Stefphon Jefferson tied an NCAA record by scoring seven touchdowns to lead Nevada in a 69-24 win over Hawaii on Saturday. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak in Honolulu for the Wolf Pack (3-1, 1-0 Mountain West) that dated back to 1948.
It was the first time since 2007 that the home team had won in the series between the two former Western Athletic Conference teams. Both schools left the WAC for the Mountain West Conference in July.
“It was terrific,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “We’ve lost the last four times we’ve been here, and I’m the one who has been outspoken about it. … We were fortunate tonight. I thought we played well on both sides of the ball.”
Jefferson, a junior running back, carried 31 times for 170 yards and scored on 3-, 2-, 1-, 5-, 3- and 1-yard runs and added a 55-yard scoring reception.
It was the fourth time a player had seven touchdowns in a game, the first since Oklahoma State’s Rashaan Woods did it in 2003. The mark is also a new Mountain West Conference record.
“I really didn’t realize that at all,” Ault said of Jefferson tying the NCAA record. “What can you say? He played terrific. He caught a couple screens, did a great job with it. Our offensive front did a terrific job up front for him, and Stefphon did a great job finding the holes.”
Nevada racked up 575 yards of offense and had 30 first downs. It was 8 of 12 on third downs and 7 of 7 in the red zone.
After a three-and-out on their first drive, the Wolf Pack scored on their next five possessions to build a 34-17 halftime lead. Jefferson, who had 90 yards on 19 rushes at intermission, added a rushing touchdown in both the third and fourth quarters.
Hawaii’s defense came in allowing just 62.5 rushing yards per game, but gave up 355 to Nevada. The Wolf Pack averaged 6.3 yards per rush on 56 attempts. It was their 13th straight game with at least one 100-yard rusher.
Sean Schroeder’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Ostrowski pulled Hawaii within 20-17 midway through the second quarter, but Nevada scored 42 unanswered points until a Warriors touchdown in the game’s closing minutes.
Cody Fajardo completed 14 of 20 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He had 69 yards rushing and was not sacked.
Fajardo’s other TD pass was an 8-yarder to Zach Sudfeld in the third quarter.
Brock Hekking recorded two of the Wolf Pack’s four sacks and forced a fumble.
Schroeder was 22 of 40 for 234 yards with two interceptions. Will Gregory ran for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Warriors (1-2, 0-1).
It was the most points ever allowed by Hawaii at Aloha Stadium and the most in a home game since 1950, when it allowed 74 against Stanford.
“It’s just one game. It’s a disappointing one,” Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. “Obviously, we didn’t play as well as we could. Give (Nevada) an awful lot of credit.”
Nevada took a 9-8 lead in the all-time series. The 45-point margin of victory is the second-largest in series history. The Wolf Pack beat Hawaii 73-12 in 1948.