Burleson breaks school record, but comes up shy of NCAA record
RENO — Nate Burleson is now Nevada’s single season reception leader. He doesn’t care.
“Nate will tell you that he would trade all those catches for a winning season and a bowl game,” said quarterback Zack Threadgill, who passed for only 28 yards in the Wolf Pack’s 44-7 loss to Boise State on Saturday. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t get it. (But) I don’t think Nate’s going to lose sleep over it.”
Burleson came into the game needing only three catches to tie and four to break the school record of 134 catches held by Trevor Insley, who broke the previous record in 1999. Burleson finished the game with seven catches for 71 yards, giving him 138 for the season. Burleson broke the record with his 15-yard catch from backup QB Jeff Rowe in the fourth quarter.
“I wasn’t even worried about the record,” said Burleson, who missed the NCAA single season record by five catches. “I pretty much shrugged it off. It’s an honor to just be named in the same sentences as those guys. Records are made to be broken. I’m just glad I’m there for the time being. I can tell me kid about it so he doesn’t think I was a scrub.”
Burleson, a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver, leads the nation in receptions per game and receiving yards per game. Still, a win in what may be his final game at Nevada, would’ve been much sweeter than breaking the NCAA record.
“As the game went on and that zero was on the scoreboard, it got a little hard,” Burleson said. “It was really tough to go out there and give a full effort, when effort wasn’t going to help the outcome. I wasn’t thinking about the record.”
Burleson, a partial qualifier out of Seattle’s O’Dea High School four years ago, can earn another year of eligibility if he graduates in May, which he is scheduled to do. However, Burleson may skip his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.
FORSEY BREAKS BSU RECORD
Boise State running back Brock Forsey put the finishing touches on one of the most impressive single seasons in school history with his 187 yards rushing against the Wolf Pack. He broke Cedric Minton’s single season rushing mark with his 7-yard gain in the fourth quarter. He now has rushed for 1,533 yards this season. He left the game after that play, as did his closest companions.
“I had to walk off the field with my boys,” Forsey said of his offensive line. “That’s kind of the record the O-line takes a lot of pride in because I don’t get there without those guys.”
Forsey also rushed for four touchdowns in the game, giving him an NCAA leading 29 for the season. He already was the Western Athletic Conference’s single season touchdown and scoring record before Saturday’s game. Marshall Faulk and Paul Hewitt, both of San Diego State, were tied for the previous mark of 24 touchdowns.
LOCAL PRODUCT HAS BRIGHT FUTURE
McQueen graduate and Nevada true freshman Jeff Rowe came in for starter Zack Threadgill and threw for 97 yards. It was Rowe’s sixth appearance this season for the Wolf Pack and Nevada fans will surely see more of him the next three years.
“He’s got a cannon,” Threadgill said of the 6-foot-5 Rowe. “Jeff has got a lot of potential. He’s a hometown boy. I had days this year (to get better), he has years. He’s just a young kid with a lot of talent.”
NORTHERN NEVADANS SHINING IN BOISE
2000 McQueen graduate and ’99 Elko grad Tim Gilligan have made quite a name for themselves for the WAC champions. Carr, a sophomore, has played in all 12 games for the Broncos, recording 38 tackles. Gilligan, a junior and former walk on, has caught 22 passes for 368 yards and a touchdown this season. He had three catches for 68 yards against Nevada.
Boise State now leads the all time series between the two teams 17-12. Saturday’s 37-point win over Nevada was the school’s first since 1987 at Mackay Stadium, when both schools were in the Big Sky Conference.