Earlier this week we previewed the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. We predicted that Nevada would take this one and we were correct. For the preview of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl from earlier in the week, click here.
Nevada Takes Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
The 38-27 score isn’t reflective of how thoroughly Nevada dominated the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. For two quarters, the Wolfpack sliced through the Tulane defense like a hot knife through butter. The Green Wave was able to mount a comeback after halftime, closing the gap to 26-20, but it was too late. (Coincidentally, Nevada was on the opposite end of a similar Famous Idaho Potato Bowl a year ago, as it spotted Ohio an early lead and fell short in a comeback attempt). It was a nice, although not ideal, way to end the season for the Wolfpack, who had a chance to play in the Mountain West Championship before losing their last regular-season game to San Jose State.
Nevada quarterback Carson Strong tied the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl record with five touchdown passes. The sophomore threw for 271 yards in the win. It wasn’t until the second quarter that he threw his first incompletion. His two leading receivers this season, Romeo Doubs and tight end Cole Turner, combined for ten catches and 102 yards. Turner found the end zone twice.
Nevada’s run game has been anemic this season, but you wouldn’t have known it from the Potato Bowl. Devonte Lee and Toa Taua combined for 38 carries, 207 yards, and a touchdown. Taua also caught a short pass that he took 44 yards for a receiving touchdown.
On defense, the Wolfpack have a lot of upperclassmen, and it showed. Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, a freshman, was harassed all afternoon. Pratt completed just 12 of 25 passes; he did throw two touchdowns and run for another, but he also threw three interceptions. He showed flashes, especially when escaping the pocket, but he also looked very much like a freshman at times. Receiver Jha’Quan Jackson caught two passes, both touchdowns, but with leading receiver Duece Watts out, Tulane struggled to pass the ball consistently. At one point, the Green Wave squandered good field position by allowing three consecutive sacks. On fourth-and-34, they opted to punt.
Finally, this year’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl featured one thing I’ve never seen before and probably never will again- an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for dumping french fries on the field.
Photo courtesy of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.