Another big game for Lippincott
By Steve Ranson
Special to The Advertiser
By Steve Ranson
RENO, Nev. — Nevada running back Luke Lippincott thrives on big games, especially against nationally ranked teams.
The Wolf Pack junior rushed for more yards against 16th-ranked Hawai'i than any other running back this season as the University of Hawai'i pulled out a 28-26 win last night against the University of Nevada.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound back from Salinas, Calif., penetrated the Warriors' defense for 142 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Earlier this season against Boise State, Lippincott rushed for 187 yards on 41 carries.
Lippincott, the hard-charging back, has now rushed for 100 or more yards in five consecutive games.
"He's a very north-south guy, a blue collar running back," said UH coach June Jones. "Every time he's getting hit, he's falling forward."
Jones said Lippincott's direct style of running fits Nevada's offense.
"It's perfect for what they are trying to do for a back," he said.
Jones said he was impressed with Lippincott's speed, especially in the open field for Nevada's first score.
"On his touchdown, we took a bad angle," Jones said.
Lippincott's first touchdown, though, came on a 22-yard pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter. His reception capped Nevada's first touchdown drive with 13:13 left in the first half.
"It was a screen pass, a good call at the time because they kept blitzing us," Kaepernick said. "Our linemen made some good blocks downfield."
Kaepernick said the offensive line blocked well to give Lippincott and Brandon Fragger some running room.
"They ran very hard tonight," Kaepernick added.
Lippincott said it was tough running against Hawai'i's defense, but he credits the Nevada line for opening the holes.
"We showed them what kind of team we are," Lippincott said.
Lippincott said the Wolf Pack gave the Warriors a good game, but he said Nevada needs to find a way to finish a game.
"We're playing good, but we can't get to that last inch ... or whatever," he said.
Nevada coach Chris Ault said Nevada could easily be 9-1 instead of 5-5.
Lippincott scored his second touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run with 8:27 left in the game. That's when the Wolf Pack covered 51 yards on three plays.
"He's a solid, competitive kid," Jones said.
Nevada gained 214 yards on the ground compared to UH's 51.
UH's ground attack has been overshadowed this season by the Warriors passing game, but a walk-on junior gave the backfield a small spark.
Daniel Libre, a 2004 Konawaena High School graduate, began the season as a wide receiver, but because of Kealoha Pilares' knee injury, Libre played in his first game of the season against Fresno State last week and then last night in Reno.
Libre rushed for 40 yards on five carries against the Wolf Pack. He led the Warriors with 61 yards on six carries against Fresno State last week.
NOTES: Nevada coach Chris Ault said Hawai'i did a nice job. "It was a good ball game," he said, adding Nevada didn't "get the job done." Ault said UH is worthy of a BCS bowl.
"They played with some energy out there," he added.