Jan. 9, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO - Junior wide receiver Rishard Matthews totaled 161 all-purpose yards and No. 15 Nevada limited Boston College to 185 total yards as the Wolf Pack posted a 20-13 victory in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Sunday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The win established a Division I single-season school-record as the Wolf Pack completed their season 13-1. The victory also snapped Nevada's four-game bowl losing streak.
"We've paid our dues and worked for everything we've got," Nevada head coach Chris Ault said. "Boston College is a BCS team. They are a big and strong team. That's their reputation."
Boston College suffered its third straight bowl loss and concluded its season at 7-6.
"I would like to give Nevada credit and congratulate the team and Coach Ault," Boston College head coach Frank Spaziani said. "They are certainly deserving of their high ranking...They did some things that we weren't able to handle when we had a chance to make some plays."
Matthews was named the game's Most Outstanding Player after returning a first-quarter punt 72 yards for a touchdown, catching seven passes for 86 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown reception, and rushing once for three yards.
After Boston College took a 7-0 lead on a 30-yard touchdown run by Andre Williams following a Nevada fumble on its own 30-yard line, the Wolf Pack tied the score when senior All-American quarterback Colin Kapernick and Matthews hooked up for a 27-yard pass play with 3:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Matthews' punt return was the longest in San Francisco Bowl history and first by Nevada since 2001.
"That's one of the reasons they brought me here," Matthews said. "I just caught it. I saw that the outside was open, and it lead me to the end zone."
Williams made his presence felt again when he took a punt from his own 28-yard line and out-raced the coverage down the right sideline for a 72-yard touchdown that gave Nevada a 14-7 lead with 2:27 remaining.
That proved to be the last touchdown of the game as Nevada added a second-quarter 32-yard field goal by Anthony Martinez with 5:48 remaining in the second quarter that gave the Wolf Pack a 17-7 halftime lead.
Boston College managed just 70 yards in the first half and had just 88 yards of total offense at the end of the third quarter.
The Eagles managed a pair of field in the second half, and came within a touchdown and extra point on a 32-yard field goal by Nate Freese with a 3:52 remaining.
Boston College seemed to be on a potential game-tying drive with 3:06 remaining. The Eagles moved from their own 10-yard line to their 39-yard line. However, Chase Rettig's pass was intercepted by Khalid Wooten at the Eagles' 47-yard line, and returned six yards.
The turnover sealed the win for Nevada as it was able to run out the clock.
Kapernick, who passed for 192 yards and rushed for 76, brought his four-year career totals to 4,166 rushing yards, 10,098 passing yards and 14,264 yards of total offense. He also finished his career with 82 touchdown passes.
Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player after collecting a game-high 12 tackles and returning an interception 21 yards.