Wolf Pack stay unbeaten behind breakout second half
Defense spares Nevada against New Mexico
LAS VEGAS – A slow first half saw Nevada football trailing heading into the locker room at halftime Saturday afternoon against New Mexico.
It was the first time the Wolf Pack trailed at the halftime intermission this season, but the Lobos – who had lost their last 11 straight – couldn’t bring the same defensive presence in the second half.
In the end, Nevada posted a 27-3 run after initially falling behind 10-0 early in the second quarter.
By the time the clock changed to triple zeroes, the Wolf Pack had held on for a 27-20 win to move to 4-0.
“We certainly weren’t as sharp as we could have been and we did not start well,” said Nevada head coach Jay Norvell. “I got after them a little bit after the first quarter on the sideline.”
Though the offensive production wasn’t as clean as normal in the opening half, the Wolf Pack found opportune times to step up and help out the other side of the ball.
In the opening half, Tyson Williams stopped a fresh UNLV drive with an interception that came just after the Wolf Pack’s first touchdown of the contest.
Twenty seconds after being down 10-0, the Wolf Pack had tied the contest at 10-10.
“That was huge because we haven’t been getting turnovers for whatever reason this season. We needed that momentum shift, so that was big,” said senior linebacker Lawson Hall.
Strong was sacked on a third and fourth down in the opening half to stop drives, but the sophomore quarterback was able to find his receivers in the second half.
“I wasn’t happy with the way I played in the first half,” said Strong. “I really need to just dive into those blitz looks to help them get picked up.”
Offensively, it’s quickly become impossible to adequately state how dynamic the Carson Strong/Romeo Doubs combination has become.
Though Strong ended his nation-leading 299 pass attempts without an interception streak, he still was able to hook up with his top target for three scores.
Strong found Doubs for touchdowns of 33, 59 and 61 yards as the junior wideout from Los Angeles now has 645 yards receiving and eight touchdowns in four games played this season.
In the process, Strong became the first quarterback in Mountain West history to have six straight games with over 300 yards passing.
After two quick scores to end the first half, Nevada needed little time to strike in the second half.
Brandon Talton connected on a 34-yard field goal after a 53-yard drive to open the half.
The next time the Wolf Pack offense got its hands on the ball, Strong found Doubs over the top to catapult Nevada to a 20-13 lead.
Both teams went on to add another touchdown, but even in the win the Wolf Pack weren’t satisfied with the result following the second trip to Las Vegas this season.
“It was humbling, it kind of put things into perspective. We have to just keep working and perfect our craft,” said Hall.
UP NEXT: Nevada (4-0) will play its fifth-straight contest in the Silver State as the Wolf Pack welcome San Diego State (3-1) to Reno next Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. PT kickoff.