevada now has back-to-back-to-back second-half comeback victories this season. A week after coming back from a 21-20 deficit to Texas State to win, the Wolf Pack erased a 28-21 hole against Wyoming to beat the Cowboys.
Nevada coach Chris Ault now has 39 come-from-behind wins in his Hall of Fame career, including five since the start of the 2011 season. Ault, of course, was the first to engineer the greatest comeback in the history of the NCAA when he guided the Pack back from a 35-point deficit against Weber State in 1991.

Whatever adjustments the Wolf Pack defense made at halftime, they certainly changed the tide of the game in the second half. At halftime, UNLV had 31 points, 325 yards of total offense and 175 yards on the ground.
In the second half, Nevada allowed just 111 yards of total offense and just 18 rushing yards. Of those 111 yards, UNLV got 80 on its final drive of the game as the Rebels had just 31 yards on its first four drives of the half.

Senior tight end Zach Sudfeld entered his sixth year at Nevada without having ever scored a touchdown. Now he has seven in his last six games.
Sudfeld caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Devin Combs in the fourth quarter - a score that gave Nevada its first lead of the game at 35-31. He finished with three catches for 28 yards. The touchdown was important but just as pivotal was his play on Nevada's following drive. Stefphon Jefferson fumbled around the Pack 40 and the ball was batted down the field. Sudfeld never gave up on the play and recovered on the Rebel 39 to preserve possession.

One of the biggest keys for the Wolf Pack's comeback victory was the way the Nevada offense dominated control of the ball in the final 30 minutes. In the first half, UNLV held a five-minute advantage in time of possession, 17:31-12:29. In the second half, Nevada held the ball with an eight-minute advantage and finished the game ahead, 31:40-28:20. That includes holding the ball for more than 10 minutes in the fourth quarter alone as UNLV ran just 22 plays in the second half.

EXTRA POINTS:  Nevada won the toss and deferred to the second half ... UNLV received the opening kickoff and Nevada defended the north goal to start the game ... Nevada opened in a double-tight end set (Sudfeld and Arendse) with Richy Turner and Kendall Brock starting at receiver ... It was Brock's first start of the season ... Chris Barker started his 47th straight game, all 47 games of his career ... For the first time in 2012, Nevada started the same combination in the secondary as the previous week (Wooten, Johnson, Williams and Garrett) ... Brandon Wimberly caught a 19-yard pass in the first half to extend his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 34 - all 34 games of his career ... Only four Nevada players caught a pass in the game ... Nevada tight end Zach Sudfeld is the only player in the history of the series to be involved in six victories.

OF NOTE: Monday's Quarterback Club Luncheon will be held at the Pinocchio's on South Virginia in Reno.

UP NEXT: Nevada returns home to Mackay Stadium where it will play host to San Diego State on Saturday, Oct. 20 in a game that will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network. Kickoff for the game is set for 7:35 p.m. This will be the first meeting between the Pack and the Aztecs since 2004. The all-time series between the teams is tied at 2 with Nevada winning in 1945 and 1946 and SDSU taking home wins in 1995 and 2004.

Nevada leads 23-15. Home: 13-6; Road: 10-9
Oct. 8, 2011     W, 37-0 (Reno)
Oct. 2, 2010     W, 44-26 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 3, 2009     W, 63-28 (Reno)
Sept. 27, 2008     W, 49-27 (Las Vegas)
Sept. 29, 2007     W, 27-20 (Reno)
Sept. 30, 2006     W, 31-3 (Las Vegas)
Sept. 17, 2005     W, 22-14 (Reno)
Oct. 2, 2004     L, 13-48 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 4, 2003     L, 12-16 (Reno)
Oct. 5, 2002     L, 17-21 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 6, 2001     L, 12-27 (Reno)
Oct. 7, 2000     L, 7-38 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 2, 1999     W, 26-12 (Reno)
Oct. 3, 1998     W, 31-20 (Las Vegas)
Sept. 6, 1997     W, 31-14 (Reno)
Oct. 5, 1996     W, 54-17 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 28, 1995     W, 55-32 (Reno)
Nov. 19, 1994     L, 27-32 (Las Vegas)
Oct. 2, 1993     W, 49-14 (Reno)
Oct. 17, 1992     W, 14-10 (Las Vegas)
Sept. 7, 1991     W, 50-8 (Reno)
Oct. 20, 1990     W, 26-14 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 11, 1989     W, 45-7 (Reno)
Oct. 3, 1987     L, 19-24 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 16, 1985     W, 48-7 (Reno)
Sept. 3, 1983     L, 18-28 (Las Vegas)
Sept. 15, 1979     L, 21-26 (Reno)
Sept. 16, 1978    W, 23-14 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 19, 1977     L, 12-27 (Reno)
Nov. 20, 1976     L, 33-49 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 22, 1975     L, 7-45 (Reno)
Nov. 16, 1974     L, 7-28 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 17, 1973     W, 19-3 (Reno)
Nov. 18, 1972     W,41-13 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 20, 1971     L, 13-27 (Reno)
Nov. 21, 1970     L, 30-42 (Las Vegas)
Nov. 22, 1969     W, 30-28 (Reno)



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