Nevada embarrasses in-state rival for first win of season

RENO, Nev. -- UNLV coach Mike Sanford was still trying to figure out what happened to his Rebel team on Saturday after rival Nevada posted 773 total yards in a crushing 63-28 loss.

The figure was the most total offense by a Division I team so far this year, eclipsing the 663 Florida totaled against Troy on Sept. 12, according to the NCAA.

"I need to watch the tape. I can't answer that question," Sanford said when asked how Nevada did it.

"We needed to answer every score with a score and we didn't do that," he said. "The game got away from us late. We didn't stop them... There's no excuse. Give them all the credit. They played well today."

Nevada reserve running back Mike Ball ran for 184 yards and the first five touchdowns of his career as Nevada rolled up a school record 559 yards rushing to claim its first win of the season and fifth in a row over the Rebels.

"I give credit to the offensive line," said Ball, who carried 15 times and scored on runs of 10, 1, 32, 4 and 89 yards. "My mother could have run through some of those holes."

The 559 rushing yards also was the most by a Division I team this year, topping the 474 Air Force had against Nichols State on Sept. 5, according to the NCAA.

Colin Kaepernick rushed for 173 yards and threw for 200, and Lippincott added 170 yards rushing, ran for one touchdown and threw for another on a trick play to Kaepernick for the Wolf Pack (1-3). The team never punted but had to overcome four fumbles in the game that was 21-21 at the half and 28-28 with less than a minute left in the third quarter.

Mike Clausen, filling in for injured quarterback Omar Clayton, completed 26-of-50 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown for the Rebels (2-3), whose last winning season was in 2000.

It was the first time in school history three Nevada players have rushed for more than 100 yards in the same game and the first time a single player had five rushing touchdowns in a game since Chance Kretschmer had six against UTEP in 2001.

Nevada coach Chris Ault, a former quarterback for the Wolf Pack in his 25th season as coach, ran his career record to 199-94-1.

"This game was big because we were 0-3 and fighting for an identity, both offensively and defensively," said Ault, whose team has lost to Notre Dame, Colorado State and Missouri this season.

"We all felt we were better that we showed this year. But 0-3 is 0-3. It's like we said all week. If there was ever a time to stand up, you stand up in your rivalry game," he said.

Nevada went 80 yards on the opening series of the second half and Ball ran 32 yards up the middle for his third score of the day to put the Wolf Pack ahead 28-21. But on their next series, Ball gave up Nevada's fourth fumble of the game and UNLV linebacker Beau Orth fell on it at midfield.

C.J. Cox ran 23 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-28 after the officials reversed a first-down call on fourth down to keep the Rebels' drive alive.

The next series, on third-and-10 and with a UNLV blitz in his face, Kaepernick dumped off a screen to Lippincott who went 43 yards to UNLV's 4-yard line before Ball went up the middle untouched for another score and a 35-28 lead with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.

After UNLV failed on a fourth-down attempt at Nevada's 43, Kaepernick threw a 17-yard TD pass to Virgil Green to make it 42-28 with 11:21 left in the game.

Later, Kaepernick took the snap, pitched it behind his back to Lippincott then slipped off to the end zone to catch Lippincott's 6-yard scoring toss for a 49-28 lead with 6:59 left. Then came Ball's 89-yard touchdown to make it 56-28 and finally Courtney Randall's 26-yard score with 3:04 on the clock for the final margin.

Kaepernick ran for 105 yards in the first half -- his seventh time over the century mark in his career -- as the Wolf Pack opened up a 21-7 lead. But the Rebels forced him to fumble twice -- and Lippincott a third time -- and Nevada was called for three pass interference penalties as UNLV forged a 21-21 tie just before the half.