Flowers blooms for Nevad
September 18, 2004
RENO – Nichiren Flowers had the kind of game he’ll remember for a long time; the kind of game that people knew he was capable of when he came to Nevada.
Flowers caught nine passes for 161 yards and two scores in the Wolf Pack’s 38-13 non-conference victory over winless Buffalo Saturday night at Mackay Stadium.
Flowers was at his best in the second quarter when he came through with seven catches for 148 yards and both his touchdowns (41 and 51 yards), sparking Nevada to a 14-7 halftime lead.
“It was nice to have a breakout game at home,” Flowers said. “It was great play calling by the coaches, Jeff (Rowe) made two nice throws and I ended up in the end zone both times.
“From the scouting report we saw, they were pretty weak in the secondary. Their safeties weren’t as fast as we thought.”
Those two scores forced Buffalo to do some different things defensively in the second half. Flowers had one catch for 13 yards over the final two quarters.
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Flowers was reluctant to speak with the media. Earlier in the week, he said he wouldn’t do anymore interviews the rest of the year. He was upset with the media since it had been reported that he was arrested for underage drinking late in the summer.
Center Jimmy Wadhams, a walk-on, made his first start at Nevada in place of the injured Thomas Stevens, who sprained an ankle earlier in the week at practice.
“I thought I played well,” Wadhams said after the game. “I had a pretty decent game and learned a lot. Before the game I had a few butterflies. The coaches prepared us well, and I have some real good guys around me.”
Wadhams believes the offensive line is starting to come of age since its nine-sack debacle against Louisiana Tech in the opener.
“We grew up tonight,” he said. “We’re not going to play like that again. We’ve been pushing each other hard in practice. We’re working hard to improve.”
P.J. Hoeper dislocated his toe, and head coach Chris Ault expects him to miss the next two games (San Diego State and UNLV).
Besides Stevens, the Wolf Pack played without Nick Hawthrone (ankle). Kyle Eklund (fractured clavicle) remains out of action. He should return in about a month.
FACTS AND FIGURES
The 74-yard run by Buffalo’s Chris McDuffie was the second-longest in Buffalo’s short Division I history. The run was the longest against the Pack since Boise State completed a 76-yard pass in the season finale last year… Damon Fine is now fourth in career PATs (101), surpassing Bob Corley’s total of 97 recorded between 1947 and 1949. Fine is zeroing in on Fernando Serrano, who is currently third with 106… It was a Mid-American officiating crew that worked the game. A WAC crew will work when the teams meet again in 2009… Ault is now 165-64-1 in his career… Linebackers Shaun Tagatauli and Jeremy Engstrom had their first career interceptions.
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