When: Saturday September 7th at 6:00 p.m. PT
Where: Reno, Nevada
Record: UC Davis (0-1) vs. Nevada (0-1)
TV: Mountain West Digital Network
Nevada will open up their home schedule with a matchup against an FCS opponent after getting demolished on the road at UCLA. Neither the offense or defense particularly impressive in the first game of the season for the Wolf Pack, but that trend should reverse this week. A loss in this game would be detrimental to the season and get the Nevada fans questioning if coach Brian Polian was the correct hire.
UC Davis will be playing their second straight road game to start the year. After a disappointing 10-7 loss to South Dakota, the Aggies will look to follow in the steps of North Dakota State, Towson, and Eastern Washington as an FCS programs to upset FBS schools.
Key players to watch
Nevada QB Cody Fajardo: One of the few players who had more positive than negative moments against UCLA, Fajardo will need to break down the UC Davis secondary which is a strength for the Aggies. Additionally he should have a big game with his feet facing a defense that is not as quick or athletic as the UCLA defenders.
UC Davis DE Nick King: Arguably the best defender on the Aggies defense, King will need to have a big game in the pass rush to disrupt the Nevada passing game. If he is matched up with Nevada left tackle Joel Bitonio, he could struggle, so look for King to line up more against right tackle Kyle Roberts.
Nevada DTs Jordan Hanson and Jack Reynoso: Both of these guys will need to plug up holes against the run first UC Davis offense. With the uncertainty at the quarterback position for the Aggies, the Nevada defense can likely focus on stopping the run. The Nevada defense struggled last week against UCLA allowing 345 rushing yards, so that number will need to improve and it starts with this defensive tackle duo.
UC Davis RB Gabe Manzanares: Racking up 91 yards and one touchdown against South Dakota is not very impressive, but he was the best player for UC Davis on the offensive side of the ball. If UC Davis has any chance at all in this game, Manzanares will need to be more productive and keep the ball out of the Nevada offense's hands.
Prediction: Nevada 52 UC Davis 16