Nov. 17, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Nevada's Cody Fajardo threw three touchdown passes and ran for a career-high 186 yards Saturday to help the Wolf Pack beat New Mexico 31-24 and end a three-game losing streak.
Fajardo hit Brandon Wimberly from 2 yards out for what proved to be the winning score with 4 minutes left in the third quarter for Nevada (7-4, 4-3 Mountain West).
The Lobos (4-8, 1-6), who have lost five straight, got 72 rushing yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Cole Gautsche, but he didn't complete any passes.
New Mexico had a chance to tie it late in the fourth quarter after Dallas Bollema intercepted Fajardo and returned it 37 yards to the Nevada 14. But on third-and-7 from the 11, Jordan Hanson recovered a Crusoe Gongbay fumble with 4:17 left and the Wolf Pack ran out the clock with four first downs.
Nevada vs. New Mexico
Nov. 17, 2012
With the win over New Mexico, Nevada moved to 517-445-33 all-time and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record go to 233-107-1 … Nevada is now 7-4 overall on the season and 4-3 in its first season in the Mountain West Conference … The Wolf Pack snapped it’s three-game losing streak … Nevada won for the second time in a row over New Mexico and evened the all-time series at 2-2-1.
FAJARDO RUNS WILD
Nevada sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo accounted for 319 yards of total offense and threw for three touchdowns in the win over New Mexico. Fajardo, who lived in Albquerque as a youngster, set a career high with 186 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Through the air, the sophomore completed 18-of-27 for three scores with one interception.
He hit tight end Stephen Jeffers from a yard out on a fourth-and-goal play in the second quarter for his first touchdown pass of the game. Later in the second quarter and on a fourth-and-1 play inside the UNM 5, Fajardo hit Wimberly on a fade route for the second TD. Fajardo and Wimberly connected again in the third quarter on the same route, this time on third-and-goal from the 3.
The sophomore had a number of big runs in the game, including
- A 12-yarder on third-and-3 on Nevada’s first scoring drive.
- A 36-yarder to the UNM 20 in the first half.
- A 42-yarder on third-and-1 on Nevada’s second scoring drive.
- A 26-yarder into UNM territory on Nevada’s first scoring drive of the second half.
- A 25-yard run on third-and-8 and a 6-yard run on third-and-1 on what proved to be Nevada’s game-winning scoring drive in the third quarter.
Fajardo went over the 4,000-yard mark in career passing as he now has 4,034 yards in less than two seasons at Nevada.
Less than a month after struggling against Air Force’s triple option, the Nevada defense had a few difficulties in the first half against the Lobos’ version on Saturday. New Mexico had 216 yards – all on the ground – and 17 points at halftime.
But Nevada’s D got after the Lobos in the second half. The Wolf Pack yielded just one score and 136 yards in the final 30 minutes. Take away one play – a 76-yard run by Kasey Carrier in which Khalid Wooten caught Carrier from behind – and Nevada allowed a mere 60 yards in the second half.
Albert Rosette led the way with 15 tackles, the second-highest single-game mark of his career. On one UNM drive in the fourth quarter, Rosette made the tackle on five straight plays, including a stop for no gain on fourth-and-1 as Nevada’s D blanked the Lobos in the final 15 minutes to secure the win.
BARKER BREAKS SCHOOL RECORD
Senior guard Chris Barker made his 51st career start on Saturday against New Mexico and broke the school record for most career starts. He entered the game tied at 50 with James-Michael Johnson, who set the record last year.
Barker started the first game of his career at Notre Dame to open the 2009 season and has not left the starting lineup since – a streak of 51 straight games that is the longest active streak in the nation.
WIM EXTENDS STREAK, SCORES TWICE
With a 4-yard reception in the first half, Brandon Wimberly extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 38 – all 38 games of his career. The streak is the sixth-longest active streak in the nation.
Wimberly collected two more touchdowns in the game to give him four for the season. It was his second multi-touchdown game of the year. In the first half, Wimberly caught a fade route in the corner of the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 2. In the second, he caught what proved to be the game winner with a 2-yard reception in the other corner on a third-and-1 play from the 3.
He finished the game with six catches for 34 yards.
JEFFERSON MOVES UP RUSHING LISTS
With 128 rushing yards on 23 carries, Doak Walker Award semifinalist Stefphon Jefferson moved up two spots on Nevada’s single-season rushing list. He is now fifth in school history with 1,564 yards. He passed Hall of Famer Frank Hawkins (1978) and Vai Taua (2008) with his performance on Saturday.
Jefferson also moved up on the Mountain West’s single-season rushing list, as he started the day ninth in history and moving up to fourth. Along the way, he passed:
San Diego State’s Larry Ned (2001); SDSU’s Ronnie Hillman (2010); Air Force’s Chad Hall (2007); Colorado State’s Gartrell Johnson (2008); and New Mexico’s DonTrell Moore (2003).
JEFFERSON TIES TD MARK
With a 1-yard plunge in the first half, Stefphon Jefferson tied the school’s single-season rushing record of 20 touchdowns that was held by all-time great Colin Kaepernick (2010).
The score marked the 21st overall TD of the season for Jefferson (he has one receiving score) and he’s one more TD away from tying the overall touchdowns record of 22 held by Vai Taua (2010).
New Mexico won the toss and elected to receive … Nevada kicked off and defended the north … Redshirt freshman Sebastian Tretola started his fourth straight game ahead of the injured Alex Pinto … Senior Ty Thompson started at one of the safety spots ahead of the injured Marlon Johnson … Nevada has scored at least 31 points in all 11 games this year … Sophomore kicker Colin Ditsworth connected on his first career field goal – a 23-yarder in the third quarter … Nevada did not allow any passing yards as New Mexico was 0-for-2 on its two passing attempts … Nevada finished the season 5-1 on the road.