A couple of weeks ago, the San Jose State Spartans were thinking about a possible Mountain West divisional showdown with Fresno State.
Now, they’re just hoping to win one of their final two games to become bowl eligible after taking a 38-16 pasting in Reno at the hands of the Nevada Wolf Pack.
The Spartans led early, taking a 10-7 edge when David Fales hit Billy Freeman with a five-yard touchdown pass with 1:20 left in the first quarter, and the game remained close at the half.
Austin Lopez drilled a 50-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to draw San Jose State back to within 21-16.
But Nevada held the Spartans scoreless in the second half and by the time Brent Zuzo booted a 44-yard field goal with 6:34 remaining, the only thing that was in doubt was the final score.
David Fales was 28-for-43 for 326 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans (5-5, 4-3 Mountain West). But the running game sputtered, gaining 58 yards on 30 carries and the offense struggled to stay on the field, converting just 5-of-15 third-down opportunities.
Chandler Jones caught six passes for 77 yards to lead the Spartan air game.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo was 20-for-27 for 171 yards and a touchdown passing and also ran 14 times for 104 yards and a score for the Wolf Pack (4-7, 3-5 Mountain West). Kendall Brock added 85 yards on 17 attempts and scored twice and Don Jackson scored a touchdown on the ground and had 80 yards on 11 carries.
Nevada piled up 311 rushing yards on 51 attempts.
Brock opened the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run less than five minutes into the game to put the Wolf Pack up 7-0. The Spartans came back on a 47-yard field goal by Lopez and Freeman’s touchdown grab to lead 10-7.
Brock’s second score early in the second quarter put Nevada back on top to stay at 14-10. Lopez kicked a 44-yard field goal to make it 14-13. With 3:22 left in the half, Fajardo hit Brandon Wimberly for a two-yard score.
In the third quarter, the Wolf Pack put the game out of reach on a 39-yard touchdown run by Jackson and a 17-yard run by Fajardo.
The Spartans, who have lost two in a row, return to Spartan Stadium Friday night when they host Navy (6-4), kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Pacific.