Football: Wolf Pack Notebook: Moch breaks WAC record
Dontay Moch sure knows how to break a record in style.
The Nevada Wolf Pack defensive end set the Western Athletic Conference and Nevada record for tackles for a loss in a career Saturday night during a 35-13 victory over San Jose State at Mackay Stadium.
Moch, who now has 52 tackles for a loss in his Pack career, had a career-high five tackles for a loss against San Jose State.
“That record means a lot to me,” Moch said. “That’s something I’ve been working for my whole career.”
The Wolf Pack and WAC record for tackles for a loss in a career was held by the same player, Nevada’s Ezra Butler at 50.5.
Moch now has 11 tackles for a loss this season. He established the Pack single-season record a year ago with 20. The year before, as a sophomore, he had 17.5.
“I’m real proud of him,” Pack head coach Chris Ault said. “That’s pretty special. Dontay is one of the guys that has to be a productive player for us and he certainly was (on Saturday night).”
Moch doesn’t plan on stopping now.
“I want to put that record up higher and higher so nobody can reach it,” said Moch, who has eight games remaining in his career, including a bowl game.
TAUA, MOCH HONORED: Moch and running back Vai Taua were each named College Football Performance Awards winners this week.
Moch is the national Defensive Lineman of the Week for his nine-tackle performance against San Jose State and Taua is the Running Back of the Week after gaining 196 yards and scoring three touchdowns.
Taua was also named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. It his first WAC Player of the Week honor this year and second of his career. The senior also has 22 career 100-yard games and his fifth in a row.
WILLIAMS ANSWERS CHALLENGE: Wolf Pack safety Duke Williams was challenged by his coaches Saturday night.
“They kind of grabbed me by the neck at halftime and told me to step up and make plays,” the Hug High graduate said.
Williams made what is likely the play of the game on defense, intercepting a San Jose State pass in the end zone early in the third quarter with the Pack clinging to a 21-13 lead. The 6-foot-1 sophomore said he was also benched for a few plays in the first half.
“I had some tackling issues,” he said.
The interception (he also had eight tackles and forced a fumble), he said, was all in a day’s work.
“It shouldn’t take me getting benched to go out there and make a play,” he said. “That’s what I’m expected to do. That’s my job.”
KAEPERNICK KEEPS CLIMBING CHARTS: Wolf Pack quarterback Colin Kaepernick is establishing himself this year as one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football history.
Kaepernick passed for 273 yards and rushed for 91 yards and scored twice against San Jose State.
The 6-foot-6 senior is now seventh in career rushing yards in NCAA history with 3,545, just behind Kareem Wilson of Ohio (in sixth at 3,597). The NCAA career leader is West Virginia’s Pat White with 4,480 yards.
Kaepernick also moved into third place in NCAA history for career rushing touchdowns with 50, jumping ahead of Wilson. Eric Crouch of Nebraska (59) and Tim Tebow of Florida (57) are the only two quarterbacks still ahead of him.
Kaepernick is also just eight rushing touchdowns away from the WAC record for career rushing touchdowns (by any position). Ian Johnson of Boise State holds the record with 58. A couple of future NFL Hall of Famers, San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk (57) and TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson (54), are the only other players ahead of Kaepernick on that list.
PACK MOVES UP IN TOP 25 RANKINGS: The Wolf Pack moved up two spots this week in the two major national Top 25 rankings.
The Pack is now 19th in the Associated Press media poll and 21st in the USA Today coaches’ poll.
“That’s great,” Ault said. “But, to us, that’s old news. We have to keep looking ahead. The rankings are nice and I’m proud of this team, but that’s not something we can control.”
Kaepernick said the Pack isn’t bothered by the pressure of being ranked nationally.
“There’s always pressure when you are ranked and undefeated,” he said. “You are always going to have a target on your back. But we know we have to get ready for everybody’s best shot.”