Nevada Football: Wolf Pack Win In Thrilling Come From Behind Fashion Over Purdue 34-31
Wolf Pack kicker Brandon Talton’s 56 yard field goal capped off Nevada’s incredible comeback over Purdue.
Talton’s Walk-Off 56 Yard Field Goal Propels Nevada’s 34-31 Upset Victory Over Purdue
If you missed the Nevada-Purdue game last night well I have just one thing to say, you really really really missed out on a wild finish in Reno.
The Nevada Wolf Pack came back from a 24-7 deficit to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers 34-31 on Friday night. The game ended when walk-on freshman kicker Brandon Talton made a 56-yard field goal to complete the incredible comeback in Reno in front of 20,144 fans at Mackay Stadium.
Talton, whose previous career long field goal was 47 yards back in high school, was named the starting kicker Friday morning by Wolf Pack head coach Jay Norvell and was an unknown entity to even his own teammates. “ When I first met him, I didn’t know who the kicker was” Elijah Cooks said after the game.
Now after Talton’s 56-yard game-winner secured the upset victory over Purdue, Cooks has a completely different opinion of the freshman kicker from Vacaville, California. “Now I love him”, Cooks said after the game “I love him, a freshman making a 56-yard field goal against a Big 10 team, that’s legendary. He just became a legend at the University of Nevada in just one game”
Talton is now apart of Nevada football lore after that game-winner and after the game in the locker room Coach Norvell rewarded Talton with a scholarship. “It sounds like a story,” Talton said after the game, “it sounds like someone made it up.”
Everything that transpired between the Wolf Pack and the Boilermakers sounds like a story to be honest. Nevada forced five turnovers and did not turn the ball over once in the contest as that was a major key in Nevada springing the upset of the Boilermakers. Purdue got it started on their first drive when Boilermaker quarterback Elijah Sindelar connects with tight end Brycen Hopkins for a two-yard touchdown to put Purdue up 7-0. Purdue then tacked on a 32 yard field goal by JD Dellinger to go up 10-0.
After Nevada’s EJ Muhammad forced a fumble and the Wolf Pack recovered, Nevada finally got on the scoreboard when on 4th and 7, Carson Strong finds tight end Dominic Christian for a 38 yard touchdown to cut the Purdue lead to 10-7.
But Purdue responded right back when Sindelar and wide receiver Jackson Anthrop connected on a 38 yard touchdown pass to extend the Boilermaker’s lead to 17-7. Late in the second half, Sindelar and Rondale Moore hooked up for a 39 yard touchdown pass and Purdue was up 24-7 after 30 minutes of football.
In the second half, Purdue muffed a punt when Zander Horvath bumped into Rondale Moore on the punt return and Nevada recovered the punt. A few plays later, Strong connected with Elijah Cooks for a 21-yard touchdown pass to cut the Boilermaker lead to 24-14. But Purdue responded quickly when Sindelar connected with wide receiver David Bell for a 49-yard touchdown pass to extend Purdue’s lead to 31-14.
Late in the third quarter, Rondale Moore for Purdue muffed another punt that the Wolf Pack recovered and Nevada was able to convert that turnover into points when Spencer Petit converted a 34-yard field goal to cut the Purdue lead to 31-17.
Late in the fourth quarter the Nevada comeback was picking up some serious steam when Toa Taua scored on a seven-yard touchdown for Nevada to cut the Boilermakers lead to 31-24. After Nevada forced another Purdue punt, Nevada had the ball on offense and facing a fourth and seven, Carson Strong connects with Romeo Doubs for a 23 yard pass play to extend the drive.
Three plays later, Strong found Elijah Cooks in the end zone for a 20 yard pass play to tie the game up at 31. Purdue got the ball back and two plays into their drive, Sindelar’s pass was intercepted by Daniel Brown for Brown’s second interception of the night. The Wolf Pack took six plays late in the game to set up Talton’s 56-yard field goal to give the Wolf Pack the comeback victory.
For all the talk about Talton’s incredible game winner, Nevada does not win this game without the great play of redshirt freshman Carson Strong. Strong who before Friday night only threw one collegiate pass in his career, shook off the slow start and guided this Wolf Pack offense in a positive direction. Strong finished the evening completing 30 of 51 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns and zero interceptions and his performance earned rave reviews from his head coach.
“Carson Strong is a clear-eyed quarterback”, Coach Norvell said after the game. “He can see coverages. He knows where his routes are and where his checkdowns are”. Norvell also went on to say about Strong that “he put this team on his back and fought through at the end when we needed the will to win.”
For Nevada, they will return to action next Saturday as they will travel to Eugene, Oregon to take on the No.11 Oregon Ducks