LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tyler Nevens had 12 carries for a career-high 184 yards, including an explosive 69-yard touchdown burst, and San Jose State overcame its biggest halftime deficit of the season to beat Nevada 30-20 on Friday night and clinch the program’s first berth in the Mountain West Conference Championship game.
San Jose State (6-0, 6-0), which trailed 20-7 at halftime, is off to its best start since the Spartans went 13-0 in 1939 and plays Boise State in the title game on Dec. 18.
Freshman Shamar Garrett caught the opening kickoff of the second half at the 2, ran up the right hashmark to about the 25 and broke left before racing along the sideline to trim SJSU’s deficit to 20-14. On its ensuing drive, the Wolf Pack moved to San Jose State’s 1 before, on second-and-goal, Jay Kavika forced a fumble by Toa Taua that was recovered by Jay Lenard. Derrick Deese Jr.’s 5-yard touchdown catch capped a 12-play, 99-yard drive with 2:34 left in the third quarter and Nevens’ scoring run gave the Spartans a 27-20 lead about two minutes later.
Taua had 11 carries for 96 yards for Nevada (6-2, 6-2).
Junior Cade Hall had 2 1/2 sacks, including a pair on back-to-back plays on Nevada’s final offensive possession. The 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end has eight sacks this season, tied for eighth most in the country.
SJSU had 196 of its 200 yards rushing in the second half and finished with 506 totals yards.
Nevada, which turnover the ball in the first half, lost four fumbles after halftime.