Friday, December 5, 2008

Sunday is Too Far Away

It was reported that the Nevada Wolf Pack will find out this Sunday which Bowl game they will be playing in.

Smart money is on the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise Idaho. The most likely opponent is the Maryland Terrapins.

The last time the Wolf Pack played in this bowl game, it was a close and exciting game against the Hurricanes of Miami. TE Anthony Pudewell had an awesome, you-tube worthy, catch between his legs that was robbed away by a poor sighted zebra. That catch would have put the Pack at 1st in goal in the fourth quarter. Instead Nevada settled for a field goal and wound up losing the game by 1 point. The other heart brake play in that game was when on 1st down at the Miami 36 Jeff Rowe's out pass was picked off by Miami's Chavez Grant which thwarted a shot at a game winning field goal.

The other outside possibility of a bowl game is the Poinsettia bowl in San Diego. That match up would likely be against the TCU Horned Frogs.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

From all of us at PWtW to all of you Wolf Pack fans!

Have a wonderful weekend and watch the Pack give the Bulldogs a beatdown on ESPN Gameplan or ESPN 360 or in person in Rouston.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rival Blog Bet Post

Colin Kaepernick mad lib

So here it is. Well we could have potentially made our's a lot worse. I was considering comissioning an artist to sketch something along the lines of Ault and Kaepernick carrying some bloody limbs or something. With that said, you can't help but grin at this little joke the boys over at OBNUG came up with. Good job guys and good luck with Fresno.


Instructions: Fill in each blank with an appropriate word. Then read the story from the beginning. Laugh as you feel led to laugh.

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada's (adjective)-legged runnerback, was having a long (period of time). The Boise State Broncos tackled him a lot. His teammates were very unhelpful. The local (fast food restaurant) stopped giving him freebies. "I just wish I could atone for my mistakes," Kaepernick said, to no one in particular.

Just then, a police car pulled up. Officer (humorous last name) got out and ran up to Kaepernick.

"Hello, son," he said (adverb), while munching on a (pastry). "Come with me. We need your help."

Kaepernick threw on his (article of clothing), zipped up his (item with a zipper), and pulled on his legwarmers. He climbed into the police car, and they drove off into the Nevada desert.

"Mind if we listen to (famous girl band/artist)?" Kaepernick asked.

About (number) minutes later, they arrived at the scene and stepped out of the car. Kaepernick immediately saw what had happened. It appeared that a (desert animal) was holding Nevada head coach Chris Ault and (famous movie actor) in its mouth, refusing to let go.

"Hey, (nickname for Colin Kaepernick)," Ault said. "I cannot feel my (body part). Is it still there? I'm sure glad you came."

"Me, too, coach. I wasn't invited to any (adjective) parties tonight, so I would have been kind of (adjective). Do you want to watch (movie) after this is over?"

"Sure. Mrs. Ault is making (meal). She's a (adjective) cook. You can come over to my place."

Kaepernick turned to the police officer for instructions on how to save his head coach and his second favorite actor besides (person in the cast of Friends or Gossip Girl). "That animal's a tough son of a (noun)," the police chief said. "He won't let us go within 12 feet of him. Colin, we're going to need you to throw (plural noun) at the animal to scare it back into the desert. Can you handle that?"

"(either 'yes' or 'no')," Kaepernick answered.

Kaepernick picked up the first object to throw. He checked for (weather), aimed (adverb), and chucked it toward the animal. It wobbled like a (water fowl) and sailed (multiple of 10) feet wide of everybody.

"I'll put more (body part) into it this time," Kaepernick said.He picked up a (noun) and hucked it in the direction of Coach Ault and the movie star. This time, Kaepernick's throw was more (adjective), but instead of hitting the animal, it hit the movie star square in the (body part), knocking him unconscious.

"Colin," the police officer said. "This is your last shot. If you can't scare the animal away with this one, Coach Ault and the movie star could be done for."

"So it's kind of like the final drive against Boise State," Kaepernick replied. "I got this. Does anyone have any (beverage)? I'm parched."

Kaepernick took a swig of the drink then picked up the last remaining (noun) to throw at the animal. Kaepernick cocked his arm back, said a quick (lyrics to a song), and hurled it with all his might toward the animal. It overshot everything by a good ten yards, landing next to a (desert flora).

"Bummer," the police officer said.

"Sorry, coach," Kaepernick said.

"Great," Ault responded. "This animal's going to eat me like a (fast food sandwich). Oh well. I had a good run. I almost beat Boise State that one time."

"Coach, did you say 'run'?" Kaepernick asked. The (euphemism for thoughts) began turning in Kaepernick's head as he (adverb) thought up a plan to rescue his coach and the movie star. Then it hit him. When in doubt, run the (Nevada's only offensive play that ever works).

"Where are you going?" the police chief asked as Kaepernick approached the animal and its captives.

"I'm saving my (colloquial group of people)," Kaepernick replied.

As Kaepernick approached the animal, it let go of Coach Ault and the movie star and (verb denoting movement) toward Kaepernick. With a quick juke to the (direction), Kaepernick dodged the animal's bite and took off sprinting toward (U.S. city). The animal took off after him.

"I'm alive!" Coach Ault yelled. "Guess I'll have to (adverb) gameplan against (Derek Dooley's team) now. But I'll need Kaepernick if I want to avoid pulling a (Pat Hill's team)."

"No problem," the police officer said. "I know a guy."

The officer pulled a (color) phone from his pocket, dialed a secret number, and Boise State's (redshirt freshman phenom quarterback) appeared out of nowhere.

"This better be important," Moore said. "I was (something heroic)."

"Can you throw this (noun) and hit the animal that is chasing Colin Kaepernick about five (large unit of measure) away?" the police chief asked.

Moore picked up the object and casually tossed it in the direction of Kaepernick and the animal, striking the animal square on the (body part).

"Can I go now?" Moore asked.

Would you like to stay with me, watch reruns of (TV show) at my place, and play against LaTech on Saturday?" Chris Ault asked.

"No," Moore said.

"Then yes, you can go," Ault responded. "And thank you, Kellen Moore. You are the (position of power) of football and the (superlative of good) quarterback I have ever seen."

"Hey, what about me?" a winded Kaepernick asked.

(adjective) silence.

The end.

Monday, November 24, 2008

We Are Waiting

For the nasty little blog we are going to have to post on behalf of the guys over at OBNUG.


And YUCK could be a good way to describe many facets of Saturdays game.

Where should we start?

YUCK to our being out coached in the first half.

YUCK to Colin's completion percentage.

YUCK to our WR's hands.

YUCK to giving up 300+ yards in the air in the first half.

YUCK to our abandoning our nation's best rushing attack by the start of the second quarter.

YUCK to our clock management. AGAIN!

YUCK to our injuries to our punter and our starting guard. Those mattered.

