Sept. 11, 2012
Coming off a heartbreaking 32-31 loss to USF, the Nevada football team rebounds to play Northwestern State on Saturday at Mackay Stadium … This will mark Nevada’s only game this year against an FCS opponent … The Wolf Pack and Demons have played twice before, with Nevada winning in 1988 and 1991 … The game will not be televised but a PPV audio/video stream is available at NevadaWolfPack.com and via the Nevada app on Droid mobile devices (new IOS app coming soon) … Nevada is 39-11 at Mackay Stadium since head coach Chris Ault returned to the sidelines in 2004, which includes a 17-3 mark since the start of the 2009 season … Nevada has the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week in sophomore quarterback Cody Fajardo, who tallied 405 yards of total offense and accounted for three touchdowns in a losing effort against USF last week … Nevada players have won both of the league’s offensive awards so far this season as junior running back Stefphon Jefferson earned the honor after the Pack’s win at Cal … Nevada was picked second in the Mountain West in preseason voting by the league’s media, behind Boise State … The Wolf Pack had four players named to the Preseason All-MW team in offensive linemen Jeff Nady and Chris Barker, defensive tackle Jack Reynoso and safety Duke Williams ... Nevada returns 13 starters (6/6/1) from last year’s team that finished second in the WAC and went to the Sheraton Hawai`i Bowl and 31 overall letterwinners.
LAST TIME THEY MET
Nevada 45, Northwestern State 14 (Sept. 14, 1991): The Nevada football team scored 21 first-quarter points and went on to a 45-14 victory over Northwestern State in the second-ever meeting between the two teams.
Nevada improved to 2-0 on the year while Northwestern State fell to 1-1.
Quarterback Fred Gatlin completed 13-fo-26 for 150 yards and three touchdowns on the day and also ran for another score. He was intercepted three times in the game. Chris Vargas completed 8-of-10 with no picks for 78 yards and tossed a pair of second-half touchdown passes in the win.
IN THE SERIES
Nevada leads 2-0. Home: 2-0; Road: 0-0
Sept. 14, 1991 W, 45-14 (Reno)
Sept. 10,1988 W, 35-26 (Reno)
LAST TIME OUT
RENO, Nev. (AP) - B.J. Daniels passed for 363 yards and three touchdowns, including a 56-yard scoring toss to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left in the game Saturday, to help South Florida come from behind to beat Nevada 32-31.
Daniels also threw a 51-yard TD to Davis, who finished with 12 catches for 191 yards, and a 52-yard score to Chris Dunkley with 2:37 remaining. Lindsey Lamar added 85 yards rushing on just 8 carries for the Bulls (2-0), who trailed 21-6 in the opening quarter.
Cody Fajardo passed for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for 134 yards and two more scores, and Stefphon Jefferson ran for 135 yards for the Wolf Pack (1-1), who won their opener last week at Cal and had lost only once in their last 18 home games.
Nevada, which moved this season from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West, dominated early and led 21-13 at the half but Lamar ran 35 yards for a touchdown on South Florida's opening drive of the second half to cut the lead to 21-20.
Fajardo answered with passes of 23 yards to Brandon Wimberly and 19 yards to Kendall Brock before faking a hand off and rolling around the right side 14 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter to make it 28-20.
Allen Hardison's 35-yard field goal put Nevada ahead 31-20 with 8:16 left in the game before the Bulls of the Big East Conference mounted their comeback.
Daniels, who also ran for 53 yards on 11 carries, completed 22 of 40 passes on the game but was 10 of 17 for 227 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Demitri Murray added 60 yards rushing for the Bulls.
Fajardo, a sophomore, completed 27 of 38 passes on the game. He was practically flawless early, leading Nevada to touchdowns on its first three possessions, rushing for 88 yards in the first quarter and completing 9 of his first 10 pass attempts, including a 29-yard scoring toss to Joe Huber that put the Wolf Pack on top 21-6.
After a roughing the quarterback penalty against defensive end Brock Hekking, Demetri Murray got loose for an 18-yard run to set up his own 1-yard touchdown dive and Maikon Bonani converted the extra point this time to cut it to 21-13 9:20 before the half.
Nevada was driving again before Sam Barrington forced Jefferson to fumble and JaQuez Jenkins recovered on the USF 14. After Markus Smith was called for interfering with Sterling Griffin near midfield, Daniels completed a 57-yard pass to Terrence Mitchell at Nevada's 13, but the officials ruled Mitchell had stepped out of bounds before that and the Bulls had to punt again.
Griffin, who was USF's leading returning receiver from a year ago, later apparently injured his right knee and left the game at the half without a reception.
The Bulls also lost defensive lineman Elkino Watson late in the second quarter and defensive back Kayvon Webster in the third quarter to apparent knee injuries.
Fajardo would have had three rushing touchdowns but fumbled in the end zone at the end of a 26-yard run on Nevada's opening drive and tight end Zach Sudfeld recovered for his first career TD and a 7-0 lead less than 5 minutes into the game.