BYU rarely loses at home.
With fewer than half a dozen losses in Provo since 2005, getting steamrolled by the Nevada Wolf Pack, 27-13, on Saturday was a bitter pill to swallow.
After starting the season with a solid win over Washington, BYU has now lost three in a row. But there were bright spots for BYU. Freshman QB Jake Heaps completed 24 of 45 passes for 229 yards in his first college start.
Nevada was simply too powerful for BYU. With one of the highest rated QBs in the country, fresh off a stunning thrashing of PAC-10 power Cal last week, Colin Kaepernick continued to produce, throwing for 196 yards and a TD while rushing for 82 yards and another TD inching closer to breaking the NCAA rushing TD mark.
Vai Taua was his usual productive self rushing for 133 yards an a TD. The Nevada defense continued to show dramatic improvement over last season holding BYU to 13 points.
Nevada did display some rough edges, coughing up the ball twice and throwing one interception. But solid defense mostly prevented BYU from capitalizing on turnovers.
BYU coach Mendenhall echoed Cal coach Tedford in their assessment of Nevada and Kaepernick. Tedford endorsed Nevada as a top 25 team stating they would be competitive in the PAC-10 while Mendenhall indicated that Kaepernick compared favorably to Washington's Jake Locker who has gotten much more national attention.
Nevada is off to its first 4-0 start in nearly 20 years and may well be ranked for the first time ever come Monday morning. With BSU's solid win over Oregon State, it looks increasingly likely the Wolf Pack and Boise State may face off on Nov. 26 in a battle of ranked, unbeaten teams with the WAC title and BSU's BCS hopes on the line.
With two WAC teams now soundly defeating teams from BCS conferences, it is becoming increasingly difficult to write off BSU and Nevada. Folks are taking notice, just ask Cal and Oregon State.