Five things we learned from Wolf Pack’s big win

in Local News/Sports

Big plays make for big wins

Nevada 28, San Diego State 24:

San Diego State outgained Nevada (456 to 297), averaged more yards per play (5.9 to 4.5), had more first downs (24 to 14), won the time of possession battle – and still lost by four points.

How does that happen?

Because Nevada won the big-play battle. The Wolf Pack’s first-quarter safety not only stopped the bleeding from a 14-0 deficit, but it was also essentially a nine-point play – two for the safety and seven more when a short field led to a five-play touchdown drive. That drive was capped by one of the game’s great individual efforts, as running back Toa Taua took a short Ty Gangi pass and danced his way down the right sideline for a 40-yard score.

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In just over two minutes of game time, San Diego State went from a 14-point lead and possession of the ball to a five-point lead and a complete momentum shift to the home sideline.

Later, Nevada took advantage of a Jordan Byrd fumble on a punt return, with the Pack’s Jomon Dotson recovering at the SDSU 18. That set up a short Ramiz Ahmed field goal for a 28-24 lead with 8:54 to play, which turned out to be the game’s final points. The four-point margin also kept the Aztecs from being able to win or tie on a field goal from John Barron II, one of the nation’s top kickers.

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