RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Washington State dominated all phases of the
game at Nevada, scoring on an interception and a punt return,
sacking the Wolf Pack quarterbacks six times and racking up 534
yards total offense in a 55-21 victory Friday night.
Alex Brink passed for three touchdowns, Michael Bumpus scored on
an 87-yard punt return and Jerome Harrison and DeMaundry Woolridge
combined for 254 yards rushing as the Cougars ran their
non-conference record to 2-0.
"We got beat in every phase of the game," Nevada coach Chris
Ault said. "There is no excuse for our performance."
Eric Frampton returned an interception 36 yards for the opening
touchdown and Washington State sacked Nevada quarterback Jeff Rowe
five times in the first half to help the Cougars take a 27-0
Caleb Spencer scored on a 21-yard pass from Rowe in the third
quarter for Nevada (0-1), but Brink answered with a 22-yard TD pass
to Hill to make it 34-7 at 10:27 in the third quarter and the
Cougars never looked back.
Washington State coach Bill Doba said his Pac-10 team had a
significant size advantage over the Wolf Pack of the Western
"I don't think we totally dominated. I think it was a pretty
tough ball game until the second quarter," Doba said.
"Really, what got us going was the interception that went for a
touchdown. That built confidence in our kids. Then in the third
quarter we just wore them down," he said.
Brink was 15-of-23 for 202 yards, including two touchdowns to
Hill, who had five catches for 92 yards.
Woolridge, a freshman, came off the bench to run for 133 yards
on 15 carries, including a 1-yard score and a 70-yard run from
scrimmage late in the game. Harrison carried 18 times for 121
yards, his fifth game in a row over the 100-yard mark.
Nevada's top receiver Nichiren Flowers, a first-team all-WAC
selection last year, was benched the first half for disciplinary
reasons and caught only two passes the second half for 20 yards.
"Nichiren does not have a sense of urgency and he needs to
practice better," Ault said after the game.
"We need Nichiren, I'm sure that's clear. This guy is a senior,
he let this team down. He forced us to do some things we did not
want to do," he said.
Rowe completed 19 of 32 passes for 219 yards. B.J. Mitchell led
Nevada's rushers with 59 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run
late in the game, and Spencer finished with seven catches for 126
Bumpus, who returned five punts for 157 yards, took one 21 yards
to Nevada's 44 late in the first quarter. Four plays later, Brink
found tight end Troy Bienemann open in the end zone for an 18-yard
score and a 14-0 lead.
Loren Langley's 18-yard field goal made it 17-0 at 9:51 in the
second quarter. A few minutes later, on third-and-9 from his own 2,
Brink threw over the middle to Hill for a 47-yard gain and then hit
him with a 6-yard TD pass to cap a 99-yard scoring drive for a 24-0
lead at 3:33 in the second quarter.
A 29-yard punt return by Bumpus helped set up Langley's field
goal from 27 yards 22 seconds before the half.
Bumpus' 87-yard touchdown return at 9:30 in the third quarter
was the longest punt return in school history, breaking the record
of 81 that both Rick Reed and Mark Williams set against San Jose
State in 1968. It was Bumpus' third punt return for a touchdown,
tying Washington State's career mark.
Josh Swogger came off the bench to throw a 44-yard TD pass to
freshman Brandon Gibson to push Washington State's lead to 48-7
with 4:36 left in the third quarter.
After Mitchell's touchdown, Robert Hubbard scored on a 3-yard
run to cut it to 48-21 with 12:51 left in the game before Woolridge
scored with 7:12 left.
"We improved," said Dobra, whose team beat Idaho last week
38-26. "It's our second game and their first. We made adjustments.
If we played each other on the first game, it would have been
Nevada linebacker Jeremy Engstrom said the Cougars were bigger
and faster but should not have dominated the way they did.
"They are a big team but it didn't make that big of a
difference to me, where i was out on the field saying these guys
are monsters," Engstrom said.
"They are quick, no doubt about it. Harrison's pretty fast and
they've got some burners at wide receiver. But it was nothing we
can't cover and nothing we shouldn't have been able to keep in,"