Silver Lining in the yucky mess:

Nevada is getting better. A lot of these players are Sophomores. 1st time lost in Boise with a chance to win at the end of the game. 2nd time lost in Reno with a chance to win at the end of the game. 3rd time's the charm, right!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

OBNUG, PWtW Go Toe to Toe

Ladies and Gentlemen (and people from Idaho), are you ready to rumble? We'll just call this the under card to the main event this Saturday.

Kevan Lee over at OBNUG (that's One Bronco Nation Under God) has done a nice job of answering our questions about this weekends game among other things. We've also agreed to a little bet (hey, we are Nevada after all). The deal is this: Straight up on the game, winner gets to submit a post to the losers site. Wolf Pack fans, please submit ideas for the post we will be putting on OBNUG's site to

As for the interview (be warned, this is some serious spin factor):

PWtW: After last years shoot-out, what is the one thing that has changed most significantly about Boise's team from last year that leads you to believe this years contest will not turn into another shoot-out?

OBNUG: Tackling. At least, I sure hope tackling has changed.

The Bronco defense is an entirely different beast than it was last year, and that has been evident since Week Two or so. There are so many things that 2008 Boise State does better than 2007 Boise State, including the fact that they have not had to go to four overtimes with anyone yet.

Tackling should help most on Saturday against Nevada, but there are a number of new variables that could make a difference, too. BSU's defensive line has been integral to stopping spread option attacks this season. They're good. The three-safety alignment has also been a big part of shutting down the spread. The addition of Ellis Powers as a linebacker/safety hybrid has been revolutionary, like the Pop-Tart. Mmm, Pop-Tarts.

PWtW: Ian Johnson's numbers have declined since the big Fiesta Bowl win. What has contributed to that mostly? How do you see him in this years NFL draft?

OBNUG: The answer that I am choosing to give for this question is that Johnson's productivity has decreased due to the depth at running back, a new offensive philosophy, and his team-first attitude. There are a lot of really good backs at Boise State, and the coaches can't help but get them on the field. The offense, too, has been different than in year's past since the O-line can't really run block with consistency. Johnson needs big holes and running start. He's getting neither.

That isn't to say that he is any less valuable to the team. In fact, he is more valuable than ever, filling roles and providing leadership. For that reason alone, I think he is worth a look by an NFL team. But at this point, I don't see him being drafted until the later rounds, if at all. A good combine could help. Maybe.

One more thing, and keep in mind that I have never told anyone this before, so you must be special, Packfan. I think Ian Johnson has lost a step. I would prefer not to elaborate.

PWtW: Boise appears to be very well balanced this year. Do you continue with that Saturday or do you abandon the run early if it's not producing? (We are assuming you will be able to pass on our defense with some success).

OBNUG: Boise State will abandon the run as soon as it is at all feasibly possible to do so. Throughout the season, the Broncos have found in several games that the run simply is not working, and they are perfectly content to abandon it and win with the pass.

I think we'll see a Boise State offense that comes out throwing to set up the run. Kellen Moore can get the ball out quickly, which should neutralize the Pack's pass rush. Then, once the defensive ends are pinning their ears back on the rush, BSU will hit back with some draws and inside running plays.

If not, then I will be submitting my resume to BSU for the offensive coordinator position on Monday.

PWtW: There has been a lot of talk about what sort of an impact Jeron Johnson is going to have in this game. What about him makes him so important to the BSU defense?

OBNUG: Johnson sets the tone of the Boise State defense with his attitude, and he is a solid, disciplined safety. Now, when I say disciplined, I do not mean that he doesn't get unnecessary roughness penalties. He does. By disciplined, I mean that he is always in the right position at the right time, which was probably a big reason for Kaepernick and Lippincott's big day last year.

PWtW: What is it about head coach Chris Ault that you respect the most? The least?

OBNUG: I respect the fact that he can be called "Little General" without developing serious self-esteem issues. I couldn't do it.

I really don't respect his gimmicky Pistol offense. Why line up three yards off the ball? Is it really going to help a 6'5" quarterback read the defense better? Also, Ault comes across as cheeky. Whatever that means.

PWtW: How hard will it be to see our post on your site should the Bronco's fall at Mackay this weekend?

Not hard at all, assuming you know to look at the bottom of our March 2008 archive page.

True or False:
PWtW: You've watched the Fiesta Bowl on dvd or dvr at some time since this season began.
OBNUG: Do you mean one time or multiple times? Ah, it's true either way.

PWtW: You are wearing orange and blue while answering this.
OBNUG: False. I am wearing my wife's pink Jared Zabransky jersey.

PWtW: You used a four letter word during the first half of last weeks Idaho game.
OBNUG: True. "Nuts."

PWtW: You thought Fresno St would be your biggest WAC game this year.
OBNUG: False. How dare you assume that I would buy into that preseason hype. I thought it would be LaTech.

PWtW: It makes you nervous that Nevada has as much young talent starting as Boise does.
OBNUG: False. Nevada does not have as much young talent starting as Boise State does. I refuse to acknowledge this.

PWtW: You've referred to the "Q" as "Pistol" when the Broncos were using it in practice at least once.
OBNUG: True, and with disdain, might I add.

PWtW: Chris Peterson will leave for a BCS school before Kellen Moore graduates.
OBNUG: True. Let's move on.

PWtW: You enjoy seeing Colorado struggle.
OBNUG: So true that I considered moving to Boulder so that I would get the local broadcasts of their game.

PWtW: Boise State will be in the MWC before Kellen Moore graduates.
OBNUG: True. Unless he graduates this summer. In that case, false.

So there you have it folks. A BSU fans inner most secrets and feelings. You can visit OBNUG at Hopefully you will go over there and talk a bunch of trash during the next 48 hours. That would be great. Also, you should be able to find our Q&A session that we were so kind to answer for the guys over there. Hopefully they didn't butcher it too badly. (Edit, you can read it here: They really run a great site with a lot of good pictures and updates so enjoy your time over there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did Someone Step on the Boise Ant Hill This Week?

Here is a picture that BSU fans should be used to. We're sure they will be seeing a few of these on Saturday.

BTW, WHO did WHAT to get BSU fans so stirred up this week? In case you don't read or ODNUG or Fight Fight TDU, then you are missing out on a hurricane of emotion and confusion. Do they respect the Pack? Do they disrespect the Pack? Do they stop Colin Kaepernick? Do they injure Colin Kaepernick? Why are they only a 6 point favorite? Who has Nevada played? Who has BSU played? Who is Taua? Where is that Lippincott guy? Will they make a BCS game? Did coach Ault insult them this decade?

Well first we will start by answering our own question. WHO did WHAT? Nevada scored 67 points in 4 OT's on a team that thought it was invincible prior to that outing last year.

Now as far as to why are all these fine Idahoians losing their minds 5,6 days before the game with 6-4 Nevada up next?

