Fall camp is a time for players to impress coaches and make their mark before the season begins. For Nevada, their season begins August 31 at UCLA and first year head coach Brian Polian has exactly three weeks to figure out his personnel for that game.
While Polian has had roughly a week to see the squad in action, today provided the first look for the public as the gates to Mackey Stadium were opened to the public to check out a practice. Here are the winners and losers from todays practice.
WINNER: Don Jackson
If there were any question on whom the running back would be behind quarterback Cody Fajardo at UCLA that was just about answered today. Jackson took a vast majority of the carries in the drills and scrimmage while Fajardo was at quarterback, and Jackson worked solely with the first team offensive lineman and looked impressive while doing it. He busted out multiple runs of more than ten yards and never seemed to be taken down in the backfield. Look for Jackson to entrench himself as the starter barring injury.
LOSER: Field goal kicking
Junior kicker Colin Ditsworth was expected to come into camp and be challenged by freshman kicker Brent Zuzo. Today though both kickers struggled in the few kicks they took with them missing back to back 37 yard field goals and Ditsworth banging a 40 yarder off the uprights. One of these kickers well need to take ahold of this postion and emerge if the Wolf Pack are going to have any confidence in the kicking game.
WINNER: Tere' Calloway
The defensive backfield was so weak last year and has so little returning experience that true-freshman Tere' Calloway was expected to compete for playing time. Today he did not disappoint and looked impressive running in the scrimmage with the second team defense. Calloway even picked off back up quarterback Devin Combs with a toe-tapper. He may not start but could add depth in the defensive backfield if he is not redshirted.
LOSER: Stephen Jeffers
Stephen Jeffers well likely compete with Kolby Arendse for playing time at the tight end position, and while Jeffers is a better blocker than Arendse he will still need to be able to catch the ball to be dynamic enough to see the field. Today Jeffers' hands let him down as he dropped two straight easy passes from quarterback Cody Fajardo, who looked very impressive.
Music blasting. Coaches screaming. Players dancing. There was not a lack of energy from the team and it could be felt throughout the stadium. It was fun to watch and the players really seemed to be enjoying themselves on the field. Defensive end duo Brock Hekking and Lenny Jones were some of the catalyst for energy on the field today.
For tweets and pictures from the practice today follow @NVkeegs on twitter.