Big plays make for big wins
Nevada 28, San Diego State 24:
San Diego State outgained Nevada (456 to 297), averaged more yards per play (5.9 to 4.5), had more first downs (24 to 14), won the time of possession battle – and still lost by four points.
How does that happen?
Because Nevada won the big-play battle. The Wolf Pack’s first-quarter safety not only stopped the bleeding from a 14-0 deficit, but it was also essentially a nine-point play – two for the safety and seven more when a short field led to a five-play touchdown drive. That drive was capped by one of the game’s great individual efforts, as running back Toa Taua took a short Ty Gangi pass and danced his way down the right sideline for a 40-yard score.
In just over two minutes of game time, San Diego State went from a 14-point lead and possession of the ball to a five-point lead and a complete momentum shift to the home sideline.