Nevada improved to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in Mountain West play with a 30-16 win at Fresno State on Thursday night. It is the first time this season the Wolf Pack has won consecutive games. Fresno State fell to 2-7 overall and 1-5 in the MW.
The Pack snapped a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs with its first win in the series since Oct. 22, 2011.
JACKSON REACHES PRESTIGIOUS MILESTONE
Senior running back Don Jackson became the 15th player in program history to reach 2,000 career rushing yards. Jackson ran 21 times for 140 yards (6.7 yards per carry). In 31 career games with the Wolf Pack, Jackson boasts 457 carries, 2,106 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns.
Jackson’s performance on Thursday marked his fourth 100-yard rushing game of his season and the ninth of his career. Jackson reached the 2,000-yard milestone with a nine-yard rush in the third quarter.
BABER TALLIES MOST PICKS IN A GAME SINCE 1974
True freshman Dameon Baber intercepted three passes and became the first Nevada player to intercept three passes in a single game since Greg Grouwinkel picked off four against Portland State in 1974. His three interceptions also matched a MW record as he became the ninth player in conference history and the second this season to tally three interceptions in a single game. Baber is one of seven players in FBS this season with three interceptions in a single game. He now ranks tied for first in the MW with San Diego State’s Damontae Kazee and tied for third in FBS with six interceptions this season.
All of Baber’s interceptions on Thursday night came in the fourth quarter.
DEFENSE PITCHES SECOND HALF SHUTOUT
Nevada shut out its opponent in the second half for the first time since Nov. 1, 2014 in a 30-14 victory over San Diego State at Mackay Stadium. The Wolf Pack defense has allowed just one touchdown in the second half in the past five games. In that stretch, Nevada’s defense has surrendered just 13 points total – a point total that excludes two defensive touchdowns that was allowed by Nevada’s offense.
HENDERSON TALLIES SEASON-HIGH IN RECEIVING YARDS
In the win, junior wide receiver Hasaan Henderson eclipsed 100 yards receiving for the second time this season and for the fourth time in his career. Henderson caught five passes for a season-best 136 yards and one touchdown. He caught a 73-yard touchdown pass – the longest passing play of the season – to put Nevada in front 14-3 with 9:02 left in the second quarter.
Jackson and sophomore running back James Butler both eclipsed 100 yards rushing in the same game for the third time this season and for the fifth time in the past two years. Entering the game, Jackson and Butler were one of three rushing tandems in the nation that each average over 83 rushing yards per game on the ground. Butler rushed 18 times for 122 yards with one touchdown (6.8 yards per carry) in his fifth 100-yard game of the season. The duo is now averaging a combined 188 rushing yards per game on the season (Butler, 97.2; Jackson, 90.8). Nevada is 5-0 when both Jackson and Butler reach 100 yards rushing in the same game.
DOMINANT RUSHING DISPLAY IN SECOND HALF LIFTS PACK
The Wolf Pack’s ground game was held in check in the first half, as Nevada had just 25 yards on 15 carries and 1.6 yards per carry. The Pack then ran 35 times for 267 yards and 7.6 yards per carry in the second half.
SECOND HALF SUPERLATIVES
Nevada out-scored Fresno State 13-0 in the second half with a 335-73 advantage in total yards. The Wolf Pack rushed for 185 yards in the fourth quarter with a 185-65 advantage in total yards. Nevada scored in 3-of-5 drives in the second half while forcing Fresno State into two punts and three interceptions in five second half drives.
SCOOP AND SCORE
The Wolf Pack defense got the team off on the right foot with a defensive touchdown on the first drive of the game. Senior defensive end Ian Seau tallied a forced fumble for the second straight game, and senior linebacker Matthew Lyons recovered and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. It was Nevada’s first defensive touchdown since senior defensive end Lenny Jones returned a pick 32 yards for a score at UNLV on Nov. 29, 2014.
ZUZO GOES 3-OF-3 FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
Junior kicker Brent Zuzo went 3-of-3 and matched career-high marks in field goals (3) and total points (12) for the second-straight game. Zuzo split the uprights from 47, 30 and 25 yards in the victory to improve to 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) on the season and 41-of-49 (83.7 percent) for his career. Entering the week, Zuzo ranked tied for seventh in FBS in season field goal percentage and 10th in FBS in career field goal percentage.
STEWART TALLIES 241 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE
Junior quarterback Tyler Stewart completed 12-of-17 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 35 yards in the win. Stewart set a career-high with 17.2 yards per completion. He eclipsed 200 yards passing for the fourth time this season and for the fifth time in his career.