Ohio 30, Nevada 21: Wolf Pack Rally Was Too Little Too Late
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl goes to Ohio
Wolf Pack’s poor first half dooms them.
The Nevada Wolf Pack season was close to ending the year on a high note with a fourth quarter rally but in the end, the Wolf Pack fell to Ohio 30-21 win in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Albertsons Stadium.
The Nevada defense struggled throughout the game and that is why the found them down 21 heading into the final quarter. It was the Ohio running game that took advantage of the Wolf Pack being down four starters. That ground game had 285 yards on 5.8 yards per carry and three touchdowns and that is the majority of the damage that the Bobcats had against Nevada.
The Wolf Pack’s offense missed a lot of early chances with quarterback Carson Strong overthrowing players and maybe the game would have been different had he connected on some of those passes. He did all he could to help win the game by passing for 402 yards and a touchdown on 31 of 49; most if it came in the fourth quarter as he had 185 yards passing and a touchdown.
Heading into the final frame, the Bobcats led 30-9 and it seemed as if the Wolf Pack would be held out of the end zone but Nevada flipped a switch to score a pair of touchdowns, but missed a two-point attempt and had an extra point block to score 12 points in the final frame.
The comeback came when the Nevada defense forced a pair fumbles and led to those touchdowns each time but those missed extra points were an issue as was the ill-fated trick play at the Bobcats 6-yard line.
To make things worse, the Wolf Pack got the ball back and moved all the way to the 9-yard line of Ohio and still down now. Down nine points, instead of kicking a field goal to make it six, Nevada went for a touchdown to make it within a field goal game but the pass play came up short.
Not many were happy with this play calling in the red zone..
So, to recap the fourth quarter which did see the comeback but it was not without its issues.
Who knows why Norvell or his offensive staff decided to run a trick play, go for two points as early as they did (at least that one made some sense) and then go for it on 4th and goal but at the 9-yard line while down nine. Kicking that field goal would make it a six-point game.
The likely logic behind Norvell going for the points is because if they get the score and then recover the onside kick, a game-winning field goal means only a mininmal amount of yards would be needed for Brandon Talton who drilled a 51-yarder on the first possession of the game.
However, it was nine yards needed for a score which is not as easy as needing one or two yards for a touchdown. Everyone will second guess Norvell but it seems unanimous that kicking the field goal to get within six was the right call.
The Wolf Pack ended the season 7-6, including a 4-4 mark in the Mountain West. Nevada is now 6-11 all-time in bowl games.