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This Week in the Mountain West: Week 2. Is Nevada going to be a legit contender this year?

Is their 2-0 start due to a soft schedule or is the Wolf Pack building momentum for a strong season?

Nevada v New Mexico State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

After finishing the 2021 season on a decent stride, Nevada looks to continue their football domination into the 2022 season. Nevada’s first game this year was against New Mexico State and they won 23-12, while also encountering some struggles on offense with finishing scoring drives by just settling for field goals. However, Nevada’s offense last Saturday against Texas State was dominant with Nevada beating the Bobcats 38-14.

Before the game began Nevada was only favored by one point for their first 2022 season-opening home game, but Nevada decided to prove the predictions wrong and blow out Texas State by 24 points. Nevada put up five touchdowns against Texas State, which is a major improvement compared to their struggles against New Mexico State with settling for field goals. Defensively, Nevada held their own by snagging two interceptions from Bobcat quarterback Layne Hatcher and in total the defense had four turnovers which three out of the four turnovers turned into scoring drives.

The question is did we set low expectations for Nevada due to the exit of their head coach Jay Norvell, Quarterback Carson Strong, and now professional receiver Romeo Doubs? Is Nevada just on a good start due to the reasoning that their first two opponents don’t happen to be the best college football programs around or is Nevada going to be a legitimate contender in the Mountain West Conference this year? Nevada plays against the Incarnate Word Cardinals this Saturday and the Cardinal’s offense is no joke, which means we may finally get a good contender against Nevada for us to see what the Wolf Pack is all about in 2022.

The Incarnate Word Cardinals travel to the Wolfpack to battle against each other this Saturday, September 10th at 2:30 pm (PT) on the Mountain West Network. Nevada is favored in this match-up by two and a half points and is looking to improve their record to 3-0, however, the Cardinals are looking to become 2-0 after their dominating performance against Southern Illinois with a score of 64-29. Incarnate Word was able to put up 64 points due to their passing offense being one of their strongest attributes, which could cause issues for Nevada’s secondary. Incarnate Word’s passing offense is so strong due to their returning quarterback Cameron Ward who in 2021 threw for 47 touchdowns and led the Cardinals to a 10-3 record in the FCS.

All in all both of these football teams are competing for undefeated records and looking to be at the top of their conference. Personally, with the home field advantage, I see Nevada winning this game, however, Incarnate Word has a very powerful offense, so Nevada’s secondary will need to be up to the challenge and stay on pace with the Cardinals fast- paced throwing offense.