After slaying one of the nation’s biggest monsters of college football, University of Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s vision looked something like this:
A scoreboard reading Nevada 34, Boise State 31.
Dejected faces of the opposing players and coaches.
Thousands of fans storming Mackay Stadium in Reno, Nev., offering high-fives and handshakes.
And news reporters asking him what it felt like to pull off one of the greatest athletic wins in the city’s history.
“That’s a pretty perfect ending for me,” he would say later.
It’s been five days since redshirt freshman Anthony Martinez kicked in a 34-yard field goal in overtime that set off a celebration that no one thought would be possible, considering the opponent. On Friday night, it was Boise State (then-No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP), which needed the win to help earn a spot in the BCS National Championship.
Kaepernick and his Nevada teammates weren’t intimated by this monster.
The 2006 Pitman High graduate finished with another standout night, this time in front of an ESPN audience. And this time, the quarterback known for his speed did most of his work in the air, completing 19 of 35 passes for 259 yards and one touchdown. He still managed 45 rushing yards, including an 18-yard score late in the third quarter that saw him dismiss a couple of defenders in the backfield before diving into the end zone.
Then Kaepernick hit Rishard Mathews with a 7-yard TD pass with 13 seconds left to tie it at 31-31. But Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore had what looked like his Heisman Trophy moment. His 53-yard pass to Titus Young set up a close range field for kicker Kyle Brotzman, who missed from 26 yards out with 2 seconds left.
Brotzman then missed from 29 yards in overtime. Later, Martinez got his game-winning field goal.
On this night, Kaepernick was one of many heroes. And that’s the way he likes it, always deflecting any personal accomplishments to his teammates. After beating Boise State, he did it again. He talked about the Wolf Pack (11-1 overall) and their ability to be in a rare position of getting a share of the Western Athletic Conference title, with Saturday’s game against LA Tech being the only obstacle left.
His parents, Rick and Teresa, and his siblings, Kyle and Devon, were there Friday night to walk him out during the Senior Night ceremony. The cold night didn’t stop the family from getting a little emotional.
“One thing I thought was cool is he said when he walked out with Teresa and (me) for Senior Night, he saw me tear up a bit,” Rick said, “and at that point realized what a big deal the game and Senior Night was.”
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