Reno, Nev. – The Bulldogs beat the Nevada Wolf Pack 52-36 Saturday night in what was a decisive victory for Fresno State.
Trading touchdown scores in the first half, Fresno State was unable to assert its offensive pressure until the beginning of the second half. Although the Bulldogs’ scoring drives were mainly highlighted by the offense, Fresno State’s defense also got in on the action.
Safety Derron Smith came up with the Bulldogs first defensive score. Quarterback Cody Fajardo went to throw on third down at the Wolf Pack 14-yard line and was read by Smith who intercepted the ball and return it 34 yards to the end zone for a pick-six.
Fresno State and the Wolf Pack continue to trade offensive scores up until halftime. Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson helped his team’s cause by scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns to put Nevada up 21-14.
The Wolf Pack’s special teams also contributed by recovering a forced fumble on a punt return by Fresno State. After Nevada’s offense was halted on third down by a Bulldogs’ sack on Fajardo, the Wolf Pack punted. Nevada linebacker Jonathan McNeal forced a fumble on the play and linebacker Jordan Dobrich recovered at the ’Dogs 19-yard line.
This turnover, which led to a Nevada score, put the Wolf Pack up 21-14 with 4:41 left in the first half. However, Fresno State proved resilient and was able to even the score on a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr to tight end Marcel Jensen. This scored brought the teams even at halftime, 21-21.
The second half was entirely different story as the Bulldogs were able to capitalize off of Nevada’s first three possessions of the third quarter.
With two defensive scores, one from nose guard Tyeler Davison and the other from linebacker Travis Brown, Fresno State was able to quickly distances itself from the Wolf Pack and go up 44-21 by the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was almost entirely dominated by running back Robbie Rouse and the ’Dogs. Rouse torched Nevada by gaining 104 all-purpose yards and one touchdown. In the game Rouse was able to rush for 264 yards and two touchdowns. Carr was also able to pass for 220 yards on 17 completions and two touchdowns.
Fresno State goes on a bye next week and will look to win out its season when it plays Air Force on Nov. 24 at home. If the Bulldogs continue their momentum and win their final game, they main grab a share of the Mountain West Conference championship.