Lantrip has big game, eyes starting job
Lahontan Valley News
RENO – Nevada’s musical chairs between quarterbacks may have come to a crescendo.
However, it could be worse, as the Wolf Pack just witnessed the performance of their UNLV counterpart.
The Pack’s Cody Fajardo and Tyler Lantrip combined for 459 yards as Nevada rolled rival UNLV 37-0 in the series’ first shutout and largest win since 1996.
Fajardo, a redshirt freshman, earned the start and struggled with an interception and fumble in the first quarter.
Lantrip, meanwhile, entered in the second quarter and promptly hooked up with Rishard Matthews for a 90-yard touchdown.
“I just have to stay the course, work hard and stay on the path,” Lantrip said.
Lantrip wasn’t done as he connected with Corbin Luoks for a 34-yard TD for a 17-0 lead.
The senior finished completed 19-of-29 passes for 366 yards, three TDs and one interception. Lantrip also rushed for 22 yards on four carries.
Fajardo completed 11 of 15 passes for 93 yards, two interceptions and one fumble. He added 49 yards on the ground.
But it was the Rebels sophomore quarterback, Caleb Herring, who had the rough night. Herring went 1-for-14 for eight yards and one interception. Herring’s lone completion came with 4 minutes, 17 seconds left in the game.
Lantrip’s performance earned strong praise from head coach Chris Ault. Ault, in recent weeks, has been vocal about his displeasure of the play from his two quarterbacks, but Saturday’s game showed Lantrip’s desire to win back the starting job.
“I though Tyler was outstanding,” Ault said. “Tyler is part of our offense. I think you can see what he brings to the table.”
However, Lantrip and Fajardo were helped out by the record-setting performance from the senior Matthews. He hauled in 10 catches for 220 yards for one TD. It was the most receiving yards for a Pack receiver since Nate Burleson in 2002.
On his 90-yard score, the UNLV defense played off of Matthews and Lantrip found his senior wideout on the right side. Matthews took the pass, spun around and stiffed armed the would-be tackler and sprinted 90 yards to the end zone.
“The man was playing off and I tried to stiff arm the dude,” he added. “The safety took a bad angle and I was just running to the end zone.”
Lantrip capped his career night with a 32-yard pass to Shane Anderson early in the fourth quarter. Anderson finished the night with five receptions for 92 yards.