Nevada falls short to No. 16 Fresno State, 41-23
Nov. 03, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - The game couldn't have gotten off to a much better start for Nevada when Kendall Brock ran for an opening drive touchdown in his first collegiate game in his hometown.
Then the Wolf Pack had to deal with Derek Carr and the Fresno State offense.
"We have to be realistic and know that we didn't execute well enough on both sides of the ball to beat a top-16 opponent," coach Brian Polian said. "When we have opportunities to make plays on offense and defense, we have to make them in order to beat a top-20 team. There is a small margin to beat a team like this."
Carr threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the way for the Bulldogs (8-0, 5-0 Mountain West).
Brock, a Fresno native who grew up going to games here, scored on a 43-yard run on the opening possession for the Wolf Pack (3-6, 2-4).
"That was great," Brock said. "I wanted that to be my first big run here in Fresno. The fans were heckling us, but that's OK, that's what they do here. I was just glad to get that score."
Cody Fajardo threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns as Nevada made it competitive in the second half before faltering late.
"There are no moral victories but we did fight our tails off in the second half," Polian said. "This is where we are. It doesn't matter how we got here, it only matters that we're here now."
The Wolf Pack fought back from a 24-7 halftime deficit with two scores in the third quarter, getting a field goal from Brent Zuzo and then a touchdown after going 60 yards in two plays following a fourth-down stop. Fajardo ran 47 yards on the first play and then threw a 13-yard TD pass to Brandon Wimberly. The extra point was blocked by Nikko Motta, keeping the score 24-16 heading into the fourth.
The teams traded touchdown passes early in the fourth quarter with Carr and Harper connecting on a 32-yarder for the Bulldogs. The Wolf Pack answered with a 32-yarder from Fajardo to Hassan Henderson that made it 31-23 after Charles Garrett ripped the ball out of Davante Adams' hands for a fumble.
Nevada won the coin toss and opted to take the ball to start the game and it paid off when Brock capped the opening drive with a burst up the middle that made it 7-0.
The Wolf Pack managed just 68 yards and two first downs the rest of the first half and trailed 24-7.