Because they know what could happen.

Because many of them watched two Fridays ago as Nevada tore through Fresno in Fresno like a chainsaw through butter.

Because many of them thought there was NO POSSIBLE WAY that Nevada rip through the San Jose defense who had earned their respect just weeks early, only to learn that the Wolf Pack racked up 41 points and 333 yards on the ground.

And because many of them remember that October 14th night when what was supposed to be an easy route on the blue against an average Wolf Pack team starting a freshman quarterback on ESPN under the lights turned into a gut wrenching marathon of a game.

Oh many of them won't admit it. Many will hide their fears and mask their emotions behind false claims of an upcoming RUTS or gloating over past results. But they don't fool us. Donkey nation is worried. There is a lot of humble pie to be eaten if they don't win this Saturday. More than they can probably handle at one sitting. And the off season can be a long time when you're not in a BCS game.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Old Hat

Another 300+ rushing performance by the offense combined with another stout effort by the defensive front seven made for a 41-17 whooping of the San Jose State Spartans this past Saturday at Mackay Stadium.
San Jose's defense, which is one of the top defenses statistically, struggled all day to stop the read option, the draw, and the sweep as Nevada runners continuously gained large chunks of yardage behind the best offensive line in the league.
The union wore down and eventually began to manhandle the much ballyhooed San Jose defensive front. Nevada rushers pranced to the tune of 6.8 YPC. There also were no sacks allowed, the second straight contest in which the quarterback was kept upright all day.
On the defensive side of the ball Mundrae Clifton, Josh Mauga, and crew held the Spartans to a gaudy -23 yard rushing. They also collected a couple of sacks (Basped, Mauga) and a very nice NINE tackles for loss. And for the second week in a row the defense recovered a fumble (their third in two games), working on reversing a poor start to this season when they had only recovered two fumbles through the first 8 games.
Next up for the Wolf Pack is the much hated BSU Broncos. We will surely have more on this match up, including a possible bet in the works with a rival blog site, later on this week.
Until then, GO WOLF PACK!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Number One in the Nation

Who is that young man posing at Mackay for a fan photo? Why that's Vai Taua, the leading rusher for the NUMBER ONE RUSHING OFFENSE IN THE NATION! Oh yeah, and he's also the all time leading rusher in Bulldog Stadium history after last nights romp over the Fresno State Bulldogs on ESPN 2.

We are seriously liking some things about this years offense.

How about three times the Pack has had two players rush for over 100 yards in the same game. Two of those games, NSU and FSU, came after a bye week where Nevada was looking for a big win after a tough loss. Obviously Ault and company are taking advantage of the extra time to prepare.

How about no turnovers last night? You were wondering if this team was snake bitten after a couple of costly fumbles against NMSU or UH? Last night was a +4 outing for the boys. Of course you are going to have some fumbles when you run the ball as often as the Pack does but it's nice to see them protecting the football so well.

Did you know?.....Only two teams in the history of college football (1968 Houston and 1973 Arizona St) have rushed for 3000 yards in a season while passing for 2000 in that same year! The Pack currently sits at 2917 rushing and 1800 passing. With three games to go, it's safe to say that the Nevada Wolf Pack will become the third to do so.

Next up the Pack has key games against two of the best defenses in the WAC when the boys host San Jose St next Saturday followed by Boise State the following weekend.

Speaking of defense, ours looked much better last night. There were a couple of times we wanted to tear our hair out like the early crossing route for a TD. But overall the secondary played improved and was able to intercept a couple of passes. They also held Brandstater and Co to 260 yards passing, which is 70 yards below the 330 yards season average that the Pack had been allowing. The big men upfront didn't get the sacks they are used to, but they did hold FSU to 106 yards rushing, 90 yards below the Bulldogs 196 per game season average and the second lowest rushing total for the Dogs this season.

The only real concerns that PWtW had with the game last night was kick off coverage. The Bulldogs continued to start drives with excellent field position and even returned a kick late in the game to make it close and force the offense and defense to continue to have to come up with big plays to compensate. The other concern was the idiocy that took place at the end of the first half. We did see that Ault was trying to call for a time out and was ignored. How can the players be so clueless though? And we didn't really get the field goal at the end of the game either? When you are up by two scores, 2:30 left, and the ball is on the 1 yard line, why kick it? You're still only up by two scores and now you have to kick off to a team who just returned one. Why not go for it? If you score, you're up by 3 scores and it's over. If you don't score, you don't have to kick off to them, you're still up by two scores, and they have to go 99 yards with one time out to get the first one. Fortunately it all worked out right (well at least for the Wolf Pack and for everyone who took the under points, hehe).

Overall this was a great game. The team is back on the bowl game path. They showed well on national television. They protected the football and generated turn overs. They looked well prepared coming off the bye.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Ugly Side of Statistics

When looking at the matchup this week between our Wolf Pack and the Fresno State Raisins, a stat popped out at us that made us a little disgusted. As we dug further into other WAC teams stats, the disgust grew into a nausea. Here it goes........

When Scoring 40 or more points since 2001:

New Mexico St: 0 losses
Hawaii: 1 loss
Idaho: 1 loss
San Jose St: 1 loss
Fresno St: 2 losses
Utah St: 2 losses
Boise St: 2 losses
Louisana Tech: 3 losses

Nevada: 7 losses

That's right. In the last seven years we've managed to lose a game a year on average that we scored more than 40 points in. Over double what any other team in the WAC has done. In fact, over triple what any team other than LTU has done. This year it's happened once. Last year it happened twice. This appears to be a longer term problem than one would initially expect.

We believe that the team will score close to or over 40 points against the puppies this weekend. Time to start working on that turn over margin and get a couple of fumbles we think. Let's hold a team with a respectable offense to under 20 this time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

A lot of sites are going with the Halloween theme. And why should PWtW overlook Oct 31st? Hell, we would gladly sell our souls to the devil if it meant a 4-0 finish and a bowl win.

Let's compare some WAC teams to some of our favorite (and not so favorite) Halloween movies:

Nevada Wolf Pack: Halloween

Not only our favorite, but also Michael Myers is bad ass (just like the Wolf Pack) and he keeps getting knocked down but keeps getting right back up (again just like the Pack, and it's fans too). Last year Boise must have felt like Laurie Strode the way Nevada kept coming back and coming back. This year it's time for little sister to go down for good.

Fresno State Bulldogs: Hellraiser

Fresno State is just like the cenobites of Hellraiser in so many ways. Demons to some (BCS opponents) Angels to others (WAC opponents). The cenobites bring the greatest pleasures and pains to their victims (just like the Bulldogs bring to their fans). The tag line is "He'll tear your soul apart" and we aren't sure if they're talking about the kicker or the quarterback or the rush defense when it comes to FSU. Note that we would have opted for attack of the killer Walrus Man in honor of Pat Hill, but no such movie exists that we could find.

