Tight ends finally get into the act | NevadaAppeal.com

Tight ends finally get into the act

RENO – The tight end has been a forgotten position in Nevada’s offense this season.

Through the first 11 games of the season, the trio of Anthony Pudewell, Adam Bishop and Tony Moll had combined for 12 catches and 96 yards and two touchdowns.

In Saturday’s season-ending 58-21 loss to Boise State, the trio combined for eight catches and 117 yards and one score. Pudewell, who entered the game with seven catches for 60 yards, caught a career-high six catches for 96 yards. Bishop added a catch for 10 yards and a score and Moll added a catch for 11 yards.

“Every defense has a weakness and that’s what they gave us,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “It was a situation where we got the right play called at the right time. Anthony played real well tonight. I’m pleased with him.”

Pudewell admitted he was happy to get some opportunities after spending 90 percent of the season blocking.

“A couple of balls here and there and I’m happy.” he said. “I’m happy blocking as much as I can. It’s a pretty difficult position. They expect a lot out of you. You have to catch balls and block.”

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Pudewell had two catches for 45 yards on one drive, but it didn’t help put any points on the board because Damon Fine missed a 22-yard field goal.

CAUGHT BY SURPRISE

Nevada officials were caught a little by surprise at the six inches of snow that fell overnight in Northern Nevada, namely Reno and Carson City.

Officials didn’t start clearing the snow off the field until around 10:30 or 11 a.m., and didn’t finish until around 4 p.m. Not an ideal situation to be sure.

“I’m trying to figure it out,” WAC commissioner Karl Benson said in the press box prior to the game. “I haven’t gotten a hold of anybody (here) yet so I can’t speak to it.”

Cary Groth, Nevada’s athletic director, said it was a combination of not having the right equipment and the grounds staff being off because of the holiday. Groth said that the school will look into hiring a snow removal company in the future.

BENSON STEAMED

Benson was a bit miffed for other reasons beside the field gaffe.

Earlier this week, UTEP accepted an invite to play in the Houston Bowl, a direct conflict of WAC policies and procedures.

Benson said that UTEP should be playing in one of the WAC bowls – Silicon Valley, MPC Computers in Boise or Sheraton Hawai’I.

“They informed me Wednesday what they were going to do,” Benson said. “I talked to them about waiting until next week to see where things were. They didn’t want to take my advice.”

With UTEP going elsewhere and possibly Boise State, too, there’s a good chance that the WAC won’t fill its bowl games with its own teams. If Boise State doesn’t get a BCS bid, the Broncos appear headed for a Liberty Bowl showdown against Louisville.

There’s rumors flying around that Fresno State also could end up at a non-WAC bowl.

“I’m confident Fresno State will follow WAC policies,” Benson said.

With UTEP leaving the WAC, the conference probably doesn’t have much it can do retribution-wise.

HUMMER WINNER

Bob Ferrari won the drawing for the brand-new Hummer2. Tickets for the auto were sold throughout the season .

Nevada marketing officials estimated that approximately 780 tickets were sold for the car. Tickets went for $100 apiece, and proceeds benefited the school’s athletic department.

FAREWELL TO SENIORS

Eleven seniors – DT Chris Barry, OT Harvey Dahl, K Damon Fine, S Don Gupton, QB Andy Heiser, OG Chris Hines, S Keone Kauo, RB Chance Kretschmer, LB Shaun Tagatauli, OG John Tennert and RB Talib Wise – played their final games for Nevada.

Most of the 11 have played quite a bit save for Heiser, who lost his starting job to Jeff Rowe this season. Heiser went 3-for-4 passing for 59 yards in his one drive of the game.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1281.