ESPN listed its top-100 college football games of the 2019 season this week, and the Nevada Wolf Pack made the cut not once but twice.
The Wolf Pack played three thrillers at Mackay Stadium in 2019 with walk-off wins over Purdue and San Jose State and a walk-off overtime loss to UNLV. Here are the two Nevada games that made ESPN's top-100 list with their ranking attached. The recaps are written by ESPN's Bill Connelly.
17. Nevada 34, Purdue 31 (Aug. 30): Safe to say, the best game of Week 1 was not one we predicted. Purdue took an easy 24-7 lead on a Friday night in Reno, but the host Wolf Pack surged, scoring on a late 20-yard Carson Strong-to-Elijah Cooks pass to tie the game at 31. There was time for Purdue to still win in regulation, but Daniel Brown picked off Elijah Sindelar. Four plays and a spike later, Nevada had a chance to seal the comeback. And as we would learn after the game, freshman kicker Brandon Talton would have a chance to secure a scholarship with a 56-yard bomb. Done and done.
24. UNLV 33, Nevada 30 (Nov. 30): UNLV played inspired early ball in fired coach Tony Sanchez's last game, surging to a 17-0 lead on two long touchdowns. The Rebels still led 27-13 in the fourth quarter when Nevada made its move. The Wolf Pack scored on two long drives to force overtime, then went ahead with a 42-yard field goal. But Kenyon Oblad and Steve Jenkins connected for a 19-yard score and a UNLV win. And then ... chaos. Nevada defender Austin Arnold sucker punched Oblad during the celebration and a brawl broke out.
The Wolf Pack finished the season 7-6 overall and 4-4 in the Mountain West, reaching a bowl game for the second straight season. It might not have ended in a championship, but the 2019 campaign certainly provided some memorable moments.