San Jose State Spartans: Dead Silence

An old witch controlling some evil dummies? Sounds like the Spartans to us! And the thing is that as bad as it sounds, like the movie, the Spartans actually are not that bad. We still can't believe we blew that first half lead last year.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs: Swamp Thing

Do we really need to say anything more?

Boise State Broncos: Killer Clowns From Outerspace

What can we say? A group that seems like such a joke (blue and orange donkey as a mascot with blue grass planted in the middle of a potato field) yet somehow manage to withstand the test of time as a cult classic. Using silly means of weaponry like man eating popcorn and cotton candy cocoons, the killer clowns are just like BSU using silly trick plays like the fake field goal last year and the statue of liberty in the Fiesta Bowl to thwart their opponents time and time again. We think 2008 is as good a year as any to send these clowns back to the circus where they belong.

Question of the Week

Why is it that Nevada has been able to recover only 2 of it's 14 forced fumbles?

Well we think this actually isn't that difficult to answer. No it's not rotten luck, although often times it feels like it.

Nevada's defense in general this season has not "swarmed" to the football. There are a lot of times that the defensive front is penetrating up field past where the fumble may occur and the defensive secondary is spread out all over the field. Not a lot of gang tackling taking place this season. You have to have players (outside of the guy forcing the ball out) around the football in order for one of them to fall on it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Missing Defensive Players Impact Game

Josh Mauga, the senior captain of the defense was not in action Saturday night against Hawaii. Neither was Mike Bethea, the linebacker who has had a knack for being around the ball this year. And sometimes starter Ryan Coulson who changes in and out with Kevin Basped on the defensive front was also not present during the game.

Although the bulk of the problems were in the secondary, missing the two linebackers and the guy who spells our speed pass rusher were big against a team who threw the ball short time and time again.

We don't exactly remember seeing any press about these players being gone, but it must be the injury bug biting the Wolf Pack mid season. And the bug is biting the unit that can least afford to be bitten.

Maybe a bye week couldn't come at a better time for this unit. After the last one, the boys smashed the uglies down south. Lets hope they smash the other red uglies down south (and slightly to the west) after this one.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Making Amends....Or Not

After having 24 hours to think about the most recent let down out of this years Nevada football team, we stumbled upon this thought and we will use the Hawaii game as an example. For those of you fans who are trying to lay the blame of this loss and the New Mexico St loss on a particular unit (yes, we have been reading the comments of many Nevada fans and their thoughts on these games) please consider the following ideas for your consideration.

When a player or unit makes a mistake, what do they do to correct it? We doubt that any unit is going to be "perfect" all game. So lets look at what is done in regards to imperfections.

Offense: Had two early turn overs in the first half that resulted in two Hawaii scores. The unit then came back to score 14 points in the fourth quarter to make it a tie game with 1:30 left.

Colin Kaepernick: Had a fumble that was returned for a TD in the first quarter. He then ripped off a 60 yard TD run to make up for it as well as leading the team on two 70+ yard drives in crunch time.

Vai Tuau: Had a fumble when going in for a score that resulted in Hawaii scoring. He then ripped of an 80 yard TD run to make up for it and accounted for 160 yards rushing.

Marko Mitchell: Had a ball hit him right in the hands that would have resulted in a first down. He then made a great block on Vai's TD run and then a great play on a fourth down pass for a TD in the fourth quarter.

Chris Wellington: Dropped a sure 1st down that hit him right in the chest. He then caught the tying TD pass on a 34 yard post route with 1:30 left in the ball game.

Now here is where PWtW has an issue....

Defensive give up big play after big play. Where is the interception or pick six or corner blitz that results in a fumble or sack to make up for it? NEVER HAPPENS! Not in crunch time of critical games. Seems like the defensive front makes 90% of the big plays. Do you realize the offense got FOUR PLAYS IN THE ENTIRE THIRD QUARTER? You let Hawaii dink and dunk you for 5:39 and 3 points to start the quarter. The offense came out and tied it up on a one play drive. And then you let Hawaii score on a TD in 1:44 to take the lead right back. Oh I know, the special teams unit didn't help you by giving them the ball on the 50. We'll get to them in a few. Then the offense has a rare three and out and you respond by letting the Warriors take the next 7:01 off the quarter, go 80 yards, and score another TD at the start of the fourth. Is that your way of punishing them for not giving you a break? You could have came up with a big play last night on that last drive. No instead you let them march 80 yards down the field in a minute and not only score, but score a TD so it made it next to impossible for the offense to try and bail you out.

Special Teams (punt return team and kick coverage team specifically) gave the offense the following starting field positions (1, 2, 5, 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 30, and 44 yard lines). That's THREE drives starting inside the FIVE YARD LINE. There was one return to the 44. Where is the kickoff return for TD? Where is the punt return for TD? This season? FAIR CATCH IT if you are that afraid of getting blasted. At least the ball doesn't bounce 10 yards. Meanwhile, Hawaii started out at the (20, 22, 23, 29, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 49, 50). Not one time inside the 20? EIGHT drives starting at the 35 or better? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

I'm sorry but for those fans of you blaming the offense for this or any other loss: SHAME ON YOU! This is a unit that is top 10 in the nation in numerous categories. They aren't always perfect, but they do a damn good job of making up for their mistakes when they do make them. Meanwhile our pass secondary is DEAD LAST IN THE COUNTRY. We start with poor field position and we give the opponent great field position. And we expect perfection out of the one group that is doing a great job in order to compensate for the weaknesses of the rest of the groups or we gripe and complain about them?

We also have a hard time accepting the "young unit" comments (excuses) that we hear. These are not 18 year old true freshman playing secondary for Nevada last time we checked. They should be able to turn and look for a ball. The sickening thing is that most of the time they are in position, they just don't look.

As for special teams, there is a reason this group hasn't returned a TD in 10 years on a kick off and in 7 years on a punt return. These units needs immediate attention. Up until just this year we didn't have a consistent punter and look at what a difference bringing in a guy on scholarship has made this year. Time to put starters and big hitters on the kick cover team. Do you really ever see anyone outside of McIntosh sacrifice to bust a wedge? We need some line backers and full backs running down field, not DB's.

This is a Nevada team that should be 6-2, bowl eligible, and contending for a WAC title. The offense and the defensive front is good enough to be so. It is truly sickening to watch any player with a right arm and a pulse throw the ball around on us like they are the second coming of Joe Montana to Jerry Rice.

There is still time for this team to right the ship. A bye week gives 13 days to fix problems best that can be and a 4-0 finish (or even a 3-1 finish) would be an improvement over last year. Time to drag yourselves out of the gutter and play with the heart of a winning football program.

