The Wolf Pack Offense Failed To Generate Consistent Offense As They Fell To Fresno State 21-3
The Wolf Pack defense played well enough but could not overcome a putrid offense as Nevada fell to Fresno State.
Wolf Pack Doomed By Poor Offense, Fall to Fresno State 21-3
Going into this season the sentiment surrounding the Nevada Wolf Pack was that the offense would put up points with the best of them while the defense was still a work in progress. Tonight, in the friendly confines of Mackey Stadium, it was the Wolf Pack defense that had a solid performance while the Wolf Pack offense sputtered.
Without the services of starting quarterback Ty Gangi, who was out with an injury, the Wolf Pack offensive attack was anemic as they fell to the visiting Fresno State Bulldogs 21-3. It was the first time since 2014 that Nevada failed to score a touchdown.
The Wolf Pack defense did play well but could only hold out for so long as the Wolf Pack offense led by junior quarterback Christian Solano sputtered at critical moments despite tallying up 327 yards of total offense compared the Fresno State racking up only 271 yards of total offense.
Solano’s three interceptions doomed the Wolf Pack as the offense struggled to get anything going on offense tonight despite the Nevada defense playing well aside from giving up the three touchdowns to Fresno State.
After a scoreless first quarter, Fresno State got on the board first when Bulldogs quarterback Marcus McMaryion connected with running back Ronnie Rivers for a 19-yard touchdown pass to give Fresno State a 7-0 lead. Nevada got on the board when a Ramiz Ahmed connected on a 41-yard field goal to cut Fresno State’s lead to 7-3.
Late in the first half, the teams exchanged turnovers. First, it was the Wolf Pack who turned the ball over when Christian Solano’s pass was intercepted by Bulldogs safety Anthoula Kelly. One play later, it was the Bulldogs who turned the ball over. McMaryion’s pass to running back Jamire Jordan was completed but Jordan fumbled the ball as Gabriel Sewell recovered the ball for Nevada.
The Wolf Pack could not cash in on the turnover as an impressive Nevada drive ended with another Solano interception which ended the first half.
In the third quarter, Fresno State broke through with a big play as McMaryion took advantage of a busted coverage by the Wolf Pack secondary and connected with tight end Jared Rice for a nice 69-yard pass reception. Four plays later on a 4th &1 at the Nevada two-yard line, Fresno State went for it and scored when running back Ronnie Rivers took it to the endzone to give the Bulldogs a 14-3 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Nevada was threating to score as they were moving the ball well using Solano in some read option plays. It seemed like Nevada’s offense was finally waking up, but the Wolf Pack offense yet again failed to make anything happen.
Driving deep into Fresno State territory, Solano threw his third interception of the game that took out any moment the Wolf Pack offense had going late in the game. After the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack went three and out on their next drives, Fresno State had the ball and closed the door on the game for good when McMaryion connected with KeeSean Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown pass to put the Bulldogs up 21-3 thus ending the game for Nevada.
The Wolf Pack defense stepped up their game and performed well only to see their offense flame out and turn the ball over against a talented Fresno State team. A defense that is playing well can only do so much if the offense is faltering and tonight in Reno was an example of a good defense being compromised by bad offense.
For the Wolf Pack, they will hope if Gangi can overcome his thigh contusion injury and be able to play next week. As the Nevada Wolf Pack hosts the Boise State Broncos next Saturday night.