Spencer finally makes it to end zone
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Seven games and no touchdowns. For a competitive guy like Nevada senior wide receiver Caleb Spencer, that’s tough to take.
Spencer ended his drought with not one, but two scores in Nevada’s 48-21 win over New Mexico State Saturday afternoon at Mackay Stadium in a Western Athletic Conference game.
Spencer entered the game with a team-leading 35 catches for 374 yards, but Nevada’s effective running game has limited his touches to be sure. He finished the day with three catches for 34 yards and a 9-yard TD reception. He also scored on a 6-yard end around.
“I needed that first one,” Spencer said. “I think a lot of other ones are going to come.
“Senior year has been a different challenge to me I guess. Trying to accept my role. It’s a little different from last year. I’m trying not to put individual needs and goals in front of the team goals.”
Spencer has his eye on another bowl bid, and the Pack can become bowl eligible with a win at Idaho next weekend. That certainly would wipe away any personal disappointment.
ROWE MOVES UP CHARTS
Jeff Rowe moved up on Nevada’s passing charts despite not playing in the second half.
Rowe, who completed 10 of 16 for 125 yards and one score, moved up to fourth in career completions with 619, passing Fred Gatlin (1989-1992), who had 613. He is seven completions from passing Chris Vargas, who had 625.
Rowe entered the game with 51 completions without an interception, but that streak ended at 54 with the first of his two first-quarter interceptions.
Prior to the two interceptions, the last time Row threw an interception was against Northwestern back on Sept. 22.
NEW MEXICO BOWL LOOKS ON
Jeff Siembieda, the executive director of the New Mexico Bowl was in attendance on Saturday, and he made it clear that he would love to get Nevada for the first-ever bowl game on Dec. 23.
Though there is a lot of football to be played, Siembieda said that Wyoming is one Mountain West Conference team that will be considered.
The Las Vegas Bowl gets first choice, and Siembieda believes that it will take BYU again. The Poinsettia Bowl gets second choice, and if Army doesn’t get bowl eligible, Siembieda said that Air Force may get the nod there. Siembieda said that if TCU qualifies, the Horned Frogs are likely to stay at home and play in the Forth Worth Bowl.
The other possible bowl option for Nevada would be the MPC Computers Bowl Dec. 31 in Boise, providing the Broncos make it to a BCS game or elect to play in a higher-paying bowl.
Nevada entered the game as the WAC leader and No. 7 in the country in turnover margin at plus-1.12 per game. Nevada forced five turnovers, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries, on Saturday.
The Pack did lose the ball four times, finishing with a plus-1. Nevada is a plus-11 in its last six games.
True freshman Jon Amaya, who started his second straight game, recorded his first career interception in the second quarter. His 15-yard return led to a Nevada score and a 21-7 lead with 4:32 left in the half … Nevada extended its home winning streak to nine straight games. The last Nevada loss at home was the 2005 season-opener to Washington State … Nevada is now 9-1 all-time against New Mexico State … Nevada won the toss, and as per its custom, deferred to the second half … The three-day weekend kept the crowd down, as the announced crowd was 11,582, well below the San Jose State game last week … Arthur King had a career-high five catches for 65 yards … Robert Hubbard carried 28 times for 114 yards and a score. It was his fourth 100-yard game of the season.
•Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1281