Nevada has ‘Moore’ in victory
Appeal News Service
RENO – Backup quarterback Travis Moore never lacked for confidence. All week long, he said he felt capable of leading Nevada to victory if Jeff Rowe couldn’t play.
Moore was true to his word, completing 20 of 28 for 178 yards in leading Nevada to a 23-7 victory in his first-ever collegiate start Saturday night.
“Before the kickoff I was excited. I have never been the type of guy, even in high school, who gets nervous …,” Moore said.
Nevada coach Chris Ault said Moore played an excellent game.
“Travis was outstanding. He executed the game plan very well,” said Ault.
Rowe’s string of 29 consecutive starts came to an end.. Rowe strained his hamstring in the Hawai’i game.
Ault said Rowe was passing well in practice, but his injury was hampering his mobility.
“Thursday night I did not feel confident with Rowe,” Ault said.
Ault said he met with the two quarterbacks and made his decision to start Moore.
Moore, who is also a senior like Rowe, guided Nevada for 74 yards in its first series by completing 7 of 10 passes for 65 yards. He finished the first half with 131 yards.
Moore said he was anxious to play Saturday after learning he would start for Rowe.
During the game, Rowe relayed the plays to Moore and offered advice to him when the offense was on the sidelines.
“Jeff talked to me during the game and helped me,” Moore said.
Ault said Rowe will probably start Saturday against New Mexico State. However, Moore said he hopes the coaches feel confident in him if they need to use him in case Rowe goes down with an injury or needs a rest.
Moore threw his first interception with less than one minute remaining in the first half. Dwight Lowerey snagged his eighth interception of the season, tying the San Jose State record. With the ball on the Wolf Pack 19, the Spartans struck on their first play on Adam Tafralis’ TD pass to James Jones.
Moore said he led the ball out to the outside more than he wanted.
The Wolf Pack’s offense looked sharp in its first series after a bye week in which Nevada played its first four of six games on the road. The Pack chewed up almost nine minutes off the clock and covered 74 yards on 18 plays before the drive fizzled on the Spartans’ 2-yard line. During the drive Nevada converted on two fourth-down plays.
The Pack controlled the ball for 40 minutes, double the time for the Spartans.
Ault credits the offensive line for controlling the game’s tempo.
“When you keep the ball for 40 minutes, you’re doing something right,” Ault said.
Ault also said the time of possession was the best the Wolf Pack have accomplished in the three years he reassumed the head coaching duties.
HALL OF FAME
Since 1973, the University of Nevada has inducted 133 individuals into the Hall of Fame. Four former Wolf Pack athletes were recognized at a dinner Friday night and at halftime of Saturday’s game.
This year’s inductees and their university sports include Brock Marion and John Ramatici, football; Chris Singleton, baseball and football; and Ali McKnight Metkovich, track and field. Marion spent 12 seasons in the NFL with three teams, while Singleton played Major League Baseball for six seasons with four teams. He was sixth in voting for Rookie of the Year in 1999. Metkovich also earned a spot on the 2000 U.S. Women’s World Cup bobsled team. Ramatici played football for two seasons at the University of Nevada and later competed as a top master/over 40 cyclist in West Coast criterium events.
SITTING OUT A GAME
Safety Nick Hawthrone found out on Thursday he had to sit out the homecoming game. Hawthrone had dropped a class earlier in the semester, and according to Ault, Hawthrone’s advisor said another class would be added. Ault and his staff discovered the class hadn’t been added, so the university notified the NCAA.
“He was still going to his classes,” Ault said.
Ault said Hawthrone will be able to play against New Mexico State on Saturday.
Freshman quarterback Nick Graziano came in the third and fourth quarters and played five downs … San Jose punter Waylon Prather booted the ball six times, averaging 48 yards per punt. His longest punt of 72 yards was a career best … The Pack did not block a punt for the first time in five games … Freshman safety Jonathon Amaya made his first start for Nevada …Since Nevada moved to Division I in 1992, the Wolf Pack and San Jose State have faced each other 11 times with Nevada winning eight times. Nevada holds a five-game winning streak against the Spartans. Before 1992, the two teams last played in 1948 … Nevada has now won eight straight games at Mackay Stadium dating back to 2005 … San Jose State won the coin toss but elected to defer. Nevada received the ball and returned the ball to its 22-yard line. San Jose State began the game defending the north end zone … San Jose State coach Dick Tomey is in good company with his peers in Division I . He is ranked fifth among active Division I coached for victories with 265. Joe Paterno of Penn State and Bobby Bowden of Florida State have a significant edge on the rest of the top 10. Paterno has won 358 games, and Bowden follows with 332. Paterno and Bowden lead the coaches in longevity. Paterno coached in his 482nd game Saturday, while Bowden walked the sidelines in his 476th game. Tomey is in fourth place with 291 games.