Lets go coach Ault. Get these guys to believe and get these problems shored up. You have the players to beat the next four teams. Just go out and do it. Nothing to lose from here out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trouble in Paradise

What trouble you ask?

1. Is it Nevada's pass defense?

2. Is it Colin Kaepernick's mental state?

3. Is it Hawaii's QB situation?

4. Is it the trouble we are going to get into at a luau Friday night?

Well we are pretty sure that number two isn't a problem, number one is a little bit of a problem, and number three is only a problem if you are not a Wolf Pack fan. Number four could be a serious problem if jail time interferes with kickoff......

No the problem is that the last time the Wolf Pack won on the island was the last time they won a bowl game (see picture) and was not against the Rainbows.

It's time for a change. Last year at Mackay the Rainbows were undefeated late in the season and the Wolf Pack missed out on a golden opportunity. There were turnovers, poor play, poor clock management, poor all around decisions, and yet the Pack lost on a last second field goal. This year the Rainbows have lost all of their major offensive firepower. The defense has played solid at times, but the offense has played inconsistently (and not Nevada 40+ points a game inconsistent). The Rainbows came up with a big win over Fresno State (a big deal considering Fresno State is the best offense in the WAC with Touchdown Tommy and the best running back, Ryan Mathews, in their's that working for you? Oh, what? Nevada has TWO players ahead of Mathews in rushing yards, yards per carry, and touchdowns 7 games into the season and a QB with a higher rating, more yards passing, less picks, etc. Throw the ball over that mountain Uncle Rico)

Alright then, enough rant on Fresno's preseason arrogance.

The Rainbows may change QB this week, they aren't sure. Coach Greg McLovin talked about how Greg Alexander wasn't as mobile as Inoke Funaki so he would probably see some time. What? Oh yeah, that's right he's not as mobile so he must be a better passer. We like our chances.

Prediction: Nevada 41 Rainbows 17

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Odd Start Turns Into Big Homecoming Win

(photo by Patrick Cummings, RGJ)

After a heart breaking shoot out that went to the rAggies last week, the Nevada Wolf Pack was looking to bounce back in a big way against the bAggies this weekend. And to add to the excitement, it was homecoming week at Nevada (hey, there has to be a king and queen you know).

The pressure was on the defense to come out and perform, but it would soon shift to the usually high powered Nevada offense. Nevada's defense held USU to 3 and outs on 5 of the first 7 offensive possessions and didn't give up a score until late in second quarter when the bAggies recovered a Brian Fludd fumble inside the Nevada 40 yard line and capitalized on the turn over. The defense would total 5 sacks (2 for Moch), a fumble recovery, and interception for TD, and 9 tackles for loss.

The big story of the game however was on offense. Taking the field to start the game was quarterback Nick Graziano, not WAC offensive yardage leader Colin Kaepernick. This snapped a 14 consecutive games started streak for Kaep. After reading the quotes by the players and coaches (as well as some posts on Nevada's fan boards) it sounds like this was a decision that was made just seconds before the offense took the field. Apparently Kaepernick did something to irritate coach enough to bench him for the entire first quarter. Graziano would get four drives in that time and would lead the team to one score on a Vai Taua 26 yard scamper. The snap of PAT would be fumbled and the Pack would take a 6-0 lead. Unfortunately for Graziano two of the other drives would result in turnovers as Taua fumbled on the first drive and Kejon Murphy would make a nice play stepping in front of and intercepting a Graziano to McCoy out route.

Kaepernick would enter the game at 13:46 in the second quarter. Not wasting any time, he would make his intentions known at 13:38 when he crossed the goal line for his first score of the day on a 19 yard TD run.

A short while later, USU would get on the board after a short field situation due to the Fludd fumble.

The Nevada offense would then come alive, scoring on their next 3 possessions which would include a Mike McCoy rushing TD (his first score of the season), a Brett Jaekle field goal, and a big 75 yard bomb from Kaepernick to Mitchell to put the game at 30-7 Pack. And for those of you gamblers out there, thank the defense and Jared Silva-Purcell for a late pick six that pushed the game to a 44-17 victory, covering the spread for those who bet on the Wolf Pack.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just Plain Sad

What else is there to say? On a night that the Pack was finally back in Mackay for the first time in 30+ days, the Nevada Wolf Pack would score 45 points and lose! 49 would have been enough for a win and it's sad to think that is what it would take against a team like New Mexico State. No offense Raggies (that's short for Red Aggies), but you aren't Boise St or Fresno and we expect that if we have to score big to win a game it would be against one of them.

Early on there were some stupid penalties that prevented the Pack from potentially pulling away. And there were big plays that kept New Mexico in the game. Later on there were some stupid turn overs that prevented the Pack from gaining control of the lead. And there were more big plays and specifically big third down conversions that lead to the Aggies taking the lead and not letting go of it.

Now the Pack will have to put this game behind them and focus on the Baggies (and that's short of Blue Aggies) coming into Reno next weekend. Nevada should be in a better position for this game as Utah St doesn't have the type of passing attack that New Mexico had.

It's not to late to turn this around. A 9-3 season and a WAC championship would be a very nice season.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jaekle has special day.

(from official Nevada site)

Senior place kicker Brett Jaekle had a record breaking day on Saturday.

Just one week after beating little brother Ben in the annual Battle for the Fremont Cannon, Jaekle kicked his fourth PAT of the day to tie former Pack kicker Marty Zendejas. With his fifth converted attempt coming early in the fourth quarter, Brett became the Wolf Pack's all time leader in made PAT's with 170. He would add two more to push his numbers to 172 before the end of the game.

Now the question we all want to know is: Can Brett hit 200 before this season ends? We think he can!

Forty Niners?

No, not the pro football team located just a few hours away from Reno.

The Nevada Wolf Pack has put 49 points up on the board three times this year. All three were victories. The most recent of those was a 7 TD thumping of the Idaho Vandals at the Kibbie dome this past Saturday.

The game consisted of what is becoming the usual for this team: Colin Kaepernick accounted for 3 TD's. Vai Taua had the best day of the running backs and had his own 3 TD's. Marko Mitchell had a big play for a TD. The Union paved the way for 264 yards while not surrendering a sack. The Pack defensive front gave up a measly 24 yards on the ground and managed a few sacks. And the Pack secondary bent but didn't break and managed to pick off a pass in the second half.

Next week the Pack finally gets back to the friendly confines of Mackay Stadium to face the New Mexico State Aggies. New Mexico won it's game with Alcorn State and comes in with a 2-2 record.

We think another 49 points out of the offense will be just fine!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Drunk Off Domination and Other Thoughts

The Fremont Cannon will stay blue and silver for another year!

OK, so it's Monday and you can't believe that we haven't written about the 49-27 thrashing of the webels this Saturday.

