Nevada went on the road in week four to face a strong 3-1 Air Force football team. The Wolf Pack tried to end a two-game skid, but now they are on a three-game losing streak following a 48-20 loss.
Nevada only had 242 yards of total offense this game. Nate Cox, quarterback, had a disappointing 130 passing yards while completing only 12 of his 20 attempts. He did not have a strong game on the ground either, but he did find the end zone on a nice 10-yard run.
Jamaal Bell, wide receiver, was the leading receiver with three receptions for 65 yards. He did most of his damage on a beautiful catch-and-run that went for 58 yards, which was the Wolf Pack’s longest play of the game.
Toa Taua, running back, definitely had the best performance tonight as he ended with seven carries for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Taua also contributed in the passing game with three receptions for 17 yards. This was not a great game for the Nevada offense as they struggled to maintain drives and put any real pressure on the Air Force defense.
The Nevada defense had an even worse performance. They were demolished on the ground as they conceded a mind-boggling 461 rushing yards. They did not do much better in coverage. The defense gave up an 80-yard touchdown pass on one of the three passing attempts from the Air Force offense.
Drue Watts, linebacker, had a solid game with a team-high 11 total tackles, seven solo tackles and one tackle for loss. Bentlee Sanders, defensive back, ended with eight total tackles and six solo tackles.
The last notable performance was from Jaden Dedman, defensive back, who had three solo tackles including Nevada’s only sack of the game. This was a game to forget for the Nevada defense. They simply could not find answers for the impressive Air Force run game. The game got out of hand early, and the Wolf Pack did not force a stop once the entire game.
Nevada got the ball to start the game, but they were quickly forced to punt on their first drive. Air Force got the ball and had a long 17-play drive, but the Nevada defense was able to keep them to a field goal. The score was 3-0 with 4 minutes left in the first quarter.
The Nevada offense could not get anything going as they punted again, pushing Air Force back to their own 20-yard line. Air Force connected on a huge 80-yard touchdown pass on their first play of the drive to increase their lead to 10-0. The Wolf Pack were starting to gain some momentum with a drive that took them to the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter started with Nevada in Air Force territory, and they were able to continue to gain yards with a few nice passing plays. The drive was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run from Cox for Nevada’s first score of the game. Nevada was down 10-7 with 12 minutes to go in the second quarter.
It only got worse as Air Force answered back with a seven-play drive that ended with a 27-yard touchdown run. The Wolf Pack offense could not move the ball and were forced to punt again. Air Force once again marched down the field ending their drive with a one-yard touchdown rush. Nevada went into the locker room down 24-7 at halftime.
The potent Air Force run game continued to be a problem in the second half. Air Force had a six-play touchdown drive to start the third quarter. Nevada was down 31-7 and could not spark a comeback.Nevada went three and out, and they were forced to punt for their fifth time in the game.
Air Force kicked a deep 51-yard field goal before forcing another Nevada punt and scoring on the ensuing drive. The Wolf Pack were getting destroyed as they trailed 41-7 with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Nevada offense finally found some rhythm and responded with a five-play touchdown drive to open up the fourth quarter. Taua found a hole and exploded for a marvelous 40-yard touchdown run to make the score 41-14. However, the Air Force offense marched down the field again to score a touchdown on a long 14-play drive that increased their lead 48-14.
Nevada finally showed some urgency with a beautiful two-play drive that resulted in a touchdown. Bell had an amazing 58-yard catch-and-run to set up Nevada inside the Air Force ten-yard line. Taua punched in a six-yard touchdown rush on the next play to make the score 48-20.
Nevada was unable to get a stop — which was a big theme throughout the game – and Air Force ran the clock out. The game ended in a blowout as the score was 48-20 in a disastrous performance from the Wolf Pack.
Nevada is now on a three-game losing streak as the offense struggles to find points and the defense continues to collapse. These were two tough matchups against a power five Iowa team last week and an impressive Air Force football team this week. Nevada will look to get back to .500 next week when they play a home game against a 0-3 Colorado State team.
This will be Nevada’s first game against their old coach Jay Norvell in what should be a get-right revenge game for the Nevada Wolf Pack.
Anthony Miranda can be reached via email at email@example.com or via Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.