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(Saturday, October 22nd)
Final Score: Nevada 45, Fresno State 38
Reno, NV (Sports Network) - The Nevada Wolf Pack won a shootout with Fresno State and remained unbeaten in Western Athletic Conference play with a 45-38 victory at Mackay Stadium.
The Wolf Pack (4-3, 2-0 WAC) churned out 581 yards of total offense and 29 first downs in the game, putting up 313 yards passing and 268 rushing.
Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo was 19-of-27 passing, for 313 yards and one TD. He added 61 yards rushing and another score on the ground. It was tailback Mike Ball who led the rushing attack though, finishing with 198 yards and one TD on 26 carries. Ball also had a TD reception in the win. Wideout Rishard Matthews finished with seven receptions for 148 yards to lead all receivers and added a punt return for a score in the win.
The Bulldogs (3-5, 2-1) racked up 522 yards of offense in the loss, with 315 through the air and 207 on the ground. Tailback Robbie Rouse finished the game with 167 yards and two TDs on 24 carries, marking his sixth 100+ yard performance this season. Fresno quarterback Derek Carr was 20-of-37 passing, for 315 yards and three TDs in a losing effort.
The Wolf Pack jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead thanks to a 22-yard field goal by Allen Hardison at the 10:26 mark of the first frame and an 86- yard punt return for a TD by Matthews less than three minutes later.
The Bulldogs would counter with a 65-yard touchdown run by Rouse at the 6:40 mark.
Another 22-yard field goal by Hardison closed out the scoring in the first quarter, giving Nevada a 13-7 lead.
Fresno took its first lead of the game at the 11:19 mark of the second quarter, as Carr capped off a 15-play drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders.
The Wolf Pack retook the lead, 20-14 less than four minutes later, as Fajardo hit Ball with an 18-yard TD pass.
The two teams closed out the half with field goals. FSU's Kevin Goessling hit a 22-yarder with just 30 seconds remaining in the half, but Nevada was able to drive 47 yards and Hardison converted on a 48-yard field goal to give the Wolf Pack a 23-17 lead at the break.
Less than a minute into the third quarter, Carr and Victor Dean hooked up for a nine-yard touchdown and Fresno moved back on top 24-23.
It was short-lived, as Nevada capitalized on a fumbled punt just two minutes later. Bubba Boudreaux recovered the fumble in the end zone to give the Wolf Pack a 30-24 lead to finish the scoring in the third quarter.
Nevada made it 37-24 at the 6:47 mark of the fourth quarter, as Ball capped off an 11-play, 85-yard drive with a 16-yard TD run.
Fresno finally found the end zone again just 47 seconds later, as Rouse scored for the second time on the day, this time on a 25-yard scamper.
Nevada made it 45-31 late in the fourth with a 23-yard TD run by Fajardo and successfully added a two-point conversion, Fajardo to Kolby Arendse.
The Bulldogs weren't finished though, as they scored with just over a minute left in the game, as Carr hit Rashad Evans with a two-yard TD pass to pull to 45-38.
Nevada was able to run out the clock after Fresno's last score to preserve the win.
10/22 20:25:50 ET