Coming off a bye, Nevada returns home to face Hawaii
Nov. 7, 2011
Coming off a much-needed bye week, the Nevada football team is home for three of its final four games, starting Saturday night with a nationally televised showdown with preseason WAC favorite Hawaii … Nevada enters the game with a 15-game home winning streak at Mackay Stadium, which is tied for the third-longest in the country … The Wolf Pack is also seeking bowl eligibility for the seventh straight season … Nevada is the only team in the WAC that controls its own destiny in terms of winning an outright title … Nevada has won nine straight WAC games overall (last loss at Hawaii in 2010) and nine straight WAC home games (last loss vs. Boise State in 2008) … Nevada leads the WAC and is fifth nationally in total offense at 524.25 ypg … Nevada players lead the WAC in five different statistical categories … Nevada and Hawaii will continue their series next year when both schools join the Mountain West (Hawaii as a football-only member) … Nevada was picked third in the WAC in preseason voting by coaches and media, behind Hawaii and Fresno State … Nevada won the WAC Championship last year along with Boise State and Hawaii ... Nevada returns 14 starters (6/7/1) from last year’s 13-1 team and 31 overall letterwinners (15/15/1) ... Amongst the returners are four All-WAC players in 2010 in senior wideout Rishard Matthews, junior offensive lineman Chris Barker, senior linebacker James-Michael Johnson and senior cornerback Isaiah Frey.
LAST TIME THEY MET
HONOLULU (AP) - Bryant Moniz threw three touchdowns, Mana Silva intercepted a late pass and Hawaii held on to upset No. 19 Nevada 27-21 on Saturday night to spoil the Wolf Pack's perfect season.
The surging Warriors (5-2, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference) have won four straight to emerge as the top challenger to powerhouse Boise State for the WAC title.
Moniz threw two scoring passes to Kealoha Pilares in the first quarter and zipped an 11-yard TD strike to Royce Pollard with 5 1/2 minutes left. But Nevada answered with its own score to pull within six with 3:06 left, then recovered an onside kick.
With Nevada driving, the crowd in a frenzy and the clock winding down, Colin Kaepernick's pass was tipped into the hands of Silva to seal Hawaii's win. It was Kaepernick's second interception of the night. He also fumbled twice, both forced by Corey Parades.
Kaepernick's second fumble of the game erased a touchdown from the scoreboard. Kaepernick scrambled 10 yards to the right and tried to reach across the goal line. After a review, officials ruled that he fumbled into the end zone for a touchback.
Kaepernick was 14 of 26 for 159 yards and two TDs. He also carried the ball 11 times for 30 yards.
IN THE SERIES
Hawaii leads 8-7. Home: 4-1; Road: 3-7.
Oct. 16, 2010 L, 27-21 (Honolulu)
Oct. 31, 2009 W, 31-21 (Reno)
Oct. 25, 2008 L, 38-31 (Honolulu)
Nov. 16, 2007 L, 26-28 (Reno)
Oct. 7, 2006 L, 41-34 (Honolulu)
Nov. 5, 2005 W, 38-28 (Reno)
Oct. 9, 2004 L, 26-48 (Honolulu)
Nov. 15, 2003 W, 24-14 (Reno)
Oct. 12, 2002 L, 34-59 (Honolulu)
Sept. 22, 2001 W, 28-20 (Reno)
Nov. 11. 2000 L, 17-37 (Honolulu)
Nov. 23, 1968 L, 0-21 (Honolulu)
Dec. 17, 1948 W, 73-12 (Honolulu)
Dec. 7. 1946 W, 26-7 (Honolulu)
Dec. 25, 1920 W, 14-0 (Honolulu)
LAST TIME OUT
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Cody Fajardo scored four rushing touchdowns and passed for 283 yards, Lampford Mark added 185 yards and another score on the ground, and Nevada rolled up 683 yards of total offense Saturday in a 48-34 win over New Mexico State.
