Nevada allowed a San Diego State program record 474 rushing yards on Saturday night at Mackay Stadium and came up short for the sixth time in seven games, 46-16.
The loss eliminated the Wolf Pack (3-7, 1-5) from bowl eligibility. The team played 10 bowl games in 11 seasons before this year. It will be the second time in coach Brian Polian’s four-year tenure the Pack will not play a postseason game.
The big concern for Nevada’s run defense going in was senior running back Donnel Pumphrey, who will receive Heisman votes next month. Pumphrey ran for 198 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries. He wasn’t the team leader. That honor instead went to his backup, Rashaad Penny. Penney had touchdown runs of 40 and 72 yards, finishing with 208 yards and the two touchdowns on just 10 touches.
San Diego State (9-1, 6-0) averaged 10.8 yards per carry and finished with 620 total yards, compared to Nevada’s 366.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Ty Gangi completed 21-of-37 passes for 276 yards (24 shy of a third straight 300-yard game) in his second career start for the Pack. He threw a pair of touchdowns and was picked off three times by the stout Aztec secondary. Gangi has now thrown six interceptions on the season.
James Butler was held to 41 yards on 10 carries. Nevada finished with 90 yards rushing as a team.
The game was tied at seven all midway through the first before the Aztecs blew it open with 25 straight points.
Nevada finishes the home slate Saturday at Mackay Stadium against a Utah State team going through struggles of its own. The Aggies (3-7, 1-6) have also lost six of their last seven and will be fresh off a 24-21 home loss to New Mexico.
-Junior RB James Butler went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season. This is the second straight season he’s reached that threshold. It is the 33rd time a Nevada player has rushed for 1,000 yards in a single season. He is the 10th player to rush for 1,000 yards in a single season at least two times.
-Junior WR Wyatt Demps now has eight touchdown receptions on the year, the most by a Nevada player in a season since Brandon Wimberly had eight in 2013.
-Sophomore FS Asauni Rufus’ sack on 3rd-and-goal with SDSU lined up on its 1-yard line, was the first of his career.
-Rufus also blocked an extra point attempt in the second quarter. It was the first blocked extra point by a Nevada defender since Rykeem Yates vs. Boise State on Oct. 4, 2014.
-The Wolf Pack blocked two extra points in the game, the second one by redshirt freshman Gabe Sewell. EJ Muhammad returned the block for two points to get the gap to 32-9 with 4:43 left in the third quarter.
-Muhammad also stripped SDSU running back Rashaad Penny of the ball in the fourth quarter, the first fumble forced of his career. Senior LB Alex Bertrando recovered the ball for the third time in his career and first time this season.
-Redshirt freshman WR Victor Gonzalez caught a pass on third down in the fourth quarter to keep a Nevada drive alive. It was a 39-yard reception and his first catch since the season opener against Cal Poly.
-Senior TE Jarred Gipson set a season high in receptions with seven, one shy of his career-high.
-Sophomore WR Andrew Celis set a career-high in receptions with four.
-Nevada had accumulated 110 passing yards before San Diego State registered its first pass completion of the game in the second quarter.
-With his first kickoff return of the game, which went for 23 yards, senior CB Elijah Mitchell passed Paul Williams for third in career kickoff return yards at Nevada.
-Sophomore QB Ty Gangi was 6-of-7 passing for 88 yards and a touchdown on Nevada’s opening drive.
-Nevada converted on its first four third downs of the game, before being stopped in the first minute of the second quarter.
-Senior WR Jerico Richardson’s streak of 28 consecutive games with a reception came to an end.
-Nevada is now 3-6 all-time against San Diego State.