Scores

Final

New Mexico St 6

(2-9, 1-6 Sun Belt)

(19) Nevada 52

(10-1, 5-1 MW)

4:05 PM ET, November 20, 2010

Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV

1 2 3 4 T
NMSU 0 3 3 06
#19NEV 10 21 7 1452

Top Performers

Passing: C. Kaepernick (NEV) - 251 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: V. Taua (NEV) - 22 CAR, 111 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: V. Taua (NEV) - 1 REC, 79 YDS, 1 TD

Colin Kaepernick scores 3 TDs on offense as Nevada defense stifles New Mexico State

Associated Press

RENO, Nev. -- Colin Kaepernick, Vai Taua and the rest of the Nevada Wolf Pack (No. 18 BCS, No. 19 AP) are finally getting what they wanted: a chance to play Boise State (No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP) for a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.

Kaepernick threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns and Taua ran for 111 yards and scored three times Saturday to lead Nevada past New Mexico State 52-6 and set up Friday night's game in Reno against the undefeated defending champions.

"It is going to be a great opportunity for us," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "And they are coming to Mackay. That's pretty special."

"Boise's defense is as good as there is. And their offense is the best they've ever had. We have our work cut out for us," he said.

Kaepernick and Taua hooked up on a 79-yard pass play for a 31-3 lead just before the half as the Wolf Pack (10-1, 4-1 WAC) claimed their 11th straight victory at home and ensured their first 10-win season since 1991.

Freshman Andrew Manley completed 19 of 39 passes for 220 yards for the Aggies (2-9, 1-6 WAC). But Nevada's defense held New Mexico State to 89 yards rushing, sacked Manley six times and had two interceptions. The last one was returned 90 yards for a touchdown by Khalid Wooten with 5:17 left in the game.

"Our defensive effort was outstanding," Ault said. "We had 11 tackles for a loss. That's pretty doggone good."

Nevada defensive end Dontay Moch had eight tackles, three sacks and 3 1/2 tackles for a loss. He entered the game ranked 13th in NCAA history in that category with 57 -- the active career leader.

Nevada's loss at Hawaii 27-21 on Oct. 16 eliminated the possibility of Nevada and Boise State both bringing undefeated records to the nationally televised game set for Friday night.

But both teams have had the game circled on their calendars from the beginning of the season and Ault said he spent much of the week making sure the Wolf Pack didn't have a letdown like they did two years when New Mexico State upset them 48-45 in Reno.

"I was real proud of the way the kids responded," Ault said. "We didn't look past New Mexico State. We're not that good to look past anybody. We're not Boise State."

The victory was the 500th in school history for the Wolf Pack.

"A lot of players play college football, but very few of them get a chance to make history," said Ault, who is the winningest coach in school history with a record of 216-97-1 over 26 years.

"Getting the 500th victory for this program is special. And to be the first major college football team in this school to get 10 wins is also very special. They deserve it."

Taua, the NCAA's active career leader with 24 games over 100 yards rushing, scored his third touchdown of the day Saturday on a 7-yard run to give Nevada a 38-6 lead with 4:44 left in the third quarter. It grew to 45-6 when Lampford Mark went untouched up the middle for a 57-yard touchdown with 10 minutes left in the game.

"I think after a while they probably wanted to get the throws in, the score was never really that close," New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker said. "I don't have to get these guys up, I know they are not going to quit. We're going to go back to the drawing board and get ready for Hawaii."

Nevada went ahead 17-0 early in the second quarter when Kaepernick got loose for 26 yards then three plays later threw a 22-yard scoring pass to tight end Virgil Green alone in the middle of the end zone.

Kaepernick, who became Nevada's all-time leader with 79 career TD passes, added a 9-yard TD run to push the lead to 24-0 with 3:40 left in the half.

Tyler Stampler's 47-yard field goal cut it to 24-3 with 52 seconds on the clock. But two plays later Kaepernick tossed a pass down the sideline into the outstretched arms of Taua who turned it into a 79-yard touchdown and a 31-3 lead at the half.

"They were in man coverage and Kap threw a perfect ball," Taua said. "If I would have dropped it they probably would have taken me out of the game."

"We are 100 percent focused on Boise now," he added.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NMSU
NEV
1st Downs1826
Total Yards309494
Passing220251
Rushing89243
Penalties5-543-31
3rd Down Conversions5-205-12
4th Down Conversions1-22-2
Turnovers31
Possession34:5325:07

Passing Leaders

New Mexico StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Manley19/392205.602
NevadaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kaepernick15/272519.320

Rushing Leaders

New Mexico StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Clay13554.2012
Smith9293.208
NevadaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Taua221115.0218
Mark10959.5157

Receiving Leaders

New Mexico StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Rogers49423.5044
Allen5438.6017
NevadaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Taua17979.0179
Green25929.5137

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNMSUNEV
TD09:17Vai Taua 2 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 07
FG06:38Anthony Martinez 36 Yd 010
SECOND QUARTERNMSUNEV
TD12:47Virgil Green 22 Yd Pass From Colin Kaepernick (Anthony Martinez Kick) 017
TD03:40Colin Kaepernick 9 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 024
FG00:52Tyler Stampler 47 Yd 324
TD00:22Vai Taua 79 Yd Pass From Colin Kaepernick (Anthony Martinez Kick) 331
THIRD QUARTERNMSUNEV
FG09:08Tyler Stampler 39 Yd 631
TD04:44Vai Taua 7 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 638
FOURTH QUARTERNMSUNEV
TD10:03Lampford Mark 57 Yd Run (Anthony Martinez Kick) 645
TD05:17Khalid Wooten 90 Yd Interception Return (Anthony Martinez Kick) 652