The Wolf Pack are coming off a rough performance in a loss to Notre Dame 39-10 in South Bend last Saturday afternoon. It was a game where the Wolf Pack offense struggled throughout most of the game as they failed to gain 100 total yards rushing and starting quarterback Tyler Stewart struggled with his passing accuracy. The Wolf Pack used two other quarterbacks besides Stewart in the game on Saturday as Ty Gangi and cornerback Asauni Rufus saw playing time but the offense still lacked production no matter who was at the position.
Since the first quarter of the season opener against Cal Poly, Nevada has struggled offensively as they have score only 19 points since then. The offense went without a touchdown for 18 straight drives before Gangi led Nevada on an 86-yard drive touchdown drive late in the game on Saturday to end that streak.
Despite the struggles on offense, Wolf Pack head coach Brian Polian does not sound like he is too concerned about it. "I'm happy with the offense with where it's at right now". Polian said on Monday.
Polian went on to say that "My body of work is training camp and two full games of practice. I ask the fans to keep in mind that their body of work is a game against a triple-option team where we're sitting on the sidelines for nine minutes waiting to get back on the field and playing against not only a Power 5 team but the no.18 ranked team in the country."
The Wolf Pack plan to go with three quarterbacks (Tyler Stewart, Ty Gangi, Asauni Rufus) going forward to give the offense a spark and to give opposing defense a lot to prepare for when facing the Wolf Pack.
"It allows us to use different elements in different situations and makes them practice for a whole lot of things when they come play us", said Tim Cramsey who is the offensive coordinator for the Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack will need to find that offensive consistency as they face a Bulls team that is coming off a lost to FCS school Albany last Saturday to start the season at 0-1.
The Bulls strength is their defense as they return every play from last year's unit and they are good against the run which could pose a problem for Nevada trying to establish the ground game. The Bulls do have one of the best corners in the MAC in Boise Ross but outside of him, the rest of the corners are young and undersized, so I expect the Wolf Pack big receivers to have a big game on Saturday.
The Wolf Pack defense may have to deal with the Bulls 6-foot-7, 245 lbs. freshman quarterback Tyree Jackson. Jackson, who Polian called him a praying mantis, has a huge arm and moves well for his size and excels in run-option plays for the Bulls. Jackson is still a work in progress but he does have the running ability that the Wolf Pack defense must account for when he is on the field.
This is the game that the Wolf Pack must find some consistency on offense. Nevada going to the three quarterback system could help them find some offensive rhythm that has been missing since the Cal Poly game. No matter who is the quarterback, the running game has to be better than it was last week against Notre Dame in order to achieve balance on offense.
Given the advantage the Wolf Pack receivers have over the Bulls undersized corners; I believe that the Wolf Pack will get their passing game going this Saturday as the Wolf Pack should defeat the Bulls.
Prediction: Nevada 24 Buffalo 10