10:00 PM ET, September 17, 2005
Mackay Stadium, RENO, NV
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Jeff Rowe completed 21 of 32 passes for 265 yards and Robert Hubbard scored two touchdowns as Nevada survived a mistake-filled game Saturday night to snap a five-game losing streak to rival UNLV with a 22-14 victory.
Caleb Spencer had 12 catches for 144 yards, freshman Brett Jaekle made three field goals and Nick Hawthorne grabbed a key interception down the stretch to set up Hubbard's 1-yard score with 2:33 remaining for the Wolf Pack (1-1).
Quarterback Shane Steichen ran 70 yards for one touchdown and passed for another but completed only 7-of-25 passes for 58 yards for UNLV (1-2), which had two touchdowns called back due to penalties on the same series in the second quarter.
Leading 12-7 late in the game, Nevada safety Richard Stallings sacked Steichen for a 7-yard loss on his own 2 yard line. After a punt to near midfield, Rowe hit Spencer for a 22-yard gain to UNLV's 7 before Jaekle's 22-yarder put Nevada up 15-7 with 8:09 left.
On the next series, Hawthorne intercepted Steichen at Nevada's 35 and ran it deep into UNLV territory to help put the game away.
Steichen threw a 16-yard TD to Greg Estandia with 1:09 remaining, but Nevada recovered the ensuing onside kick and two plays later hundreds of Wolf Pack fans swarmed the field to celebrate the return of the Fremont Cannon -- the rivalry trophy -- to Reno for the first time since Nevada's last winning season in 1998.
Both teams squandered numerous scoring opportunities in the intrastate series that Nevada now leads 16-15. Jaekle made field goals from 25, 26 and 22 yards but also missed one, had another blocked and missed an extra point.
Leading 9-7 at the half, Nevada's Craig Bailey recovered Steichen's fumble at UNLV's 23 on the second play of the second half and seven plays later Jaekle appeared to make a 20-yard field goal. But the officials had blown the play dead because UNLV was offsides, and Jaekle missed the next attempt from 19 yards.
On 4th-and-1 from UNLV's 45, Ezra Butler stopped Steichen for a loss and Rowe led Nevada deep into UNLV territory where Jaekle made a 26-yarder for a 12-7 lead at 2:35 in the third quarter.
On the next series, UNLV receiver Tremayne Kirkland went in motion, took the snap from center and raced 47 yards to Nevada's 16. But two plays later, Nevada's Joe Garcia forced Steichen to fumble and Erics Clark recovered.
Rowe, a junior from Reno McQueen High School, completed 4-of-5 passes for 57 yards on Nevada's opening 80-yard scoring drive capped by Hubbard's 1-yard. Jaekle made a 25-yard field goal for a 9-0 Nevada lead at 3:12 in the first quarter.
A minute later, Steichen faked a handoff then got free around the left side and raced 70 yards for a touchdown to cut it to 9-7.
The Rebels were poised to score again when Ernest Gordon recovered Hubbard's fumble on the next series and ran 8 yards to Nevada's 19 just before the end of the first quarter.
But three consecutive offensive penalties killed the drive, nullifying what would have been a 12-yard TD run by Steichen and a 17-yard scoring pass from Steichen to Estandia.
The Fan Pick
25.9% of College Pick'em players picked Nevada to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-13||7-16|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||0-0|
|TD||9:58||ROBERT HUBBARD 1 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||3:12||BRETT JAEKLE 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 70 yards.
|TD||2:01||SHANE STEICHEN 70 YD RUN (SERGIO AGUAYO KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 82 yards.
|FG||2:35||BRETT JAEKLE 26 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 46 yards.
|FG||8:09||BRETT JAEKLE 22 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 39 yards.
|TD||2:33||ROBERT HUBBARD 1 YD RUN (BRETT JAEKLE KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 34 yards.
|TD||1:09||GREG ESTANDIA 16 YD PASS FROM SHANE STEICHEN (SERGIO AGUAYO KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 28 yards.