The Wolf Pack took on the New Mexico State Aggies last night, defeating them 55-28 thanks to quarterback Carson Strong’s career-high six passing touchdowns.
The team had a slow first quarter. The offense was only able to produce three points through the first 12 minutes, accumulating a mere eight yards of scrimmage after accounting for sacks. However, after allowing a touchdown set up by an interception from New Mexico State defensive back Syrus Dumas, the Wolf Pack defense was able to hold off the Aggies’ offense, sacking quarterback Jonah Johnson four times in eight minutes of play. This led to the Wolf Pack only being down 7-3 going into the second quarter.
The second quarter was the exact opposite for the Wolf Pack. After having to punt in their first possession of the quarter, which carried over from the first, the offense went on a four possession scoring streak. This streak was led by Strong, who went on to produce 229 passing yards and four touchdowns in the quarter. On top of the offensive production, the defense contributed two sacks and allowed zero points in the quarter. After 24 minutes, Nevada was up 31-7 going into halftime.
The third quarter was similar to the second for the program. Strong continued his hot streak, throwing for 137 passing yards and two more touchdowns before getting pulled out of the game for senior Nate Cox to play one drive and freshman Clay Millen for the other. The defense also continued their work from the second quarter, preventing the Aggies from scoring a single point for the second quarter in a row. On top of stalling out New Mexico State, the defense also contributed to the scoring effort thanks to a forced fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by defensive back Berdale Robins. After three quarters, the Wolf Pack was up 52-7 going into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was reminiscent of the first for the Wolfpack. Subbing out Strong for Cox proved to be costly, as the offense was only able to produce a field goal due to two sacks, two fumbles and one false start penalty across the team’s four possessions in the quarter. The defense also had a drop in performance in the last 12 minutes, giving up 194 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. However, with the lead the team built in the previous two quarters, the Aggies weren’t able to mount a comeback. Nevada came out on top 55-28.
In addition to notching another win on his belt, Strong also had a career record setting night. Through hitting targets like wide receivers Melquan Stovall (155 yds, 1 TD), Justin Lockhart (103 yds, 1 TD), Harry Ballard (58 yds, 1 TD), tight end Cole Turner (26 yds, 2 TDs) and running back Toa Taua (22 yds, 1 TD), Strong contributed six touchdowns to the offensive production, setting a new personal record for most touchdowns in a game. He was one off from tying the school record for most touchdowns in one game of seven touchdowns set by Mike Maxwell in 1995.
The team is now 4-1 (1-0 in conference play) going into the second half of the season. Their next game is Saturday, Oct. 16, where the Wolf Pack will take on Mountain West region rival University of Hawai’i at home.
Derek Raridon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush