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Preview 2009 Colorado State Opponents: Nevada Wolfpack

Nevada is a team that might challenge Boise State because of running back Vai Taua who stepped in for the injured Luke Lippincott to lead the WAC with 1,521 rushing yards in 2008. Lippincott, led the WAC in rushing in 2007 with 1,420 yards. Lippincott then received a sixth season of eligibility after missing all but two games with a knee injury last season.

Another reason why Nevada has a shot at rising to the top of the WAC is that they are the only team to return two players on defense with double digit sacks with Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped.

Also, do not forget that the Wolfpack return quarterback Colin Kaepernick who was the 2008 WAC first team all-conference quarterback, and just check below the returning offensive stats.

Passing Com% Yards TD INT
Colin Kaepernick 54.3 2,849 22 7
Rushing Carries Yards Yards Per Carry TD
Vai Taua 236 1,521 6.4 15
Colin Kaepernick 161 1,130 7 17
Receiving Catches Yards Yards Per Catch TD
Chris Wellington 42 632 15.0 6
Vai Taua 30 243 8.1 3
Tray Session 1 6 6 0

It is hard to take digs at this team, because the numbers do not lie and offensively they return eight players. The only missing are their top wide out and two lineman. If a dig is to be taken is it on the line because redshirt frosh Chris Barker is projected as one of the starting guards.

That is just knitpicking, because the Wolfpack's Pistol offense is a little different, but very effective in the running game. The biggest improvement to be made offensively is Colin Kaepernick if he can improve off of his 54 percent completion percentage then the Wolfpack will be very dangerous.

One fact about Kaepernick is that he is only the fifth player in NCAA history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Look for him to do it again.

Defensive is the problem, even with Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped returning to attack the quarterback, but the Wolfpack need someone in the secondary to step it up.

In the WAC Nevada was sixth in total defense by giving up 32 points per game, ninth in passing defense giving up 311 yards per game which also was 119th nationally.

There are eight starters back on defense which should help the secondary is a real mess with no clear cut players emerging, but rather six potential players who should see time.

Nevada does have a chance to be special and are an extreme darkhorse to dethrone Boise State for the WAC title, but the Wolfpack should make it to their fifth consecutive bowl game.

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