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Previewing UNLV's 2010 Opponents: Nevada Wolfpack

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Nevada's Stats for the 2009 Season:

Head Coach Chris Ault

Record

8-5 (7-1)
Bowl Game 45-10 loss to SMU

Returning Starters for Nevada:

 

Side of the Ball Position Player
Offense Quarterback Colin Kaepernick
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 Center Kenneth Ackerman
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
Defense Cornerback Isaiah Frey

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

offense # Pos. DOB W H College
Kenneth Ackerman 63 OL - 280 6-4 senior
Jose Acuna 79 OL - 305 6-6 junior
Shane Anderson 23 WR - 205 6-1 sophomore
Mike Ball 5 RB - 225 5-10 freshman
Chris Barker 75 OL - 305 6-4 freshman
John Bender 62 OL - 325 6-8 junior
Joel Bitonio 70 OL - 280 6-4 freshman
Kevin Bohr 42 TE - 240 6-3 senior
Luke Collis 15 QB - 210 6-2 sophomore
Alonzo Durham 73 OL - 285 6-4 senior
David Fales 17 QB - 195 6-2 freshman
David Fisher 11 QB - 205 6-1 freshman
Brandon Fragger 24 RB - 195 5-9 senior
Mike Gallett 50 OL - 300 6-6 junior
Virgil Green 85 TE - 240 6-5 junior
Steve Haley 74 OL - 305 6-5 sophomore
Kelton Hall 86 TE - 225 6-3 freshman
Joseph Huber 3 WR - 180 6-0 freshman
Aaron Huck 66 OL - 295 6-3 sophomore
Stephen Jeffers 64 OL - 260 6-3 freshman
Stefphon Jefferson 36 RB - 190 5-11 sophomore
Colin Kaepernick 10 QB - 220 6-6 junior
Tyler Lantrip 16 QB - 220 6-4 sophomore
Kyle Larimer 6 WR - 180 5-11 freshman
James Laughlin 60 OL - 300 6-3 freshman
Luke Lippincott 7 RB - 215 6-2 senior
Cameron Loeffler 13 RB - 195 6-0 freshman
Emir Lopez 12 QB - 210 6-0 freshman
Mason Magleby 13 QB - 195 6-2 freshman
Lampford Mark 29 RB - 200 6-1 sophomore
Jeff Meads 67 OL - 290 6-3 sophomore
Josh Morrow 80 TE - 220 6-4 sophomore
Jeff Nady 78 OL - 285 6-7 freshman
Moe Patterson 9 WR - 200 6-3 junior
Alex Pinto 77 OL - 290 6-3 freshman
Talaiasi Puloka 98 TE - 240 6-4 senior
Zack Quilici 16 WR - 180 6-0 freshman
Jon Rabe 76 OL - 285 6-5 freshman
Courtney Randall 35 RB - 215 5-10 junior
Jack Reynoso 72 OL - 275 6-3 freshman
Dwayne Sanders 2 WR - 175 5-10 senior
Tray Session 82 WR - 175 6-3 sophomore
Malcolm Shepherd 19 WR - 210 6-3 junior
Shea Slayton 15 WR - 180 6-1 freshman
Zach Sudfeld 44 TE - 245 6-7 sophomore
Vai Taua 34 RB - 220 5-10 junior
Jeffrey Taylor 10 WR - 180 6-1 freshman
L.J. Washington 18 WR - 195 6-0 freshman
Chris Wellington 14 WR - 190 6-1 junior
Steve Werner 68 OL - 310 6-5 freshman
Brandon Wimberly 4 WR - 195 6-3 freshman
Michael Wyman 11 WR - 185 6-2 freshman
defense # Pos. DOB W H College
Daniel Agaiava 96 DL - 275 6-3 senior
Nate Agaiava 95 DL - 285 6-2 senior
Jonathon Amaya 49 DB - 190 6-2 senior
Mike Andrews 92 DL - 275 6-3 sophomore
Mark Avery 97 DL - 270 6-4 freshman
Kevin Basped 99 DL - 240 6-6 junior
Cameron Bayne 38 DB - 180 6-1 senior
Mike Bethea 36 LB - 245 6-3 senior
Thaddeus Brown 22 DB - 175 5-11 freshman
Kaelin Burnett 57 LB - 205 6-4 sophomore
Khyriece Campbell 5 DB - 160 6-0 freshman
Ryan Coulson 58 DE - 255 6-3 junior
Andre Davis 54 LB - 230 6-1 sophomore
Mose Denton 26 DB - 180 6-1 freshman
Joe Easter 53 LB - 235 6-1 sophomore
Sam Foster 87 DE - 250 6-4 freshman
Isaiah Frey 28 DB - 190 6-0 sophomore
Scott Frisbie 61 DE - 275 6-4 sophomore
Deantae Green 56 DE - 235 6-2 sophomore
Kevin Grimes 31 LB - 205 6-0 junior
Mo Harvey 25 DB - 210 6-3 senior
Wesley Hollingshed 94 DT - 295 6-2 freshman
David Jamieson 71 DE - 225 6-4 freshman
Marlon Johnson 8 DB - 185 5-11 freshman
James-Michael Johnson 52 LB - 240 6-2 sophomore
John Kelly 88 DE - 230 6-5 freshman
Adam Liranzo 3 LB - 230 6-4 junior
Zack Madonick 93 DL - 285 6-1 sophomore
Brandon Marshall 33 LB - 235 6-1 sophomore
Chris Metcalf 32 DB - 185 6-2 freshman
Doyle Miller 6 DB - 185 5-11 junior
Dontay Moch 55 DE - 245 6-1 junior
Seann Reed 59 LB - 240 6-3 senior
Albert Rosette 51 LB - 225 6-2 freshman
Brett Roy 47 DE - 260 6-4 sophomore
Galen Schmidt 89 DL - 270 6-0 freshman
Jared Silva-Purcell 40 LB - 220 5-11 junior
Chris Slack 90 DL - 270 6-5 senior
Cory Smith 30 DB - 180 6-2 junior
Antoine Thompson 11 DB - 195 6-1 senior
Duke Williams 20 DB - 185 6-1 freshman
Ahmad Wood 37 DB - 185 5-11 freshman
Khalid Wooten 12 DB - 195 6-0 freshman
specialists # Pos. DOB W H College
Ricky Drake 46 K - 190 6-0 junior
Jake Hurst 69 P - 210 6-1 sophomore
Brad Langley 48 P - 200 6-0 junior
Anthony Martinez 8 K - 175 5-6 freshman
Nick Rhodes 39 K - 180 5-11 sophomore


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