Nevada Football: Wolf Pack Outlasts San Jose State in 41-38 Thriller
Brandon Talton was the hero once again as his 40 yard field goal at the end of the game propelled the Wolf Pack over San Jose State
Late Field Goal From Nevada Lifts Wolf Pack over Spartans 41-38
For the second time this season, freshman place kicker Brandon Talton kicked the Nevada Wolf Pack into victory in the final seconds of a close contest.
This time with Nevada taking on San Jose State,Talton was clutch once again as he nailed a 40 yard field goal to lift the Wolf Pack to victory over the Spartans 41-38 on Saturday afternoon. It was a game that saw Nevada build up a 24-3 lead on San Jose State but quarterback Josh Love (23 of 45, 405 yards and three touchdowns) and the Spartans offense erased that deficit and looked primed to take over the lead and give Nevada back to back losses at home.
But the Wolf Pack got big plays from running back Toa Taua and some key completions late in the game from quarterback Malik Henry and Nevada was able to come away from the contest with a victory. The Wolf Pack, two weeks removed from an absolute beatdown against Hawaii, was able to muster up enough mental toughness to outlast San Jose State on Saturday.
Running back Toa Taua was the workhorse that Nevada needed on Saturday as he carried the ball 34 times and ran for 160 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. Malik Henry in his first FBS start completed 22 of 37 passes for 352 yards while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions.
Early in the game, it looked like the Wolf Pack were going to blow out the Spartans. After a pair of rushing touchdowns from Devonte Lee and Nevada safety Austin Arnold returning an intercepted Josh Love pass 40 yards for a touchdown, Nevada was up 24-3. It was then that the Spartans comeback started late in the first half when quarterback Josh Love connected with wide receiver Isaiah Hamilton for a 37 yard touchdown to cut Nevada’s lead to 24-10 at the half.
The second half started with a bang when on Nevada’s first possession of the third quarter, Malik Henry connected with Romeo Doubs on a 75 yard touchdown pass to extend Nevada’s lead to 31-10. The Spartans then answered with a quick score of their own when Josh Love connected with received Bailey Gaither on a 60 yard touchdown pass to make it 31-17 Nevada.
Later on in the third quarter, after Nevada turned the ball over when Malik Henry threw an interception, the Spartans marched down the field and scored on a one yard touchdown run by running back DeJon Parker to cut the Wolf Pack lead to 31-24.
In the fourth quarter after the Wolf Pack went three and out on offense, they punted the ball to San Jose State but Spartans return man Brandon Ezell muffed the punt and Nevada’s Ben Putman recovered the ball to give Nevada the ball back on offense.
Nevada looked like they were going to extend the lead but Toa Taua fumbled the ball near the end zone and San Jose State’s Nehemiah Shelton recovered the ball for the Spartans. San Jose State marched down the field on a 10 play, 80 yard scoring drive that ended when Josh Love connected with receiver Tre Walker for a 20 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 31-31.
Nevada then responded with a lengthy scoring drive of their own as they went on an 11 play, 75 yard scoring drive that was capped off by a one yard touchdown by Toa Taua to put Nevada up 38-31.
But San Jose State came right back and scored on another one yard touchdown run by DeJon Parker to tie the game at 38-38. On Nevada’s first play of their final drive of the game, Toa Taua broke off a 27 yard run to put them inside Spartans territory. A pair of Devonte Lee runs placed the Wolf Pack in field goal range and six plays later with three second on the clock Talton connected on a 40 yard field goal to give the Wolf Pack the win with a score of 41-38.
With this hard fought victory over San Jose State, Nevada improves their record to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.Next up for Nevada is a trip to Logan, Utah where they will take on the Utah State Aggies next Saturday night.