Wolf Pack Notebook: Taua has record day | NevadaAppeal.com

Wolf Pack Notebook: Taua has record day


Nevada Appeal Sports Writer

RENO” It was a bittersweet day for Nevada running back Vai Taua.

Taua, who turned 20 on Saturday, posted career highs in rushing (188 yards) and all-purpose yards (237).

Despite his stellar play, however, the Wolf Pack dropped a 48-45 decision to New Mexico State Saturday at Mackay Stadium.

As usual, the Pack running back praised the offensive line play of Dominic Green, Alonzo Durham, John Bender, Mike Gallett, Greg Hall and Kenny Ackerman.

“They make my job easy,” he said. “All I have to do is run.”

Taua, who is starting for the injured Luke Lippincott, had 123 yards against Idaho last week. He has scored seven touchdowns in the last two games and has 10 total (eight rushing) for the season.

“Vai is a great player,” Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. “Each time he touches the ball he has a chance to make a big play. He’s just getting better every week.”

Taua has three multi-touchdown games this season.


Wide receiver Marko Mitchell had five catches for 97 yards and moved into 11th place all-time at in career receiving yards at Nevada with 2,199. He passed Mike Senior, who posted 2,074 from 1991-94.

Mitchell has now caught a pass in 20 straight games and in 31 of his 32 career games.

Mitchell had an uncharacteristic drop in the second half, but Kaepernick went right back to him on the next play for a first down, and it took several Aggies to bring him down.

“Anytime I drop a ball, I put more pressure on myself than the coaches do,” Mitchell said. “The next ball I catch, nobody is going to bring me down. That’s all that is.”


New Mexico State’s Chris Williams became the school’s all-time leader for reception yardage when he grabbed a 30-yard pass from Holbrook late in the first half.

Williams passed Lucious Davis with the reception. The grab gave Wolf Pack a first down at the Nevada 8, but it went for naught when Kyle Hughes missed a 22-yard field goal.

Williams finished with six catches for 128 yards.

“I was running a stuck route,” Williams said. “I just stopped and looked to make the play. But I feel 20 times better winning today. It’s a great way to win at a WAC rival. We did it as a team.”


Kicker Brett Jaekle, who moved into first place last week in extra points made, moved into second place on Nevada’s all-time scoring list for kickers.

The senior had six extra points and field goal and has now scored 304 career points. He passed Tony Zendejas (1981-83). The all-time leader is Marty Zendejas (367 from 1984-87).


Two members from the ROTC personnel left the field when there appeared to be an altercation after New Mexico State’s Marquell Colston scored on a 17-yard pass from Chase Holbrook with 6:30 left in the first half.


Nevada now has seven interceptions on the year, with six of them coming from defensive backs. In 2007, Nevada’s defensive backs intercepted just three passes … New Mexico State won the coin toss and deferred to the second half … Adam Liranzo recorded his third sacks of the season … Nevada linebacker Joshua Mauga recorded a season-high 13 tackles … Nevada remains at home and will host Utah State next Saturday at 1:05 p.m… In his last three games, Kaepernick has accounted for 12 touchdowns ” five rushing and seven passing.

– Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or calling (775) 881-1281