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Wolf Pack back in Mountain West play against Hawai’i

Wolf Pack back in Mountain West play against Hawai’i

Nevada (4-1, 1-0) vs. Hawai’i (3-3, 1-1)
Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 – 7:30 p.m.
Reno, Nev. – Mackay Stadium
TV: CBS Sports Network (PxP – Dave Ryan; Analyst – Cory Chavous; Sideline – Desmond Purnell)
Radio: 94.5 FM (PxP – John Ramey; Analyst – Mike Edwards)

RENO, Nev. — Nevada (4-1), following a 55-28 win against New Mexico State, hosts Hawai’i (3-3) for a 7:30 p.m. (PT) kickoff on Homecoming. Saturday’s contest will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Cory Chavous (analyst), and Desmond Purnell (Sideline) on the call. This marks the 25th matchup with Hawai’i and Nevada leads the all-time series 13-11. The Wolf Pack plays its second conference game of the season after taking the MWC opener 41-31 at Boise State on Oct. 2.

The Wolf Pack Radio Network will call the game as well on 94.5 FM with John Ramey (play-by-play) and Mike Edwards (analyst) in the booth, with the 60-minute pregame show to begin at 6:30 p.m. PT.

SERIES HISTORY
Nevada and Hawaii face-off for the 25th time in school history. The Wolf Pack looks to defeat the Rainbow Warriors for the first time since 2018 after dropping the last two contests. Most recently, Hawai’i defeated Nevada 24-21 in Manoa, Hawaii. The last time the Pack took down the Rainbow Warriors was a 40-22 win on the road. In that game, RB Toa Taua rushed for 126 yards and one touchdown and QB Ty Gangi passed for 247 yards and a score. WR Elijah Cooks made three receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown and added a 40-yard rushing TD on a bubble screen. Taua also completed two passes for 14 yards. The Pack defense held Hawai’i to eight points in the second half.

HOMECOMING
Join in on the homecoming festivities all week long and share your favorite memories by visiting www.unr.edu/homecoming

GAME SPONSOR
Sierra Neurosurgery Group

GIVEAWAY
Free Popcorn for the first 5,000 fans

STUDENT GIVEAWAY
Sonic Student Section Giveaway – Pretzels for the first 500

COLOR THEME
Blue Out – Wear Blue!

OPEN PRACTICE
Before the We Are Nevada Fan Zone Tailgate, join us for men’s and women’s basketball open practices starting at 1 p.m. for women’s basketball and 2:30 p.m. for men’s basketball in the Lawlor Events Center

TEAM RECOGNITIONS
Men’s Basketball & Swimming and Diving will be recognized during the game

CRUISING INTO HOMECOMING
Nevada opened its 2021 season with a 22-17 victory over the California Golden Bears in Berkeley on Sept. 4. Prior to the win over Cal, Nevada’s last road win at a Power 5 team also came at Cal when Nevada defeated the Golden Bears 31-24 on Sept. 1, 2012. After Cal opened the game with a 14-0 lead, Nevada scored 22 unanswered points to lead the remainder of the game. Carson Strong threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, posting the ninth 300-yard passing game of his career. Kicker Brandon Talton recorded the 12th multi-FG game of his career after going 3-for-4 for Nevada. Romeo Doubs finished with six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown, Cole Turner led all Pack receivers with seven catches (for 75 yards), and WR Tory Horton led the Pack with 94 receiving yards on three catches. Elijah Cooks recorded his first touchdown since the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Jan. 3, 2020. The Pack defense came up clutch to secure Nevada’s victory. Cornerback Isaiah Essissima, a transfer from Wake Forest, made his first interception in a Nevada jersey in his Wolf Pack debut, stopping a late fourth-quarter Cal drive with a pick. Sam Hammond and Daniel Grzesiak tallied sacks for the Pack, including Hammond’s 13-yard loss which resulted in a missed Cal field goal attempt. JoJuan Claiborne led the Pack defense with 10 tackles (eight solo), and shared a tackle-for-loss.

Nevada handled business on Sept. 11 in its first home game of the 2021 season. The Pack defeated Idaho State, 49-10. Carson Strong powered the Pack offense, throwing for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Strong completed 34 of 43 passes, including two touchdowns to Elijah Cooks, who finished with seven receptions for 89 yards. Devonte Lee recorded a 2-yard  touchdown run late in the third quarter and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth. Cole Turner had a touchdown catch. Backup quarterback Nate Cox stepped in the game in the fourth quarter, delivering a 43-yard touchdown to Harry Ballard.

Nevada dropped its first game of the season to No. 25 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 18. Despite the 38-17 final score being in favor of the Wildcats, the Pack and Kansas State began the fourth quarter tied at 17. WR Romeo Doubs made 7 catches for 121 yards for a season-high in yardage. His previous season-best was 83 yards on six receptions against Cal on Sept. 4. It marked his most receiving yards since he gained 133 yards on 5 receptions at Hawai’i on Nov. 21, 2020.

