Pack’s Hubbard, Jaekle honored
November 28, 2005
RENO – Nevada reaped the benefits of the program’s biggest football win since becoming a Division I-A school in the early ’90s.
Robert Hubbard, who rushed for a career-high 146 yards and three TDs in the 38-35 upset of Fresno State which helped the Pack to a share of the Western Athletic Conference title, was named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
Brett Jaekle, Nevada’s freshman place-kicker, went 5-for-5 on extra points and kicked a 40-yard field goal to win Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hubbard had scoring runs of 20 and 6 yards to give Nevada a 24-10 first-half lead, Fresno scored late in the second quarter to slice the lead to 24-16.
Hubbard’s third rushing score, a 13-yard fourth-quarter run, gave the Pack a 31-27 lead with 8:12 left in the game. Nevada went up 38-27 with 1:29 left, and then held off a late Bulldog rally to complete the upset.
Thanks to Hubbard and B.J. Mitchell (77 yards), the Pack rushed for 235 yards against the Bulldogs. Hubbard really came into his own the last four weeks of the season.
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“It (the ability) has always been there,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “He’d been hurt much of the season. He’s had a great season, and without a doubt a valuable back to us.”
Jaekle’s value wasn’t in extra points or his field goal. It was his kickoffs which limited Fresno State to a 10.4 return average, well below its season average.
“His kickoffs were great,” Ault said. “They were planned. We didn’t want to give them a chance to return the ball. Coach (Ken) Wilson and coach (Barry) Sacks did a great job with that.”
A LIGHT WEEK
With the WAC’s decision to wait a week before awarding bowl bids to its teams, Ault said his squad would not practice. Instead, the players will lift weights and do conditioning work.
The squad will have a meeting on Wednesday, and will resume practice next week.
Nevada’s big upset didn’t go unnoticed by poll voters across the country. The Pack didn’t get into the Top 25, but is 34th in the USA Today poll, 31st in the AP poll and is 34th in the Harris Interactive Poll.
Nevada was named the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National team of the Week as selected by pollsters from the Grantland Rice Super 16 poll. The Pack was also recognized as the SI.com Team of the Week.
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