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Nevada Wolf Pack 2018 Season Preview

How will they be in year two of Norvell?

NCAA Football: UNLV at Nevada Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports


Reasons for optimism:

Ty Gangi is going into his senior season as starting QB and is going to be one of the main reason why Nevada will have a consistent offense this upcoming season. Gangi ended up with 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, four rushing touchdowns, and threw for over 2,500 yards passing. His two main targets that he will be throwing to will be sophomore McLane Mannix and junior Brendan O’Leary-Orange. They both were top three in receiving yards and combined for 10 touchdowns for Nevada last season. Kelton Moore is going to be a big threat against opposing opponents this upcoming season in the backfield, who averaged over 5.0 yards per carry.

Cause for concern:

The loss Austin Corbett and Wyatt Demps will hurt Nevada next season. Corbett was a three-time captain and was the starting left tackle for Nevada since his redshirt freshman year. Wyatt Demps was the leading wide receiver for Nevada with over 900 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns last season.

Key stat: 95.

According to ESPN Football Power Index, Nevada is ranked 95th for this upcoming season. This ranking is above Air Force, UNLV, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Jose State, and Hawai’I. Nevada is predicted to won six games in the Mountain West.


Junior starting center Sean Krepsz. Krepsz played every game last season and received All-Mountain West Honorable mention honors. He will bring the veteran experience that Nevada needs for this upcoming season and try to help Moore get over 1,000 yards rushing this upcoming season.


Reasons for optimism:

Nevada’s defensive coordinator Jeff Castell has big plans in mind after an regrettable season. They return seven starters and have most of their leading tacklers from last season. The names to watch for Nevada’s defense are Malik Reed, Dameon Barber, Gabe Swewell, Asauni Rufus, and Nephi Sewell.

Cause for concern:

Linebacker Austin Paulhus who was the leading tackler for Nevada has graduated and leaves big shoes to fill for the line backing core. Paulhus led the team last season with 112 tackles and had 4.5 sacks. Paulhus was a leader out on the field and his veteran leadership will be missed.

Key Stat: 119. N\evada ranked 119th last season for defense and needs to turn it out around this upcoming season. The secondary that can help improve this defense are Dameon Barber and Asauni Rufus. Barber had a breakout season three interruptions and two touchdowns for Nevada. The defense will need to improve all areas and Castell’s 3-3-5 scheme will have to improve for him to keep his job under head coach Jay Norvell.


Junior linebacker Gabe Sewell is going to be one of the biggest factors for the defense this upcoming season. Last season, he had 59 tackles after having 78 in 2016. Sewell should improve more and more throughout the season and will become more of a leader this upcoming season.


Nevada ended the season in winning fashion and holding on to the cannon defeating UNLV 23-16. The last game of the season for Nevada is always the most exciting game when they play UNLV for who takes the cannon back home.

The offense should have more consistency at the quarterback position with Gangi starting this upcoming season. Moore should have over 1,000 yards rushing and around 8-10 touchdowns. The chemistry between both players will help them evolve as the season progresses. Mannix was one of the biggest surprises for Nevada’s receiving core and shows lots of potential of becoming the number one target for Gangi. Fans should keep a close key on how good Nevada’s offense will really be this season.

The defense is the biggest weakness for Nevada and needs to improve in order for them to win games. The biggest number that comes to mind is the pass defense giving up about 263 yards per game. Barber and Rufus can be huge factors to become a better defense. The biggest change in the defense is Reed moving to the linebacker position, which helps Nevada have a stronger line backing core and will be fascinating to watch him play that position. Nevada’s defense needs to show more consistency in order for them to win more games.

Warning: I am not great at predictions, but I am honest about how Nevada will do this upcoming season.

Best case scenario:

Nevada goes to a bowl game since 2016 and ends up with seven wins during the regular season. The big game that Nevada could win is at home against Fresno State.

Worst case scenario:

Nevada still gets more wins than last season but fails to show up to a bowl appearance.

What’s probably going to happen:

Nevada will double their wins from last season and become an even .500 team and hopefully make a bowl appearance. Nevada’s defense improves, and potential becomes a top five defense in the league.