Carson Strong threw five touchdown passes and Nevada compiled eight sacks and three interceptions in a 38-27 win over Tulane on Tuesday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Boise, Idaho.
Strong, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, completed 22 of 28 passes for 271 yards with no interceptions.
The Wolf Pack were led on the ground by Devonte Lee, who gained 105 yards on 18 carries. Toa Taua produced 102 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Taua also caught six passes for 77 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown.
Nevada (7-2) finished with 209 rushing yards.
The Wolf Pack achieved their seventh bowl win in program history, including three in their past four attempts.
Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, who entered the game with only five interceptions on the year, was picked off three times, leading to two Nevada touchdowns. Pratt completed 12 of 25 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns.
Tulane (6-6) was unsuccessful in its attempt to achieve three bowl victories in the past three seasons.
Trevor Price, Lawson Hall and Tristan Nichols each had two sacks for Nevada.
Nevada led 26-7 at halftime with a time-of-possession edge of 20:16 to 9:44 after tallying 334 yards in total offense with 14 first downs.
Tulane had the first possession of the second half and drove 75 yards for a touchdown to pull within 13 points. The 12-play drive, which culminated on a 6-yard touchdown by Pratt, took 4:57.
At the end of Nevada’s ensuing possession, Tulane’s Jha’Quan Jackson returned a punt 27 yards to the Wolf Pack’s 45. Four plays later, Pratt connected with Jackson for 28 yards with 6:30 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 26-20.
Senior E.J. Muhammad recorded his first career interception, Pratt’s third of the game, to end the Green Wave’s next possession. Muhammad returned the ball 32 yards to the Green Wave 20.
Strong then completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Cole Turner, and the Wolf Pack led 32-20 with 13:22 left in the fourth quarter after the two-point conversion pass failed.
The lead grew to 38-20 on Strong’s 21-yard pass to Jamaal Bell with 4:19 left.
Nevada’s halftime lead was built behind three touchdown passes by Strong and 76 rushing yards by Taua, who scored on a run and also a pass from Strong.
–Field Level Media