RENO, Nev. (AP) — Flying high after last week's win at Cal, Nevada appeared to be headed for a 2-0 start when star quarterback Cody Fajardo opened the game with three consecutive touchdown drives and the Wolf Pack built a 31-20 lead over South Florida with less than three minutes remaining.
But that's when Bulls quarterback B.J. Daniels took charge, throwing a 52-yard touchdown pass to Chris Dunkley with 2:37 on the clock and then a 56-yard scoring toss to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left Saturday to come away with a 32-31 victory.
"That's a real difficult loss," Nevada coach Chris Ault said. "They're a really good football team, no question about it."
Cody Fajardo passed for 271 yards and a touchdown and ran for 134 yards and two more scores, and Stefphon Jefferson ran for 135 yards for the Wolf Pack (1-1), who had lost only once in their last 18 home games.
Davis, who also caught a 51-yard TD in the first quarter, finished with 12 catches for 191 yards.
Daniels, who also ran for 53 yards on 11 carries, completed 22 of 40 passes on the game for 363 yards. He completed 10 of 17 for 227 yards in the fourth quarter alone.
"B.J. Daniels is a great athlete," Nevada safety Duke Williams said. "He's mobile. He's one of the better quarterbacks I've ever faced in college. He has great receivers around him which makes him even better.
"I give all the credit to South Florida, they came over here 2,500 miles and came out with a win. It's a hard loss. We were up pretty much the whole game and they took it from us. The better team won."
South Florida coach Skip Holtz said he was a bit nervous down the stretch.
"B.J did a great job," Holtz said. "Boy, he was poised. Even to the point where he was starting to (tick) me off a little bit he was so calm."
Nevada, which moved this season from the Western Athletic Conference to the Mountain West, dominated early and led 21-13 at the half but Lamar ran 35 yards for a touchdown on South Florida's opening drive of the second half to cut the lead to 21-20.