San Jose, Calif. On a rare Sunday night game, in front of a national audience on ESPN, the San Jose State Spartans brought out their white pants and also brought out San Jose State legend Krazy George to lead the home crowd cheers. However, the Spartans failed to bring their A Game. For that matter, they also neglected to bring even their B, C, or D games, as they were thoroughly thrashed and outmanned by the visiting University of Nevada Wolf Pack by a score of 62-7 in front of an announced crowd of 11,103. Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rushed for three touchdowns, completed 9 of 14 passes for 122 yards and ran for 115 yards to lead Wolf Pack to their sixth straight victory since beginning the season 0-3. Nevada, which scored eight touchdowns on the ground, also tied an NCAA record with four of their players rushing for over 100 yards in the game. Joining Kaepernick with over 100 yards were Vai Taua (144) Luke Lippincott (112) and Mark Lampford (114). As a team, Nevada rushed for 517 total yards.
San Jose State (1-7 / 0-4 WAC) dropped their tenth straight game to Football Bowl Subdivision foes, with their lone victory coming against FCS Cal Poly. Nevada (6-3 / 5-0 WAC) remained in first place in the Western Athletic Conference but must face Fresno State and Boise State in the next three weeks.
With their offensive line being manhandled by the Nevada front four, San Jose State failed to gain a single first down on their first three possessions of the game, gained a total of one yard, and never reached their own 30 yard line during the first quarter. On the flip side, the Nevada Wolf Pack had drives of 70+ plus yards on three of their first four possessions, scoring touchdowns on each of those long drives.
On their first possession, Nevada drove 73 yards in 10 plays for the game's first score. Despite San Jose State forcing a number of third a long situations, the Wolf Pack did the bulk of their damage on third down plays. Colin Kaepernick completed passes for 17 yards and 23 yards that kept the chains moving. On a third and nine from the San Jose State 19 yard line, Kaepernick sprinted up the middle of the for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead after Nevada kicker Ricky Drake missed the PAT.
On their second possession, The Wolf Pack again drove down the field, this time behind the running of back Vai Taua and Luke Lippincott. Nevada gained 34 yards to the San Jose State 17 yard line. However, Drake missed on his 34 yard field goal attempt. The Spartans were aided during the later stages of the drive when Kaepernick took a knee after receiving the snap on a second and six play from the Spartans' 18 yard line.
In the second quarter, the San Jose State offense began to show some signs of a pulse. They gained their initial first down of the game on an 11 yard completion from quarterback Jordan La Secla to wide receiver Kevin Jurovich. The Spartans gained three more first downs on the drive on a 24 yard pass to Josh Harrison, a 13 yard run by running back Patrick Perry, and a 12 yard reception by Jalal Beauchman which placed the ball at the Nevada 18 yard line. A holding penalty by the Spartans pushed them back, and Tyler Cope missed a 40 yard FG attempt.
Later in the half the Spartans were on the move again. However, on a 19 yard catch and run by Kevin Jurovich, the ball was popped out by a Nevada defender and recovered by the Wolf Pack's Mo Harvey at he their own 24 yard line.
In the first half, Kaepernick capped three drives of greater than 70 yards with touchdown runs of 19, 15, and 4 yards. Luke Lippincott capped a 76 yard drive with a three yard touchdown, and Via Taua scored on a one play drive with a 70 yard run in the waning seconds of the half.
The Wolf Pack did not let up on the gas in the second half, as they scored touchdowns on all four of their possessions, despite Kaepernick being relieved by back-up quarterback Tyler Lantrip with over four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Spartans finally got on the scoreboard with 10:50 remaining in the game when Patrick Perry ran for a one yard touchdown. It was Perry first touchdown since the 2006 season. His touchdown was set-up two plays earlier by a 34 yard pass from La Secla to Jurovich to the Nevada two yard line. For the game, La Secla, completed 19 passes on 18 attempts and 226 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. La Secla was relieved in the fourth quarter by Myles Eden, who completed his only two pass attempts for 12 yards. The leading rusher for the Spartans was Perry, who gained only 15 yards.
Make no bones about it, there was no silver lining in this game. This was one of the ugliest losses in San Jose State history, and easily the worst performance by a Dick Tomey coached team since he has been at San Jose State. The coaching staff has to be concerned not only with the Spartans inability to compete with Nevada in any shape or form, but also by the apparent lack of effort the team showed for a good portion of the game. Of the Spartans, four remaining games, all are against teams that have losing records. But, given the total lack of effort exhibited through much of this game, it casts serious doubt on their ability to finish the season on a high note.
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Mike Morgan is a Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at email@example.com
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