Strongs 2 TD passes lead Nevada past Cal 22-17

BERKELEY, California (AP) -Carson Strong threw 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead Nevada to a 22-17 victory …

BERKELEY, California (AP) -Carson Strong threw 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead Nevada to a 22-17 victory over California Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

Strongly connected on TDs to Romeo Doubs and Elijah Cooks for a happy return to Northern California.

Strong grew up about an hour away from Memorial Stadium and participated in Cal games and camps. But after a knee injury his final year of high school in Vacaville, the Bears did not recruit him and he has become a star in Nevada.

The victory closed a few weeks for Wolf Pack, who has been forced to practice at seven venues since training camp started due to poor air quality on campus from forest fires.

Cal scored TDs on his first two drives, but then stalled and went three-and-out on the next four drives. While the Bears could not move the ball, Nevada scored 22 equal points.

Wolf Pack reduced the deficit to 14-13 at halftime on a couple of field goals from Brandon Talton and Strong’s 43-yard TD pass to Dobbs.

Strong then put together an impressive drive to open the second half to give Wolf Pack the lead for good. He completed a 17-yard pass to Cole Turner on third and 17, a 46-yard pass to Tory Horton on third-and-9 and then a 16-yard TD to Cooks on the next game to make it 19-14 .

Nevada added a 49-yard field goal from Talton to 22-14 after Cal coach Justin Wilcox denied a penalty kick after an incomplete pass of 3rd and 18th from 32.

Cal then entered the red zone on the next two drives. But the Bears settled for a short field goal Dario Longhetto on the first and came up empty the next turn after Chase Garbers was fired in third place from 9 and Longhetto missed a 40-yard field goal.

TAKEAWAY

Nevada: Wolf Pack entered the season with high hopes and was selected to win the West Division of the Mountain West, thanks in part to an experienced offense that returned all 11 starters. The start of the season with a win on the way to a Power 5 team only raises those expectations.

California: The Beas had been 9-0 in the normal-season nonconference matches under Wilcox before stumbling into this game. Garbers struggled to move the team and threw just 177 yards on 38 attempts. He also threw a wicket late in the fourth quarter.

NEXT

Nevada: Host Idaho State Saturday.

California: Visiting TCU Saturday.

___

More AP college football: https://twitter.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Give a Comment