JUDGING FROM THE statistics that the Cougars put up, one wouldn’t guess that they only scored 13 points against the Nevada Wolf Pack on Friday night in Reno. Not unless you look at the touchdown column and the missed field goals. Here are some of the bright spots, although few, and some of the darker, more obvious holes that revealed themselves throughout the game.
CF.C Players of the Game:
On a night when the Cougars fell mostly on their collective faces, it would seem hard to find players of the game, but oddly enough it was pretty clear after Friday's night pratfall in Reno.
On defense, cornerback Daquawn Brown
brought intensity from the opening snap and led the Cougars with 13 total tackles, eight of them solo and one for loss. He also broke up passes, holding his own with 6-5 Hasaan Henderson
despite being only 5-11 himself.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Cougs managed to score just 13 points but they racked up 428 total yards, with receiver Isiah Myers
leading the way with nine catches and 102 receiving yards. That equates to about 25 percent of the air yards quarterback Connor Halliday
built up on Friday night were thanks to Myers’ hands.
Other notables for the Cougars were receivers Vince Mayle
(8 catches for 87 yards and a TD) and second-year freshman Robert Lewis
, who saw his first-ever action as a Coug. Lewis, who started in place of River Cracraft
, caught 8 passes for 81 yards.
Biggest surprises for the Cougars:
Lewis played incredibly well for a first-time starter. Halliday said after the game that he missed Cracraft in a big way but gave a shout out to Lewis. His performance on Friday seemed almost a mirror image of what Cracraft accomplished against Rutgers.
The defense played better than last week but faded badly in the end. Although missed tackles weren’t the worst of the Cougars’ worries on this particular night, it Nevada fooled or out-executed the Cougars enough times to extend key drives in the second half. QB Cody Fajardo gained 55 yards by running up the middle on one play. The two primary running backs also had their way with the WSU defensive line.
The yellow hankies were flying. The Cougars were penalized 10 times for 72 yards and Nevada nine times for 92 yards.
The Cougars’ offense made six trips inside the red zone and came away with points three times.
The three running backs that the Cougars rotate onto the field gained less on the ground than the opposing quarterback on Friday. They got more carries than in the opener, but not by much. Jamal Morrow led the group with seven carries for 32 yards, and Theron West had three carries for 29 yards. Finally, Gerard Wicks contributed -1 yards to the cause, adding up to a grand total of 60 rushing yards between the three backs. Cody Fajardo rushed for 100 yards by himself.
Theron West’s 19-yard run was the longest attempt on the ground for the Cougars this season.
The importance of the running game showed on the Nevada side of the ball. All three Wolf Pack scores were via the run. Nevada’s touchdown runs added up to less than five yards. The longest of the three was a 2-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Cornerback Charleston White walked off the field in the second half with apparent cramps.