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Defense, Doubs dominate keeping Pack football perfect

Nevada 3-0 for the first time since 2010 season

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com

RENO – Nevada wide receiver Romeo Doubs was incredible for the second time in as many games Thursday night against Utah State.

Coming off a career-high 219 yards receiving last week against UNLV, Doubs put together 137 receiving yards and three touchdown catches in the first half – allowing the Wolf Pack to steamroll the winless Aggies 34-9.

With the win, Nevada is 3-0 for the first time since 2010.

If it wasn’t already apparent, the Nevada offense is going to be challenging for any Mountain West Conference team to contain.

While the Nevada’s air raid offense allows it to do damage and build-up drives on screen passes, Strong’s ability to hit Doubs over the top has continue to show that the Wolf Pack are capable at striking at any time.

The most obvious mismatch came midway through the second quarter where Strong looked for Doubs on a go route on the first play of the drive.

True to his last name, the sophomore quarterback’s first toss was over the head of the streaking wideout.

Four plays later, Doubs ran another post route from the slot and beat his defender by three steps.

Strong didn’t miss him and the 54-yard score put Nevada up 21-9 as the two squads went into the halftime locker room.

“We’ve run that play a few times,” said Strong. “I’m just reading the safety to see if he attaches to Cole (Turner). After that read, I’m looking to at the post over the middle.”

“It’s like bread and butter watching them every week,” said running back Toa Taua. “I felt that connection that have when they first got in this season. … It’s not a surprise to me.”

Toa Taua put together 112 yards on 12 carries in the win, including a 60-yard scamper and a 15-yard bruiser of a touchdown run in the third quarter. Taua also had 45 yards receiving on seven catches.

Nevada out-gained Utah State in total offense 542 to 210 by the end of the 60 minutes.

Now 282 pass attempts without an interception, Carson Strong kept his hold on the nation’s longest interception-less streak. Strong finished 36-of-52 for 411 yards and three touchdowns.

Through three games this season, Strong has over 1,100 yards passing and nine touchdowns.

Defensive clinic

While it’s impossible to ignore what the Pack have done on offense in the first three games, Thursday night’s tilt with the Aggies gave the defense a brighter shine too.

Following a first quarter safety, Utah State put together an eight-play, 61-yard drive to take a 9-0 lead to open things up.

It was the worst drive the defensive allowed all night, as not only did the Pack prevent the Aggies from scoring again, but Nevada held Utah State to just six first downs through three quarters.

After the only trip to the end zone for Utah State, the Aggies had drives of -1, 13 and 25 yards the rest of the half.

“Our defense was excellent in third down and getting them off the field. … They managed their offense really well,” said Norvell.

Amir Johnson registered the lone tackle for loss for Nevada, with a 12-yard sack while Daiyan Henley led the team with eight tackles.

Overall, Nevada’s front seven contained the Aggies to 109 yards on the ground as the defense gave up 210 yards total.

UP NEXT: The Wolf Pack (3-0) will go back to Las Vegas to take on New Mexico (0-1, with a Saturday contest scheduled at Hawaii) next Saturday, Nov. 14. The contest was moved to Sam Boyd Stadium in order to comply with New Mexico’s state health orders.

“It kind of goes with this whole year,” said Norvell. “… We just have to deal with what is given to us that week. We’re going to be going back to the same hotel we were at a week ago.”