Scores

Final

(21) Nevada 35

(9-1, 4-1 MW)

Fresno State 34

(6-3, 4-2 MW)

Coverage: ESPN

10:30 PM ET, November 13, 2010

Bulldog Stadium (CA), Fresno, CA

1 2 3 4 T
#21NEV 7 14 7 735
FRES 14 3 14 334

Top Performers

Passing: R. Colburn (FRES) - 194 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: R. Rouse (FRES) - 26 CAR, 217 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: M. Shepherd (NEV) - 7 REC, 68 YDS

Colin Kaepernick sets record before Vai Taua's 3 TDs rescue Nevada late

Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. -- Fresno State never recruited Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The Bulldogs have been paying for it ever since.

Playing in front of 200 family and friends from his nearby hometown of Turlock, Kaepernick continued to punish Fresno State for its oversight by leading No. 21 Nevada to a 35-34 victory Saturday night.

Kaepernick set a school record with two more rushing touchdowns, and Vai Taua's third touchdown of the night helped the Wolf Pack defeat the Bulldogs for the third straight year.

"It's always motivation when you see a team that really didn't want you and you get to play against them," Kaepernick said. "You kind of want to show them what they missed out on."

Kaepernick rushed for 153 yards and scored the 54th touchdown of his career for the Nevada record.

Taua's 24-yard scamper up the middle with 4:51 remaining gave the Wolf Pack (9-1, 4-1 WAC) its first lead since midway through the third quarter.

Robbie Rouse rushed for 217 yards and scored three touchdowns for Fresno State (6-3, 4-2) in a game that featured seven lead changes.

The Bulldogs drove to midfield following Taua's final touchdown before turning the ball over on downs with 1:26 left.

"We won't play at another place with this kind of crowd, so I think it tells the guys in the fourth quarter they've got to find a way to win," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "Of course every coach talks that way. But until you do it it's just talk."

Nevada began its final scoring drive on the 46 after the Bulldogs failed to move the ball from inside their 10 after stopping Taua for no gain on fourth-and-1.

Kaepernick converted two third downs on the go-ahead drive, including a 16-yard completion to Rishard Matthews on third-and-7. The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder finished 16 of 26 for 171 yards and an interception.

Fresno State scored 10 straight points spanning the third and fourth quarters to take a 34-28 lead. The touchdown came on a spectacular 44-yard touchdown run by Rouse, and Kevin Goessling added a 34-yard field goal with 14:55 remaining.

The Bulldogs racked up 444 yards of total offense but managed just one first down on their final two possessions.

"The effort was excellent, but when you're playing a team like Nevada you have to make a play almost every play," Fresno State coach Pat Hill said.

Nevada scored two touchdowns in a 27-second span late in the second quarter to grab a 21-17 halftime lead.

The Wolf Pack trailed by as many as 10 points before two Taua touchdowns swung the momentum. One was set up by a fumble by Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn, who completed 16 of 26 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Kaepernick shook off a sluggish start by leading Nevada on a 10-play, 73-yard drive, capped by a 4-yard Taua touchdown run with 1:01 left before halftime. He converted two third downs on pass completions during the march, which trimmed Fresno State's lead to 17-14.

On the ensuing possession, Colburn dropped back to pass and had the ball slip from his hand without being touched. Ryan Coulson made the recovery for Nevada on the Bulldogs 20.

Following a 19-yard pass to Brandon Wimberly, the Wolf Pack was in the end zone again when Taua plunged in from 1 yard with 34 seconds left.

"It was huge to keep winning," Kaepernick said. "Being No. 21, we want to keep moving up. The character of this team really showed up in the end."

Rouse, who had 88 rushing yards in the first half, scored the Bulldogs' first two touchdowns on a 12-yard catch and a 2-yard run on Fresno States opening drive.

Kaepernick passed for 114 yards and ran for 95 in the first half. His only mistake was an interception by safety Lorne Bell that went right through the hands of receiver Malcolm Shepherd in the end zone.

The victory keeps Nevada's hopes alive in the WAC title race heading toward the Nov. 26 showdown against No. 4 Boise State.

"You have to win everything just to have a chance to go against (Boise State), so obviously this was a huge win" Ault said. "Not only for what it means for the conference title, but we recruit against Fresno State a lot."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NEV
FRES
1st Downs1823
Total Yards416444
Passing171194
Rushing245250
Penalties5-433-14
3rd Down Conversions7-156-14
4th Down Conversions1-22-3
Turnovers12
Possession28:3831:22

Passing Leaders

NevadaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kaepernick16/261716.601
Fresno StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Colburn16/261947.520

Rushing Leaders

NevadaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kaepernick161539.6249
Taua21894.2324
Fresno StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rouse262178.3244
Slocum5234.6011

Receiving Leaders

NevadaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Shepherd7689.7023
Wimberly44711.8019
Fresno StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Evans45213.0020
Hamler33712.3021

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEVFRES
TD12:37Robbie Rouse 2 Yd Run (Kevin Goessling Kick) 07
TD10:37Colin Kaepernick 47 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 77
TD07:42Robbie Rouse 12 Yd Pass From Ryan Colburn (Kevin Goessling Kick) 714
SECOND QUARTERNEVFRES
FG04:18Kevin Goessling 42 Yd 717
TD01:01Vai Taua 4 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 1417
TD00:34Vai Taua 1 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 2117
THIRD QUARTERNEVFRES
TD11:52Isaiah Burse 26 Yd Pass From Ryan Colburn (Kevin Goessling Kick) 2124
TD09:28Colin Kaepernick 19 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 2824
TD06:27Robbie Rouse 44 Yd Run (Kevin Goessling Kick) 2831
FOURTH QUARTERNEVFRES
FG14:55Kevin Goessling 34 Yd 2834
TD04:51Vai Taua 24 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 3534