RENO, Nev. (ABC4 Sports) – Another game, another blowout loss for Utah State.
After racing out to a 9-0 lead at Nevada, the Wolf Pack scored 34 unanswered points, pulling away to a decisive 34-9 victory, dropping the Aggies to 0-3 on the season.
This is the first time since 2008 that Utah State has began a season with three straight losses.
“It’s tough,” head coach Gary Andersen said. “[The locker room was] not where they expected to be, not happy with the outcome. They’re always tough locker rooms. The locker room was somber. The locker room was challenging. But the locker room is ready to come back and fight.”
Carson Strong tore about the Utah State defense, completing 36 of 52 passes for 411 yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Romeo Doubs.
Jason Shelley struggled for the third straight game at quarterback for the Aggies, throwing for just 96 yards and a touchdown. Shelley has yet to top the 100-yard passing mark in a game this season.
Utah State’s defense gave the Aggies the early lead, as linebacker AJ Vongphachanh sacked Strong in the end zone for a safety.
Utah State then scored its lone touchdown of the game on the ensuing possession, as Shelley hit Justin McGriff for a 4-yard touchdown to give the Aggies a 9-0 lead.
But is was all Nevada after that.
Strong connected with Doubs on touchdown passes of 42 yards, 3 yards and 54 yards as Nevada took a 21-9 lead into the half. Doubs finished with seven catches for 137 yards.
Toa Taua ran through the Utah State defense for 107 yards on 12 carries and a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter to increase the Nevada lead to 28-9.
Brandon Talton connected on two field goals for the Wolf Pack for the final margin.
Utah State managed just 210 total yards and 11 first downs, while giving up 542 yards to Nevada.
Shelley led the Aggies in rushing with 34 yards, while Jaylen Warren returned from a knee injury to rush for 27 yards on seven carries.
Deven Thompkins was Utah State’s leading receiver with six catches for 30 yards.
“The energy is just down right now,” Thompkins said. “We have to figure out what the problem is, why we keep on losing these games.”
Shaq Bond recorded double-digit tackles for the Aggies as he had 10 stops, including a team-best 2.0 tackles for loss. Zahodri Jackson, Cam Lampkin and Jared Reed all recorded career highs in tackles with seven, six and five, respectively.
The Aggies recorded season highs in tackles for loss (10.0) and sacks (4.0).
But Nevada converted four of five fourth down chances.
“It’s tough when you lose those fourth downs,” Andersen said. “But I still sensed the core of the defense fought the whole game.”
The Aggies next host Fresno State November 14th.