Date: November 16, 2013
Time: 7:30 pm PST
Where: Reno, Nevada (Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium)
The magic number is six. Six wins and you are pretty much guaranteed a bowl berth in college football. The Spartans need one more win to hit that number. The Wolf Pack, if they win out, can only reach five victories. So what does Nevada have to play for? To ruin the Spartan's season.
For Nevada, this year has been a bit of a disappointment in the first year without Chris Ault. For the first time in eight years, the Wolf Pack will not be going to a bowl game. So with nothing much to play for, coach Brian Polian throughout the week has said these final games are for the seniors. Nevada also has a chance to prevent the Spartans from ensuring themselves a bowl berth. That is an exciting opportunity.
The Wolf Pack has had a terrible rush defense this year, and will need the front seven to prevent the Spartans from running effectively. San Jose State is a pass first team that sometimes loses its balance and throws the ball too much, so Nevada needs to get the Spartans in obvious passing situations. For the Wolf Pack's run game they must avoid Keith Smith, an inside linebacker for the Spartans, who is the nation's leading tackler.
For San Jose State, their quarterback David Fales is familiar with the Wolf Pack programs. Fales originally committed to Nevada and during his freshman year backed up star quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Fales is an accurate pocket passer who simply didn't have the speed to run the read option effectively. Fales should be fired up for this game and ready to throw against a weak defensive secondary. On defense, the Spartans must contain Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo. While Fajardo has not been extremely effective in the run game, he still has shown the ability to break long plays, evidenced by his 68-yard touchdown run last week. If Fales out plays Fajardo, it could turn into a blow out for the Spartans.