Reno, NV (Sports Network) - Robbie Rouse gained a season-high 261 yards on 36 carries as the Fresno State Bulldogs used a big third quarter to defeat the Nevada Wolf Pack, 52-36, in a Mountain West Conference duel at Mackay Stadium.
Rouse also scored two touchdowns for Fresno State (8-3, 6-1 MWC), which needed a win to stay tied for first in the conference standings. Derek Carr completed 17-of-35 attempts for 220 yards and two touchdowns while Davante Adams reeled in nine catches for 120 yards and a score. The Bulldogs' defensive unit played a huge role as it scored twice on fumble returns and once on an interception return.
The Wolf Pack (6-4, 3-3), which came into the contest with an average of 523.2 yards per game, were held to 404 yards in the loss. Stefphon Jefferson was held to 95 yards on 19 carries to make it two weeks in a row he has failed to surpass the century mark on the ground. The Football Subdivision's leading rusher did however manage to rush into the end zone three times. Cody Fajardo went 21-of-39 for 214 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Nevada's quarterback also picked up 59 yards on the ground. Richy Turner led the Wolf Pack's receivers with 73 yards on six catches.
The high scoring affair took some time to get up to full speed. Fresno State struck first as Carr completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Adams at the 6:27 mark of the opening period. Jefferson scored his first rushing touchdown of the evening with 1:26 left in the first quarter to tie it up, 7-7.
The Bulldogs received a spark from its defense in the second quarter as Derron Smith returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown less than five minutes into the period. Nevada tied the score and then took its first lead as Jefferson scored his second and third touchdowns of the contest. FSU made it a one possession game when Carr found Marcel Jensen for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 1:28 left before the half. Jensen's touchdown grab sent the contest into the intermission knotted up at 21.
The back and forth battle turned into a one-sided bout in the second half as the Bulldogs built a commanding lead. Sophomore defensive lineman Tyeler Davison recovered a fumble in the end zone less than a minute after the third quarter started to instantly give FSU a one touchdown lead. Quen Breshears added a 31-yard field goal, Travis Brown returned a fumble 26 yards for six points, and Rouse punched it in from a yard out with 5:41 left before the final frame.
Breshears missed the extra point attempt after Rouse's first touchdown run, but the Bulldogs did their damage and held a 44-21 lead as the game progressed into the fourth quarter.
Fajardo ended the run by completing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hale just one minute into the fourth stanza. FSU answered as Rouse broke away for a backbreaking 39-yard touchdown run. The Wolf Pack continued to fight back and Anthony Knight scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 4:21 left. Fajardo completed a pass to Brandon Wimberly for two points on the ensuing conversion play, but it was too little too late and the Wolf Pack lost by 16 points.
Both teams managed to move the ball with success in the shootout. Both offenses combined for 904 total yards of offense.