Well that's what happens when you are hung over from the joy of once again shellacking the dirty south in their own home. You just need to recover. You need to watch the replay from your DirecTv DVR and analyze things from a different perspective then the one you got sitting in the stands yelling yourself horse.

I for one thought this game would be a Wolf Pack victory, but I don't think I expected such domination.

It does feel good to be right once in awhile. Let's take a look at just what PWtW was right about this week:

1. We did a story on Brad Langley last week. Then he boomed a 77 yard punt that totally changed the field position at a critical time in the game. Still wondering why PWtW would waste an article on a punter?


"We also think that it's time Kaepernick "goes off" on someone. He's had respectable games now against some major competition and it's time for the young QB to erupt on someone in the form of some serious statage".

Maybe we should go into the business of professional funds hedging now. Seriously....lead the NATION in rushing yards and rushing TD's this weekend. Had a 200+ QB rating and two TD's in the air. Earned WAC player of the week on offense. And became the first Wolf Pack QB EVER to run for over 200 yards. The teams been playing for over 100 years people! (Somewhere OBNUG bloggers were tasting a little vomit in their mouths when they read this stat-line).

3. Then we did an interview with The Mountain West Conference Connection and predicted a win. Check. Said we needed to get pressure on the QB. Check. Limit Summers to short gains. Check. Split the load up between Kaepernick and Taua. Check.


Ok, so now here are some thoughts from the game and from watching the replay on TV. I'll try and touch on some things that maybe not all of the Wolf Pack fans noticed.

1. While watching the replay, I noticed two things that IMO are huge. The first was Dominic Green going wild with energy on the sidelines. So much so that my wife asked "what is he doing"? I looked at her and said, "he's pumping these guys up. He's being a captain!". About 20 minutes later, they show the sidelines again and there's Luke Lippincott in his jersey and jeans hugging Kaepernick, patting him on the back, and then having a chat with him. Again, another captain of this team being just that. Great to see the senior leaders showing these young guys the importance of this game.

2. The defensive front was solid all night. Funlv had a total of 54 yards rushing. Their previous low was the loss to Utah in which they ran for 130 yards. The secondary gave up 327 in the air and 3 scores. But on the bright side, they held Clayton to under 50% for the game, picked him off for the first time of the year, and on a couple of plays had great position and just "missed" on picking off a couple more passes. What I'm getting at is that this is a group that is very close to being one of the best defenses in the WAC.

3. After the game, students and fans rushed the field to celebrate with Wolf Pack players. After running around all night, we can only imagine the Kaepernick must have been gassed. Did he duck out to the locker room when this one was over? Hell no! Kaepernick, in the center of what must have been about 500 blue clad students, joined in as the group did their best impression of a House of Pain concert and jumped up and down in celebration of taking the cannon back to NEVADA for another year. It's these moments that this program needs to solidify life long silver and blue fans. Players and coaches getting fans involved and showing the love. Numerous players were looking up and smiling and waving at the Wolf Pack faithful in the stands during the fourth quarter. That type of appreciation of support makes the fans appreciate these kids and this staff just that much more.

4. Yes Kaepernick had 240 yards running. But the Pack had 444 yards on the ground. That means that between Vai, Courtney, and Lampford another 204 yards were chunked out. Say hello to 123 yards Vai Taua. And Randall's TD to put the Pack up by two scores mid way through the second was as big a TD run as this teams had this year. And BTW, Nevada is now THIRD IN THE NCAA in rushing. (Even after playing two top 7 ranked teams and without Lippincott and Fragger!) So what can we take away from all these numbers? I'll tell you what: THE UNION IS FRICKING DOMINATING!

5. Something that got talked about last year: Nevada scoring on plays of 25 yards or more. The Pack had 23 such plays which was good for second in the nation behind Oklahoma. This year the Pack has 8 such plays in 4 games. That would average out to one more big play than last year. Four of those plays came on Saturday as Chris Wellington hauled in a 70 yard pass, Virgil Green got open for a 40 yard TD, and Colin Kaepernick ran for 66 yard and 28 yard scores in the second half.

Ahhhhh. We'll enjoy this one for another day or so we think.

Next up for the Wolf Pack is the final leg of their three game road trip as the Pack travels to the Kibbie Dome to take on the Idaho Vandals. The final remaining good thing left in the Vandals season, the cheerleaders in their pirate uniforms, were recently kaboshed by their own fans. Now there is nothing left to be happy about in Idaho!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Q & A with the Enemy

Jeremy over at Mountain West Conference Connection ( was so kind to answer PWtW's tough questions.

Here are his thoughts entering this Saturday's game:

1. On offense, your new quarterback Omar Clayton appears to be having a lot of success (9:0 TD/INT). Do you expect to see the Rebels come out and try and establish the run with he and Summers or do you go to the air and test the young defensive backs?

Coach Mike Sanford always looks to establish the run early in the game with their option offense. Frank Summers is a bruising back who is tough to take down once he breaks through the first level. Do expect Omar Clayton to attack this Nevada secondary, UNLV has three very good receivers in Casey Flair, Ryan Wolfe, and Freshman Phillip Payne who has five touchdowns. Clayton has had success throwing the ball because he has not had to force too many passes, because of this type of offense is one that usually has four players out as eligible receivers to throw to.

2. When Nevada has the ball, what do you do to stop the Pistol offense? Is there any one player or play that has you concerned from what you've seen of the Rebel defense so far?

The Rebels had trouble against Utah which runs a similar offense with a lot passing and many receivers, and they struggled in the second half. Pressure is the best way to disrupt any type of passing attack, because if the quarterback only has a few seconds to throw and unable to make it through the progression that can cause a quarterback to force the ball. UNLV does have trouble defending the deep ball which is why applying pressure to the quarterback is a must for UNLV to try to slow the Pistol offense.

3. With three wins in four games already this year, you've passed the win total from any of your past three seasons. What is the biggest difference in this years team?

The team finally has a quarterback that has been in the system for more then one year with Omar Clayton and he is a mobile quarterback which is needed when running the spread option. Also, the team has more offensive play makers, which allows the team to be more balanced and not predictable.

4. How critical is this game to your bowl chances and for the rest of the season?

Every home game is critical for bowl eligibility, since UNLV has very little success on the road.

5. For those fans who are not familiar with Las Vegas, where is the best place to celebrate a victory (or drink away a defeat should such a thing happen) after the game?

Well I do not live in Vegas, but an In-N-Out Burger is always tasty.

Thanks for the reply Jeremy!

