Matt Peterson fell on top of an onside kick with less than a minute to play, preserving Idaho State’s first victory over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since 2000 and handing struggling Nevada its first loss to an FCS team since 1994.
The Bengals (2-1) built a 30-7 lead Saturday night in Reno before holding on for a 30-28 win that was preserved when they stopped a 2-point conversion try with 58 seconds left.
Parker Johnson kicked three field goals and Tanner Gueller passed for a pair of touchdowns as Idaho State (2-1) took advantage of three Wolfpack fumbles. Nevada actually fumbled seven times but lost only three.
Gueller passed for 269 yards and Michael Dean rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on just five carries.
Kaymen Cureton was 19-of-33 for 205 yards and three touchdowns for Nevada, including a pair of TD strikes to Wyatt Demps in a 153-yard fourth quarter as the Wolfpack closed to within two points. He also was sacked four times.
A two-point conversion pass failed with 58 seconds remaining and ISU, which had lost 27 straight games to FBS opponents, recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Nevada (0-3) outgained Idaho State, which had lost 27 straight games to FBS opponents, by 423-383. But the Wolfpack had the turnovers problems and also coughed up the ball three times on downs, which led to the end of a long string of wins playing FCS teams. A neat bit of trivia: That ’94 loss to an FCS team (then Division I-AA) for Nevada came against Boise State.
Idaho loses to Western Michigan
Jon Wassink ran for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns and Western Michigan (1-2) scored 18 unanswered points to grab a 37-28 win over Idaho on Saturday in Kalamazoo.
Matt Linehan threw for three touchdowns and ran for one, his scramble from 3 yards out putting the Vandals ahead 21-19 with 3:39 left in the third quarter. He hit Alfonso Onunwor with a 39-yard scoring strike for a 28-19 lead before the Broncos rallied.
Wassink capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive, scampering the final 22 yards, cutting the Vandals’ lead to two points, and then capped a six-play, 33-yard drive with a 1-yard run for the lead. Giovanni Ricci scored on the 2-point conversion to make it 34-28, and Josh Grant kicked a 29-yard field goal for Western Michigan to set the final margin.
“I thought we were way better for three quarters, but we have to find a way to win that game in the fourth quarter,” Idaho coach Paul Petrino said. “The first three quarters was by far the best football we’ve played, but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t finish it off.”
Linehan was 16-of-26 passing for 229 yards for the Vandals (1-2), who committed three turnovers that led to 13 Western Michigan points.
Idaho kept the Broncos out of the end zone in the first half, taking a 14-6 lead. Western Michigan scored two touchdowns in the third quarter for a 19-14 lead, aided by punt returns of 55 and 49 yards.
“What really killed us as much as anything was turnovers and special teams,” Petrino said.
Aaron Duckworth had 97 yards rushing on 13 carries for Idaho, including a 74-yard run in the second quarter.
Yotes get win on Homecoming
The College of Idaho snapped its losing streak in style Saturday afternoon in Caldwell.
The Yotes, 0-3 to start the season, forced four turnovers and had 440 yards of offense, and scored twice in the fourth quarter to post a 28-20 win over No. 11 Eastern Oregon in NAIA action.
Darius-James Peterson rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown for C of I (1-3, 1-2 Frontier League), which scored TDs on its first two possessions. Mike Kirby’s second touchdown run of the day capped an 80-yard drive in the fourth, and Peterson’s TD from a yard out gave the Yotes a 28-13 lead with about seven minutes remaining.