This past Saturday the Nevada Wolf Pack traveled to Boise to face the cream of the crop in the Mountain West, the Boise State Broncos. The game ended in a blowout as the Broncos plowed over the Pack in a 41-14 victory. With the loss, Nevada fell to 1-8 on the season.
Coming off their bye week the Wolf Pack started out strong scoring a touchdown on the opening possession. Boise State responded by scoring a touchdown on their first possession, then kicked a field goal after intercepting Ty Gangi on the next Nevada drive. Nevada’s Trevion Armstrong caught a Gangi pass for a touchdown as Nevada took a 14-10 lead. Nevada attempted and failed an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. Two plays later Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson caught a 44-yard bomb from quarterback Brett Rypien to give the Broncos a 17-14 lead. The back-and-forth affair ended there and the Broncos never looked back as their offense added three more touchdowns and a field goal during the remainder of the game, while the defense was sensational shutting out the Nevada offense in the second half. A surprise considering Nevada’s offense had scored 42 points in each of its last two games.
The Wolf Pack could not continue the offensive success they had from its previous three games and scored just 14 points with 302 yards of total offense. Ty Gangi threw three interceptions, tying a career high, and threw for a season-low 160 yards. The lone bright spot for the offense was Kelton Moore, who rushed for over 100 yards for the third time in the last four games and added a touchdown on top of that. Moore also seemed to establish himself as the No. 1 running back as Jaxson Kincaide only got three carries in his return to the field, playing in his first game since Hawaii a month ago.
The defense gave up over 40 points for the third consecutive game. The Broncos, led by the dual quarterback system of Rypien and Montell Cozart, made easy work of the Pack defense with a big contribution from running back Alexander Mattison and his two rushing touchdowns.
The night got even worse for an already reeling Nevada defense, as Asauni Rufus broke his leg in gruesome fashion. Rufus, the team’s third-leading tackler, will miss the last three games of the season. He is expected to have surgery soon and return next year for his senior campaign.
Boise State, who is 7-2 overall and 5-0 in conference, controls their own destiny as they can advance to the Mountain West Championship Game with wins against both Colorado State and Air Force the next two weeks.
Nevada will try to get back on track as they play a struggling 1-9 San Jose State Spartans team –who have lost eight straight games– at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Mackay Stadium. The Pack has an 83.8 percent chance to win according to ESPN’s Football Power Index.