EditorsNote: Edit 1: Fixes throughout
Nevada quarterback Ty Gangi’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Reagan Roberson in overtime enabled the Wolf Pack to beat Arkansas State 16-13 in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl in Tucson on Saturday afternoon.
Arkansas State placekicker Blake Grupe made a 32-yard field goal as time expired in regulation to put the game into overtime and converted a 24-yarder in overtime to give the Red Wolves a 13-10 lead.
Nevada running back Devonte Lee capped a 10-play drive with a 1-yard scoring run with 1:06 remaining to give the Wolf Pack a 10-7 lead. Gangi completed a 44-yard pass to Ben Putnam to the Arkansas State 1-yard line and Lee rushed in from there, capping the 74-yard drive that took 2:39.
Arkansas State answered with a drive to the Nevada 14 as quarterback Justice Hansen, formerly of Oklahoma, completed five of six passes in the drive for 52 yards.
The Arizona Bowl was dubbed the “Dances with Wolves Bowl” because the Nevada Wolf Pack and Arkansas State Red Wolves were the participants.
That dance turned out to be a slow waltz as far as scoring was concerned until the late stages of the fourth quarter with Arkansas State prevailing 7-3 in front of an announced crowd of 32,362 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.
The most excitement occurred late in the fourth quarter when Nevada was successful on a flea-flicker in which running back Kelton Moore took the handoff and flipped the ball back to Gangi, who completed a pass to Putnam to the Red Wolves’ 17.
However, in a game full of lost opportunities, Nevada (8-5) was stopped on downs with 4:10 left.
Two teams that had prolific passing quarterbacks, with each having more than 3,000 passing yards this season and ranked in the top 35 nationally in total offense entering the game, could not complete scoring drives.
Arkansas State (8-5) had the ball inside the Nevada 10-yard line three times in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter but came up empty.
The Red Wolves were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the 4 with 7:41 left in the third quarter when a pass from Hansen was completed to lineman Lanard Bonner (an eligible receiver) but Bonner was stopped behind the line.
On Arkansas State’s next possession, after safety B.J. Edmonds intercepted a pass by Gangi, the Red Wolves drove from the Wolf Pack’s 39-yard line to the 6. The drive stopped when Hansen threw an interception that was caught by Jomon Dotson in the end zone off a tip and was returned to the Arkansas State 5.
After another interception thrown by Gangi that was snagged by Arkansas State’s Jerry Jacobs, the Red Wolves went from the Nevada 34 to the 9. Once again, the scoring threat was thwarted when Hansen was intercepted at the goal line by Justin Brent, who landed on the Wolf Pack 1.
—Field Level Media