While the Broncos have not played the Nevada Wolf Pack since 2014, there is still some “bad blood” for the team from Reno. It may be a more manufactured feeling for the team, but the fans (at least Bronco fans) definitely have kept up the UNR hate. Cannot speak to the Reno side of things but there is certainly no loved lost for the Wolf Pack here.
UNR is still in the throes of transitioning to the new Air Raid offense. As such the Wolf Pack have been able to put up a good number of points scoring 35, 42, and 42 points the last three outs. According to Jay Tust the Wolf Pack leads the nation in explosive plays since October 1st. They are averaging nine plays a game with 20+ yards. Despite the points the Wolf Pack can put up, their defense is just as generous letting the opposing offense score 44 (Colorado State) and 45 (Air Force). As such, the Broncos may be able to continue their offensive momentum from the Utah State game. And, maybe, keep the Wolf Pack from putting up as many points.
After an early Reno lead, that started with an impressive drive, the Broncos rallied to dominate the Wolfpack through the air to the tune of 339 total receiving yards. Rypien had 258 yards on 20/28 passing and two TDs. Alexander Mattison had 64 yards and two rushing TDs. Broncos dominated the rest of the way for a 41-14 win.
The opening drive for the Wolf Pack was the culmination of a bye week they were given before this matchup. Nevada was able to march 75 yards in 13 plays. Ty Gangi was 5-6 35 yards passing. Running back Kelton Moore rushed for 25 yards on the series, and the score. Less than ideal start for the defensive side of the ball. But could be something to rebound from.
The Broncos started their series well enough. Both Rypien and Cozart saw time on the first series. Rypien was 4-5 and 44 yards. The offense could drive down the field effectively. Even busting out a trick play with a Cedrick Wilson to Brett Rypien (yes, you read that correctly) successful catch. But, while in the redzone, the Broncos offense stalled a bit and had to settle for a Joel Velasquez FG.
On the next Wolf Pack series, the Broncos defense was able to force a pretty great turnover. Kekoa Nawahine picked off Ty Gangi. This lead to some Boise State momentum and a Alexander Mattison rush touchdown. This put the Broncos up for the first time in the game 10-7.
Not to be outdone the Wolfpack’s offense are able to march down the field (again?!) with another score. 14-10 Wolfpack.
It took all of two plays (and Rypien firing on all cylindars) to get another pass TD to Cedrick Wilson. A beautiful 44-yard pass.
The Wolfpack proceeded to move down the field again. The Broncos were able to stop Nevada on a third down but, unfortunately, a sideline unsportsmanlike penalty nulled the stop. No matter. Big man, Curtis Weaver, joined the INT club and picked off Ty Gangi and returned it 17-yards.
The Broncos took the opportunity to stretch their lead and score some more points off the turnover. 24-14 Broncos.
The Nevada offense stalled again on their next possession. After a 24-yard drive the Wolfpack pulled a quick-kick that went 26 yards. The next possession saw the Broncos light up with passes to AJ Richardson and Wilson. Not sure if this is a return to form, but you can see his confidence building. Ryan Wolpin even got in on the fun and caught some well-thrown passes from Rypien. Broncos were able to get Wolpin a well-earned TD.
The Bronco offense had the momentum going into the half with a score and the ball back in the third quarter. 31-14 Broncos at the half.
The opening of the second quarter saw a return of the confident offense that the first half saw. With a pretty incredible lateral from Montell Cozart to Cedrick Wilson, then a pass from Wilson to Cozart for 31-yards. Alexander Mattison capped off the drive with an 11-yard rush for a TD. 38-14 Broncos.
Reno’s first possession of the second half didn’t amount to much. But, interestginly enough, it was their first true punt play. The Broncos made an impressive charge down the field—even getting to the Nevada 12—but turned the ball over on downs on a pretty bad pass from Rypien to Alec Dhaenens. Dhaenens was wide open but Rypien must have had a bad hold on the ball and threw the ball right at Dhaenens’ feet.
The Broncos held the Wolf pack on their next possession to another punt. Which yielded the Broncos a FG try early in the fourth quarter. 41-14 Broncos.
Nevada seemed pretty listless by the fourth quarter. Though still moving the ball at a decent clip, which included a Ty Gangi pass to demps for 30 yards. However the Bronco secondary didn’t stop and Tyler Horton added another INT to the Broncos’ totals.
The fourth quarter is more of a wind down. As both teams were trying to get out of the stadium without an injury. Broncos kept up their offensive momentum from Utah State and move to 5-0 in the Mountain West.