Stefphon Jefferson also had two rushing scores for the Wolf Pack (5-3, 3-0 Western Athletic Conference), who came in ranked 10th in the nation in both rushing and total offense. They kept it up against the Aggies (3-5, 1-3), piling up 374 more yards on the ground.
Matt Christian led New Mexico State with 432 yards passing and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times. He also had a rushing touchdown, as did Kenny Turner, who failed to reach 100 yards rushing for the first time in five games.
NMSU's Taveon Rogers led all receivers with seven catches, 203 yards and two scores. Todd Lee caught Christian's other touchdown pass.
With the win over New Mexico State, Nevada saw its record improve to 5-3 on the year … The win moved Nevada’s all-time record to 508-438-33 and Hall of Fame Coach Chris Ault saw his record move to 224-100-1 … Nevada improved its lead in the all-time series against New Mexico State to 13-2 as Nevada has won three straight in the series and has Nevada lost in Las Cruces (7-0) … With Nevada moving to the Mountain West, the teams likely won’t meet again for a while … The Wolf Pack rushed for a season high 374 yards on the ground and seven touchdowns in the victory … That total included a career-high 185 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries for Lampford Mark … Mike Ball nearly hit the 100-yard mark with 93 yards on the ground. And quarterback Cody Fajardo had 60 yards and four touchdowns on the ground … Fajardo tallied 343 yards of total offense and four touchdowns and earned his first road win as a starter … Fajardo is now 4-0 as a starter … New Mexico won the opening coin toss and elected to receive while Nevada defended the south goal … Sophomore Sam Foster saw his first career start as the defensive end got the nod ahead of Albert Rosette … Chris Barker started his 35th consecutive game – all 35 games of his career … Rishard Matthews has caught a pass in all 22 games of his career … Nevada had three interceptions, which is a season high … The Wolf Pack also had six sacks, also a season high.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING!
Nevada enters this game with a handful of noteworthy streaks. In addition to four-straight wins overall (tied for 15th in the nation) and Cody Fajardo’s four-game win streak as a starting quarterback (all four starts of his career) Nevada has the following intact entering this week:
HOME WIN STREAK: With the 45-38 win over Fresno State, Nevada now has a 15-game winning streak at Mackay Stadium. That streak is tied for the third-longest active streak in the country behind Boise State (35 games) and Oregon (21 games). Nevada is 3-0 this year at home and the Wolf Pack went 7-0 at Mackay in 2010. Nevada has not lost a game at Mackay Stadium since a 31-21 loss to Missouri on Sept. 25, 2009. The Pack won all five home games at Mackay after that loss to Missouri in 2009.
WAC WIN STREAK: Nevada’s win over New Mexico State two weeks ago gave the Wolf Pack its ninth straight win in Western Athletic Conference play. The Wolf Pack has won all three WAC games this year (at San Jose State and vs. Fresno State were the others) and has not lost a WAC game since a 27-21 defeat at Hawaii last season.
HOME WAC WIN STREAK: Nevada has not lost a Western Athletic Conference home game since Nov. 22, 2008 when the Pack fell to Boise State, 41-34. That is a stretch of nine straight WAC home victories for the Pack.
Nevada head coach Chris Ault has well over 200 wins in his Hall of Fame career three dozen of those victories have been comeback victories in the last 30 minutes of games. Ault entered this year with 34 come-from-behind wins and entering this week’s game against Hawaii, Ault and the Wolf Pack are riding back-to-back comeback wins that give the coach 36 for his career.
On Oct. 22 against Fresno State, Nevada trailed 24-23 in the third quarterback when Fresno State scored on its opening drive of the half. Nevada took the lead for good when Bubba Boudreaux recovered a fumbled punt return in the end zone and the Pack never looked back en route to the 45-38 win.
On Oct. 29 at New Mexico State, Nevada trailed going into the second half, 27-20. But the Wolf Pack scored the first three touchdowns of the second half to take control of the game as Nevada would go on to win 48-34.
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.
Nevada Game Notes