About the only comment I have is that, although indeed very tasty, I don't think win or lose I will be visiting an In-N-Out Burger. A big win could call for some serious partying at one of the many way-too-over-priced casino night clubs on the strip while a loss could draw a drunken stupor at Hard Rock or Hooters (combined with a significant loss of money at the blackjack tables to complete the weekends misery.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday, Monday

It's Monday and this weekend is the first chance Nevada will have to achieve one of it's seasonal goals. The goals, incase you aren't aware, are:

1. Beat FUNLV
2. Having a winning record
3. Win the WAC
4. Make a bowl game.

A little blurb on the game from Fantasy Football site "Fantasy College Blitz"


COLIN KAEPERNICK (Nevada) and OMAR CLAYTON (UNLV): A rivalry game under the radar nationally, but, a real snot-fest inside the Silver State…think of Auburn-Alabama hate-ness…with sports books nearby. Kaepernick is always a good play against equal competition, while Clayton has come around to become a threat both on the ground and in the air."

We like this blurb because it's someone outside of the state that knows Nevada is the Silver State. And it's also someone outside of the state that knows this is a serious and big-time "hate-ness" type of rivalry.

We also think that it's time Kaepernick "goes off" on someone. He's had respectable games now against some major competition and it's time for the young QB to erupt on someone in the form of some serious statage.

Check in through out the week to read more about FUNLV's portrayal of Custer's Last Stand (with the Nevada Wolf Pack playing the part of the Cheyenne tribe and special guest apppearance by Chris Ault as Chief Sitting Bull) set to take place this Saturday night.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Langley the Scholarship Punter

(from Nevada Wolf Pack)

This year coach Ault decided to give a scholarship to a punter. And that punter is former American River CC punter Brad Langley.

Since we needed something positive to write about, why not write about an improvement that has been noticed.

On Saturday, Langley got a work out, punting 7 times for an average of 41 yards. Now consider that was 41 yards in the rain and wind. Now further consider that since 2001, only Derek Jones (2002) and Justin Bergendahl (2005) had a season that they averaged 41 yards punting. And finally consider the Langley was averaging 47 yards per through the first two games, when the weather was less of a factor.

If you consider Nevada punters average around 60 punts in a season, Langley could be worth about 420 yards or more of field position a season over past Nevada punters. We think that's absolutely worth a scholarship!

The Mourning After

Waking up this morning we hoped to feel better about the rest of the 2008 season.


After ripping Grambling (like we were supposed to) and playing Tech tough (like we were supposed to), the Misery Tigers beat down (wasn't supposed to be like this) has us a bit perplexed. Add to it that the team down south beat Utah State, played top 25 Utah tough (wasn't supposed to do that) and then just upset #15 Arizona State (WTF!) and it absolutely gives us reason to pause.

Combine that with the fact that the rest of the WAC isn't looking too bad (La Tech beat Mississippi State who darn near knocked off Auburn last night, Fresno beat Rutgers and nearly pulled of the win over Wisconsin last night, Boise is being Boise with a weak preseason schedule, San Jose St has apparently found a QB in Kyle Reed, etc, etc) and the Wolf Pack outlook just get blurrier and blurrier.

It could very well be that Missouri goes on to win the national championship. That they are that good. That our Wolf Pack had their worst game of the year. And that we'll look back with a 10-2 record and chalk this one up to those things.

The worst part of all of this speculating and wondering is that we now have a full two weeks to find out. Hopefully that means that coach Ault and Co. have a full two weeks to figure out what went wrong and correct it.

We do know this: We will not play another team as good as the one we just faced. And we will not play another team as good as the one we played the week before that. Texas Tech is 3-0. Missouri is 3-0.

We're going to lean towards the "Glass is half full" approach and say that in two weeks we go to sin city and thump those SOB's. If that holds true it will be like a heavy weight being lifted off of Wolf Pack faithful chests.

Black Rain

Hmmmm, I wonder if that face mask was called? Not that it really would have mattered. In a constant down poor of rain (and Jeremy Maclin TD's), the Pack got hammered on Saturday:



For the Nevada offense there were some positives early on. Against a team that returned 10 starters on defense and was a Cotton bowl winner defeating the Darrin McFadden / Felix Jones lead Arkansas Razorbacks 38-7 last year, we saw at times that the offense is capable of moving and scoring against a national championship type of team. The Pack managed 17 first half points with 227 yards and 14 first downs.

Think about it this way: If someone told us before the game that Nevada would have 34 points, 454 yards of offense, and 28 first downs against the Tigers we would have felt pretty good about that.

The problem is, the first half offense didn't match the second half. The offense got 0 points, 131 yards of offense, and only 7 first downs.

Oh, and of course there is the other problem. The BIG problem. The 69 points problem.

Give credit to the Tigers. They've got weapons. And more weapons. Chase Daniel was on fire, completing 82.1% of his passes for 4o5 yards and 4 TD's. Jeremy Maclin's line: 6 for 172 and 3 scores. Chase Coffman? 6 for 127 and a score. Those are three guys that could well be drafted in the first round this year all playing for the same team.

Some other interesting stats: Forced Fumbles, none. INT's, none. Sacks, none. QB hurries, none. Passes batted down, none. About the only exciting play was when Kevin Basped appeared to have Daniel wrapped up for a sack, only to be flagged 15 yards for face mask. What happened to the group that played Texas Tech so tough last week?

Missouri WR's appeared to have 5 yards of radius space around them at all times. It's no wonder Daniel 94% last week and 82 this week. There isn't a defender around. Meanwhile on the flip side of the ball, our WR's appear to have a man draped on them on every play. What is up with that?

This game is leaving us with two weeks worth of questions?

  • How will this team bounce back from this?
  • Why was Brandon Fragger returning kicks with Luke out for the season and can Vai Taua be an every down back now?
  • Lampford Mark, are you ready?
  • Will a TE catch a TD pass this year and what happened to Zach Sudfeld who was supposed to be an excellent pass catcher?
  • Will Colin Kaepernick lead this team in rushing yardage? He is through 3 games according to ESPN.
  • With NSU beating #15 Arizona State, are we in danger of? Dare we say it?......nope.
  • Can Nevada be a serious contender in the WAC this year?
What a sick feeling it is going to bed tonight wondering these things and more.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Penalties, Turnovers, and Just Plain Bad Timing

It was those types of things that doomed the Pack this past Saturday against the #12 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Here is a list of how badly we just missed in this game:

Drive #1. On 3rd and 2 at the Tech 11, the Pack only picked up 1 yard and was forced to kick the 3 from the 10. One more yard....

Drive #2. Starting with the ball on the 40, Nevada is flagged for holding. They then picked up 11 yards on the next two plays. Instead of having 1st and 10 in Tech territory, a 3rd and 9 pass was incomplete and a punt from Nevada territory ensued. And the Tech player ran it back for 7!

Drive #3. Starting with the ball on the 20, Nevada converts two first downs. On 3rd and 1 from the Tech 43, Lippincott appears to plunge through for the first down. But Nevada is flagged for holding. On 3rd and 11 Quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets sacked. Instead of a 1st down in Tech territory, Nevada is punting from it's own 35.

