Utah State suffered another heartbreaking loss in Western Athletic Conference play Saturday afternoon, this time at the hands of the Nevada Wolf Pack 35-32. Utah State led for three quarters of the game before relinquishing the lead late. The Aggie defense dominated the opening quarter while the offense managed to open up a 7-0 lead. Robert Turbin punched in a one-yard touchdown run to begin the scoring. Both teams struggled to execute offensively early in the game but USU quarterback Diondre Borel was able to make plays scrambling. On third down from their own three yard line, Borel scrambled, stepped up in the pocket and connected with WR Nnamdi Gwacham on a 77 yard strike to set up the first touchdown. Nevada’s high powered offense starting clicking in the second quarter. A big play on an option to Vai Taua sparked the Wolf Pack to their first touchdown of the game. This cut USU’s lead to 14-7. The Aggies quickly answered on the next drive with a 32 yard touchdown pass from Borel to Robert Turbin. Nevada, which leads the nation in rushing yards, churned out 313 yards on the ground and had two rushers top the 100 yard mark on the game. Vai Taua finished with 147 yards and Luke Lippincott had 104. QB Colin Kaepernick chipped in 77 of his own. USU coach Gary Andersen gave much of the credit to the Nevada offensive line for dominating the Aggie defensive front. “Obviously you don’t lead the country in rushing without a good physical offensive line” said Andersen. “Not to take credit away from their running backs but their line is physical and well established. They out physicalled us in the fourth quarter and that was the difference in the game.” Utah State built a two-score lead early in the second quarter. Diondre Borel found WR Eric Moats on a slant route in the south end zone. The Ags took a 21-14 lead into the break. The second quarter has been a problem quarter for Utah State this season. In USU’s first five games the Aggies have been outscored 60-34 in this quarter. Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick continued to make key plays. The 6’6″ signal caller scrambled for two key third down conversions in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick finished with 77 yards rushing to go with his 189 yard passing performance. Diondre Borel passed for 353 yards on 25 of 42 passing. Gwacham caught 4 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball senior safety James Brindley made 9 tackles and picked off his third pass of the season. Nevada took their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter. WR Brandon Wimberly caught a 49 yard touchdown pass from Kaepernick to put the Pack up 28-24. Luke Lipponcott sealed the Nevada win with a 69 yard touchdown run extending the UNR lead to 35-24. The Aggies had opportunities early in the third quarter to open up a big lead. Cornerback Curtis Marsh dropped a sure interception touchdown on Nevada’s opening drive of the second half. The Wolf Pack fumbled a punt which was recovered by USU but the Ags could only convert those opportunities into 3 points on Chris Ulinski’s season long 48 yard field goal. “I’m proud of the way the kids played. I thought they really competed. They got a couple of big plays, but we had opportunities” said Andersen. “We just didn’t capitalize on opportunities that were presented in front of us and they did. That swung the game in their favor.” The Aggies will face the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs next Saturday at Romney Stadium in Logan for another Western Athletic Conference contest.
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