The Pack secured its first conference win of the season in Boise, Idaho, on Oct. 2. The Pack defeated the Broncos, 41-31, in a packed Albertson’s Stadium. Carson Strong threw for 263 yards and a touchdown while running back Toa Taua rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Nevada snapped its six-game losing streak to the Broncos, dating back to 2010. Nevada last won in Boise in 1997. Tristan Nichols forced a fumble on Boise State quarterback Hank Bachmeier. Then, five plays later, Taua punched it into the end zone from 12 yards out to give Nevada a permanent lead. Placekicker Brandon Talton had a strong game, going 4-for-4 in field goal attempts and 3-for-3 on PATs.

Nevada picked up its fourth win of the season after cruising to a 55-28 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday.  Carson Strong threw a career-high six touchdown passes — four in the second quarter — and Nevada cruised to a 55-28 win over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Strong, who did not play in the fourth quarter, finished 25-of-32 passing for 377 yards with one interception. His six touchdown passes were one shy of Nevada’s single-game record, and were the most by a Wolf Pack quarterback since Mike Maxwell twice tossed seven touchdowns in a game, against UNLV and Louisiana-Monroe in 1995. Nevada took the opening kick of the second half and Turner’s 3-yard scoring catch capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive that made it 38-3. Strong connected with Henry Ballard for a 33-yard touchdown about four minutes later and cornerback BerDale Robins ripped the ball from New Mexico State’s Jared Wyatt and raced 25 yards for a score to give Nevada a 52-3 lead going into the fourth quarter.

LEADING THE NATION
The Wolf Pack lead the nation in sacks after accumulating 22 through five games. Tristan Nichols leads Nevada with six, while Sam Hammond (4.0), Dom Peterson (3.5), Daniel Grzesiak (2.0, Chris Love (2.0), Lawson Hall (1.0), Trevor Price (1.0), AJ King (1.0), Tyson Williams (1.0), and Jack Powers (1.0) have all chipped in.

STRONG WEEKLY HONORS
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong was named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Monday, following a six-touchdown performance in the Pack’s 55-28 win over New Mexico State. In addition, Strong was also named to the Davey O’Brien Great 8 list and Manning Award Star of the Week after his performance against the Aggies.

Vacaville, Calif., native threw for 377 yards and six touchdowns while completing 25-of-32 passes against New Mexico State.

The six touchdown passes marked a single-game career-high for Strong and is the most touchdowns thrown in a game by a Wolf Pack quarterback since Mike Maxwell threw seven touchdowns twice during the 1995 season against UNLV and Louisiana-Monroe.

The 300-yard game was the 11th of Strong’s career, and his six touchdown passes came over a 52-point Nevada run in which the Pack erased a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to grab a 52-7 lead through three quarters.

Nevada (4-1) is home again this Saturday at Mackay Stadium, hosting Hawai’i for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Homecoming. Tickets for the contest are available here.

TALTON, TAUA SECURE MW WEEKLY HONORS
Place kicker Brandon Talton has been named Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week, while running back Toa Taua has been selected as Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.

Talton went 4-for-4 on field-goal attempts at Boise State, marking his first 4-for-4 performance since Sept. 14, 2019, against Weber State. Talton accounted for 14 of Nevada’s 15 points after going 3-for-3 on PATs. Talton made two 38-yard field goals, along with hitting one from 37 and another from 33.

Taua led the Nevada rushing attack with a season-high 124 yards on 12 carries, averaging 10.3 yards per touch. Taua also punched the ball in the end-zone twice and caught seven passes for 44 yards. In addition, Taua’s 124 yards marked his most on the ground since he rushed for 131 on Nov. 28, 2020, against Hawaii.

GAME OF FIRSTS
Backup quarterback Nate Cox stepped into the Idaho State game in the fourth quarter, tossing a 43-yard touchdown pass to Harry Ballard for both of their first career touchdown passes and receptions in a Wolf Pack uniform. Senior running back Devonte Lee also made his first-career touchdown reception, a 15-yard pass from Carson Strong with 11:03 left in the fourth quarter against Idaho State.

AIR ESSISSIMA
Isaiah Essissima recorded his first collegiate interception in his first night in a Wolf Pack uniform at Cal, grabbing a game-clinching interception with 04:29 left to play. Essissima, a Wake Forest transfer, started in his first game for Nevada and tallied four tackles and an interception.

PACK DEFENSE SHINES BRIGHT
The Nevada defense provided a spark in the Pack’s routing of Idaho State on Saturday. Lawson Hall led the defense with 10 total tackles, including a sack and forced fumble. Tristan Nichols also had a strong output, totaling four tackles and three sacks for a combined loss of 17 yards. Daiyan Henley racked up eight tackles and recorded two pass break-ups. The Pack defense combined for eight sacks and two forced fumbles, including a strip-sack by Tristan Nichols that resulted in a Dom Peterson return for a touchdown. The Pack limited Boise State (10/2) to just 22 total rushing yards and recorded six sacks for a loss of 57 yards. Berdal Robins produced his first fumble return for a TD when he stripped WR Jared Wyatt of New Mexico State and rumbled 25 yards for a touchdown marking the first TD of his career.

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