Nevada's Stats for the 2009 Season:
|Head Coach||Chris Ault|
|Bowl Game||45-10 loss to SMU|
Returning Starters for Nevada:
|Side of the Ball||Position||Player|
|Offense||Running Back||Vai Taua|
|Offense||Wide Receiver||Trey Session|
|Offense||Wide Receiver||Chris Wellington|
|Offense||Wide Receiver||Brandon Wimberly|
|Offense||Tight End||Virgil Green|
|Offense||Offensive Tackle||Mike Gallett|
|Offense||Offensive Guard||John Bender|
|Offense||Offensive Guard||Chris Barker|
|Defense||Defensive End||Dontay Moch|
|Defense||Defensive End||Kevin Basped|
|Defense||Outside Linebacker||James Michael Johnson|
|Defense||Outside Linebacker||Brandon Marshall|
The Wolfpack return just about everyone on offense with a running game that was amazing last season. The defense is another story though, Nevada only returns 5 starters on defense this season and that could make for some shootout games. Should be pretty interesting to see how UNLV fares against the running game this year, last year they were literally run over by a bus. Nevada scored 63 points, and the starting running back had 5 touchdowns... five! And this was for the team that started 0-3 on the season before ripping on UNLV to get back on track.
Nevada's 2010 schedule doesn't seem very bad, if you just look at the non-conference. Playing the WAC, you can't give this team's schedule much credit, but they definitely were bold in their non-conference schedule this year. The Non-conference schedule includes Eastern Washington, Colorado St., Cal, BYU, and of course UNLV. Nevada gets 5 non-conference games this season because they play Hawaii on the road. Based on last season's records, the real tests are going to come at the beginning and end of the schedule with Cal and BYU in the 3rd and 4th weeks of the schedule and Fresno St. and Boise St. in the 4th to last and 2nd to last weeks of the schedule. In between they should get some easy wins, so for Nevada fans, relax, you're schedule isn't too hard with only a couple of tests here and there.
More analysis of Nevada after the jump...
Strengths of Nevada
Running the Football, that's about it. Nevada has always had a great running game. Last season they had three 1,000 yard rushers, but not a real passing game. Wolfpack QB Colin Kaepernick is mainly a scrambling QB with a rocket arm. His issue though is composure under pressure and accuracy. Kaepernick has worked all of the past 3 seasons on trying to up his passing game and make this team elite. The Wolfpack return the top three starters in the wide receiver core and welcome junior college transfer Rishard Matthews and grayshirt Aaron Bradley to the team to hopefully make the wide receiver core a few steps up from last season. If Kaepernick can control his accuracy and composure and the wide receiver core lives up to the newfound hype, then this offense will be practically unbeatable, except against top 10 teams (Boise State).
If Nevada has a strength on defense, it has to be the defensive line. The D-Line was really the only bright spot for the Wolfpack last season, boasting a linemen with 9.5 sacks. Unfortunately, that lineman is gone, but he is the only one gone in the Nevada 3-4 Defense. With the other two defensive linemen back, the chemistry should already be there.
Weaknesses of Nevada
Nevada has a lot of weaknesses. From their lack of a passing game to the missing secondary, Nevada is going to have some issues to deal with this season. As I discussed in the strengths of Nevada, the Wolfpack haven't had much of a passing game the last few years. Whether or not they can turn that around is mainly going to be up to Colin Kaepernick.
Nevada's defense is just horrible. They gave up 28.5 points per game last season and the only reason why they won games was because of the Wolfpack's amazing run offense. Nevada's only bright spot was the defensive line and other than that, they were awful. The secondary and linebacker core were not very good, not to mention neither of those positions are returning at least half their starters.
Nevada's Style of Play
If you look at Nevada's scores, you would think that they play in the Big 12 South - Spread Offense, No Defense. But they really are a pound the ball, try to play defense, kind of team. They rarely throw the football but that is because of how effective their running game is. The running game is so effective that you will see about 300 yards of rushing from the Wolfpack per game. The defense pretty much tries to keep up with the fast pace, but can't. So they kind of just get a turnover here and there and win by 1 or two touchdowns.
How do Nevada and UNLV stack up
This is a mismatch, period. We lost some of our best offensive talent to the NFL in Ryan Wolfe and Joe Hawley. Nevada lost practically no one and according to a few fans who went to the spring game, finally found a passing game. This should be an even bigger blowout than last year's was. Let me put it this way, It will look like a basketball game score, not a football game. UNLV's only chance is if the defensive line somehow steps up and stops this running game. Then we could use that to cover the passing game better and maybe get a few picks. UNLV's offense should have one of those few opportunities to have their way with a defense and score a whole bunch of points.
Here are the rest of the statistics for Nevada:
2010 Nevada Football Schedule
Wolf Pack Football Schedule
|Eastern Washington||Thu 09/02||6:05 PM PDT|
|Colorado St.||Sat 09/11||7:30 PM PDT|
|California||Fri 09/17||7:00 PM PDT|
|@ BYU||Sat 09/25||3:00 PM PDT|
|@ UNLV||Sat 10/02||7:00 PM PDT|
|San Jose St.||Sat 10/09||TBA|
|@ Hawaii||Sat 10/16||8:30 PM PDT|
|Utah State||Sat 10/30||TBA|
|@ Idaho||Sat 11/06||2:00 PM PDT|
|@ Fresno St.||Sat 11/13||7:00 PM PST|
|New Mexico St.||Sat 11/20||1:05 PM PST|
|Boise St.||Fri 11/26||7:15 PM PST|
|@ Louisiana Tech||Sat 12/04||12:00 PM PST|
2010 Nevada football roster
Nevada Wolf Pack Football Roster
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