- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
Nevada’s payoff small for such a big win
RENO, NEV. (AP) - The payoff for Nevada may come later, perhaps in the form of a few top recruits _ or some grudging recognition from those watching nationally that the Wolf Pack belong in the Top 25 after all.
Beating No. 3 Boise State in a game the 19th-ranked Wolf Pack was never supposed to win was the biggest thing to happen in this gambling city in quite some time. It may have been the biggest sports story here since Jack Johnson beat up on Jim Jeffries 100 years ago in a heavyweight title fight.
It certainly was a boost for a longtime coach whose only previous claim to fame was that he invented the increasingly popular pistol offense.
“It is the greatest victory this university has ever had, I can tell you that,” coach Chris Ault said. “The way it happened is just an unbelievable feeling.”
Play in the puny Western Athletic Conference, though, and the benefits can be limited. In Nevada’s case, that means the Wolf Pack’s only tangible rewards may be an improved rating and a trip to New Mexico for a bowl game that exists only to fill a few hours of television time for people taking a break from Christmas shopping.
It could be worse. At least Nevada fans get to celebrate a job well done.
Boise State’s faithful can only wonder what might have been as any hopes of a national title game or even a BCS bowl bid evaporated, when a kicker who had only missed three times all year whiffed on two short field goals. Final score in overtime: Nevada 34, Boise State 31. Suddenly, the annual BCS debate got a lot easier.
Had things gone right for the Broncos on what will always be known in Idaho as Black Friday, they might have been making travel plans for Jan. 10 in Arizona or perhaps the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Instead, their 24-game winning streak is over, their reputation has taken a hit, and the consolation bowl they’re headed for has none of the glamor of the ones the big schools play in.
And coach Chris Petersen still isn’t acknowledging what might have been.
“We still have another game next week,” said Petersen, whose 10-1 Broncos will face Utah State. “We said all along, at the end of the season we will see where we are and go from there.”
For the better part of three quarters Friday night it looked like Boise State would go places that small schools aren’t supposed to go in the BCS system. Up 24-7 at half, the Broncos were playing with the cool efficiency that made them the darling of BCS busters everywhere and seemed headed for their 25th straight win.
Then Nevada’s vaunted ground game started grinding out the yards and the pistol offense stopped firing blanks. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick began hitting passes, and Vai Taua started getting big chunks of yardage up the middle.
Against a defense that was No. 1 in the nation against the run, the Wolf Pack ran at will. Nevada outgained Boise State 239-8 on the ground in the second half, rallying to tie the game not once, but twice, before the Broncos struck with a long pass with just 2 seconds left to set up what appeared to be a winning field goal from 26 yards.
Senior kicker Kyle Brotzman, though, missed wide right. Then he pulled one left on the first possession in overtime.
And a freshman kicker from a local high school made Boise State pay dearly. Anthony Martinez, who earlier had a field goal try blocked, calmly kicked a 34-yarder through the uprights, and the celebration was on.
Few had noticed as Nevada won all but one of its games this year and climbed into the national rankings for the first time since 1948. Few had expected a team that had dropped 10 straight to Boise State and came into the game a 14-point underdog would upset one of the top teams in the country.
But the Wolf Pack did, gaining 528 yards on a defense that was only giving up 229 yards a game. Missed field goals aside, this was no fluke.
Nevada will almost surely get a boost in the rankings this week heading into its last regular season game against Louisiana Tech. But with Boise State now likely headed to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, the Wolf Pack may end up representing the WAC in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 18.
That hardly seems fair, considering an unranked Connecticut team with four losses has the inside track to a big BCS bowl game worth millions to the school and the Big East Conference. But the BCS is not about being fair, and teams in conferences like the WAC have to take their victories when they can.
Ault could include his own team in that equation after the team from the Biggest Little City in the World won its biggest game ever.
(This version CORRECTS Corrects to “puts” in 18th paragraph.)
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- Obama birther theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- KEENE: James Clapper should resign for lying to Congress
- Kim Jong-un consolidating power or losing grip on North Korea's military
- STEVENS: Resisting the seduction of housing speculation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow