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Nevada Football: Wolf Pack look to pull off upset against Pac-12 opponent Arizona

On Saturday, the Wolf Pack will try to knock off the 22nd ranked Arizona Wildcats in a rematch of last year's thrilling contest in Tucson.

In order for the Wolf Pack to pull off the upset of Arizona, Don Jackson will need to have a big game on Saturday.
In order for the Wolf Pack to pull off the upset of Arizona, Don Jackson will need to have a big game on Saturday.
Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

The Nevada Wolf Pack will host a big time opponent in the friendly confines of Mackey Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they face the 22nd ranked Arizona Wildcats out of the Pac-12 conference.The Wolf Pack come into this contest 1-0 after defeating the UC Davis Aggies last Thursday by a score of 31-17 and now will face an Arizona team with a potent offense that is led by sophomore quarterback Anu Solomon. Solomon has a lot of talent to work with on offense which includes receivers Samajie Grant, who is making his season debut after being suspended for the season opener  for violation of team rules, and Johnny Jackson who filled in for Grant last week by catching eight passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.  

Even with the talent the Wildcats possess on offense, the Wolf Pack are a confident group heading into this match-up. "We have our hands full but we're excited about the opportunity" Polian said about playing Arizona. Polian also went on to say that "I don't think our guys are intimated. I don't think they're scared by any stretch of the imagination, nor should they be. But we have a very strong respect for this opponent". The Wolf Pack have a reason to be confident about their chances against Arizona because the last two meetings between Nevada and Arizona have been close contests that were decided by single digits. In the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, the Wolf Pack blew a 13 point lead to Arizona before falling to the Wildcats by a score of 49-48.  And when these two teams squared off in Tucson last year, the Wolf Pack were down 21-6 before coming back to tie the game in the third quarter and kept the game close before the Wildcats edged the Wolf Pack 35-28.

Despite the Wolf Pack being listed as double digit underdogs, the Wolf Pack don't feel like underdogs. "I have full faith in our football team that we can win this game" said Wolf Pack senior linebacker Bryan Lane Jr. "I don't feel like an underdog whatsoever" For the Wolf Pack to pull off the upset, they have to control the clock by running the ball with Don Jackson and James Butler and keep the up-tempo Arizona offense off of the field and also wear down the Wildcat defense that will be without All-American linebacker Scooby Wright III who went down with a lateral meniscus tear last week in their victory of the Roadrunners. Another key for Nevada to win the game is tackling well against Arizona's playmakers because if a Nevada defender misses a tackle, a short gain could turn into a long touchdown for Arizona.

If Nevada can control the clock with their running game, contain the Arizona offense by not give up the big play and execute in the late stages of the game, the Wolf Pack may pull off a big victory over a ranked team on Saturday.