Ault wins No. 200, Nevada beats Louisiana Tech
RENO, Nev. (AP)—Chris Ault never dreamed when he was Nevada’s quarterback four decades ago that he’d end up coaching the Wolf Pack to 200 victories.
He became only the sixth active coach in the NCAA’s Football Subdivision to accomplish the feat Friday night when Colin Kaepernick passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more to lead Nevada past Louisiana Tech, 37-14.
“The special thing to me is that it was done all at one university and it represents every single player who has put on the silver and blue. That’s pretty special,” said the 62-year-old Ault, Nevada’s quarterback from 1965-67 who has a record of 200-94-1 in 25 seasons as the coach.
Kaepernick finished with 166 yards passing and 89 yards rushing—including a 67-yard TD run—and Vai Taua added 107 yards on the ground for Nevada (2-3, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) in its fifth straight victory over the Bulldogs (2-3, 1-1).
“Kap was excellent. He was like a coach on the field,” Ault said.
Daniel Porter ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns, including one for 64 yards for Louisiana Tech, which ran for only 15 yards in the first half and was held to 256 yards total offense for the game to Nevada’s 511.
“It was a great win,” Kaepernick said. “It was our first WAC win and it gets us on the road to winning a WAC championship. It’s also Coach Ault’s 200th win, which was something in the back of our minds. It’s just a great feeling.
Ault is the 54th coach in NCAA history to top the 200-win mark and the 35th to win them all at one school. The other active coaches with 200 or more wins are Penn State’s Joe Paterno (387-128-3), Florida State’s Bobby Bowden (384-126-4), Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer (223-113-4), Ohio State’s Jim Tressel (222-77-2) and Texas’ Mack Brown (205-100-1).
“Congratulations to Coach Ault on his 200th win. I wish it wasn’t against us, but it’s a terrific feat,” Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley said. “They whipped us from the beginning on both sides of the ball. … It never looked easy. Kap is a special guy and the offense is built around him.”
Kaepernick, a junior who is one of only 13 players in NCAA history to rush for 2,000 yards and pass for 4,000 yards in his career, completed 15 of 21 passes, including a 24-yard TD throw to Brandon Wimberly and a pair of 3-yard scoring strikes to tight ends Talaiasi Puloka and Virgil Green.
Louisiana Tech took its only lead just 44 seconds into the game when Phillip Livas returned the opening kickoff 84 yards and Porter ran 15 yards for a touchdown.
Kaepernick led the Wolf Pack on a 14-play, 76-yard drive capped by his 3-yard pass to Puloka to make it 7-7. He threw a block to help spring Tray Session on a reverse for 47 yards to Tech’s 5 and two plays later he went around the left end for the score for a 14-7 lead. Ricky Drake added a 40-yard field goal for a 17-7 halftime lead.
Wimberly scored when he took a swing pass from Kaepernick at the 20, spun past three would-be tacklers then dove from the 4 to get the nose of the ball across the goal line to put Nevada ahead 23-7 early in the third quarter.
Two plays later, Porter broke a pair of tackles on a 64-yard touchdown run to cut it to 23-14.
After Nevada punted, Ross Jenkins threw a long pass intended for Cruz Williams but defensive back Isiah Frey jumped high in the air for an interception and give the Wolf Pack the ball back at their own 40 midway through the third.
Later, Kaepernick faked a handoff inside then ran around the left side and sprinted 67 yards for a touchdown to make it 30-14 with 1:55 left in the quarter.
On the first play of the fourth deep in Tech’s territory, Nevada linebacker Kaelin Burnette blocked Cade Glasgow’s punt. As the ball rolled toward the goal line with Wolf Pack defenders in pursuit, Tech safety Tank Calais kicked it through the end zone and was whistled for a penalty that gave Nevada the ball at the 3. Kaepernick threw a 3-yard TD pass to Green.
Porter moved into seventh on the Tech’s career rushing list with 2,613 yards.