Nevada is on a two-game losing streak after dropping games to Purdue and Hawaii. The Wolf Pack are at a turning point in the season and while it may only be week six, this looks to be a “must-win” game for Nevada.
1. Score early
For all the issues that Fresno State has on defense, pass defense is not one of them. The Bulldogs currently rank first in the conference in pass defense, but last in run defense. This plays into Nevada’s hands if they can get the offense going early, as the Wolf Pack are much more successful on the ground than through the air. However, if Nevada finds themselves behind and have to throw the ball to get back in the game, the Wolf Pack could be in trouble.
2. Improve tackling
Nevada had a ton of turnover in the front seven this offseason, and many of the new players haven’t improved much. Because of this, the Wolf Pack have struggled to wrap up and tackle the ballcarrier. If they can cut down on missed tackles and limit extra yards, they can drastically change their defensive outlook up front.
3. Have a short memory
Coming off two tough losses, Nevada desperately needs to get back on track in order to keep their bowl hopes alive. Reaching six wins with a 3-3 records is significantly easier than doing so from a 2-4 record. If they can forget the last two games, they should be able to beat a Fresno State team that frankly isn’t very good. However if they continue to dwell on their past mistakes, they could once again find themselves struggling.
Prediction: Nevada 23, Fresno State 14
I think Nevada is showing they are a deeply flawed-team, but Fresno State might be worse. I think it will be an ugly game, but Nevada’s running game makes the ultimate difference.