Drive #4. Starting with the ball on the Nevada 17, the Pack converts 3 first downs to push it all the way to the Tech 30. On 3rd and 4 from the Tech 24, Lippincott rushed for no gain. Jaekle misses the 42 yarder.

Drive #5. After converting on 3 first downs, with first and goal from the 10, Taua rushes for 6 yards to the 4. On 2nd and goal from the 4, Kaepernick gets sacked. Third down completion falls short. Field goal is good. (7-6 in the second quarter).

Drive #6. 2 big rushes for Kaepernick move the ball down to the Tech 14. On first down, Kaepernick's pass is tipped up and intercepted.

Drive #8. 5 first downs and with the ball on the 10 (what is up with 1st and goal from the 10?) and 2nd down, Fragger picks up 5. 3rd and goal from the 5 and Fragger picks up 2. 4th and goal from the 3, Kaepernick fumbles (supposedly).

Drive #9. 3rd and 12 on Tech 18 and Fragger rushes for 4. Huh? Jaekle field goal. (14-12 half way through 3rd quarter).

Drive #10. 4 first downs and missed 44 yard field goal. (Could have been 21-15 going to the 4th).

Drive #12. With one last gasp to try and score and kick an onsider, after 3 first downs on the Tech 23 with 3+ minutes to play Kaepernick is sacked on consecutive plays.

Game Over. UGH!

And I didn't even go into detail on the fact that the Pack just lost one of the best offensive players in the WAC in RB Luke Lippincott who tore up a knee during the game. We are expecting Vai and Brandon to pick up the load where Luke left off. Silver lining....Nevada could have it's best chance at a BCS run next season and unexpectidly having Luke to contribute to that could be huge!

Other thoughts:

Well, uh, there is a game this weekend with the #6 team in the country. Sort of a big deal there.

We expect coach Ault and company to tidy up the mis-cues this weekend and present Mizzou with something in the way of a little 35-31 upset in Columbia. How do you like that Tiger fans? This Wolf Pack already has a taste for Tiger meet and they liked it. Last time they feasted on a little juvenile Tiger and now they're hunting for the big game.

Catch a Tiger by it's tail.....

Friday, September 5, 2008


The picture above is of Marko Mitchell scoring a TD. This weekend when the Nevada Wolf Pack square off against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, we expect to see a lot of that (well minus the hideous orange end zone).

Let's take a look at the numbers in week 1:

Scoring: Nevada 49 points. Tech 49. Advantage: Push
Defense: Nevada 13 points. Tech 24. Advantage: Pack
Rushing: Nevada 426 yards. Tech 103. Advantage: Pack
Passing: Nevada 223 yards. Tech 536. Advantage: Tech

Some other interesting things to consider: When either team scores over 30, they both tend to win. The advantage has to go to Tech though as since 2001 they are a staggering 53-9. However, when Tech has been held to less than 30, they are a staggering 6-22. So the solution seems to be to hold them under 30 while scoring more than 30. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, hey the Pack defense already loooks better this year but we aren't asking for miracles either. Unless the Pack offense can sustain long drives with TD's and the defense can cause problems in the backfield, they probably will reach 30 or more. But if the Pack offense doesn't sustain long drives, but does score TD's regularly, then a shoot out could unfold. And as long as the Wolf Pack can hang around til the 4th quarter then anything is possible at home under the lights.

Official PWtW prediction: Nevada 38, Texas Tech 35. Jaekle with a field goal as time expires.

Now lets get out there and do this doggone thing!

Sunday, August 31, 2008



The first game of the year saw the Nevada Wolf Pack defeat the first "Tigers" opponent of the season. Let's hope it's not the last win over a Tiger in 2008.

The story of the game on offense was the running game, where Nevada racked up 426 yards on the ground (good for 4th in the NCAA this weekend and just 7 yards behind number two team).

The story of the game on defense was the run stopping, where Nevada allowed just FIVE yards on the ground (good for 3rd in the NCAA this weekend...Ohio State allowed -11!).

The overall story of the game was TEAM. FOUR QB's saw action. ELEVEN Wolf Pack players carried the rock. ELEVEN! Six different players caught a pass. And on the defense FIVE players recorded sacks. ELEVEN players had a tackle for loss. And TWENTY FIVE players got in on some sort of action whether it be a tackle, pass break up, etc. In fact, FIFTY EIGHT different players saw action on the field on Saturday.

Some individual highlights:
Colin Kaepernick had 3 rushing TD's.
Vai Taua had 103 yards rushing and a TD.
Luke Lippincott had his first TD of the year despite missing much of the game with a large cut that required 20+ stitches (and he came back in to play after that).
Dontay Moch had 2 sacks, 3 TFL, forced a fumble, and led the team with 8 tackles.
Josh Mauga had 1.5 sacks, 2.5 TFL, forced a fumble, and had 5 tackles.
Uche Anyanwu had 6 tackles from the safety position.
Jerome Johnson had 2.5 TFL, and 6 tackles.
Brandon Marshall had an INT, 2.5 TFL, and 5 tackles in his first start.

Next week: Texas Tech at Mackay Stadium. Raider's going to get Wrecked!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

12:30 EST for Mizzou has updated the Wolf Pack's schedule with a couple of changes.

When Nevada takes on the Tigers in week 3, it appears students will have to set an alarm and deal with the hang over if they are going to watch the Pack live as a 12:30 EST kick off means that those of us on PST (that's Pacific Standard Time which is what most of us are used too) will have to be up at 9:30 AM on a Saturday morning. Ouch!

Also on a happy note, the Louisiana Tech game is showing as a game that will be available on ESPN Gameplan.

Doak Walker and Dick Butkus

Nevada's Luke Lippincott and Josh Mauga are two of the senior leaders on the team this season. They are also half of the teams elected captains (along with Dominic Green and Mundrae Clifton).

And now they are being watched. Watched by a couple of awards committees that is.

Luke was announced today as being listed as one of three WAC running backs who is on the preseason Doak Walker award watch list (BSU's Ian Johnson and UI's Deonte Jackson are the other WAC rushers).

A couple of weeks ago, Nevada's Josh Mauga joined three other WAC linebackers (UH's Adam Leonard, USU's Jake Hutton, USU's Paul Igboeli) as a preseason Dick Butkus award possibility for the 2008 season.

We have to say that the folks selecting these two noble and honorable awards (along with Rimington) have a lot more sense than many other awards committees (such as the dolts at Walter Camp, John Mackey, Jim Thorpe, Davey O'Brien, etc). Good job of recognizing talent when you see it!

Oh yeah, and we are like 42 hours away from kick off. That's less than two days!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008



This picture pretty much sums up the fall camp. And now we are heading into the first game and there are a lot of things going on. And PWtW has done a piss poor job of updating you on all the latest. So let's recap:

*Three scrimmages down (one was private) and the defense appeared to have the upper hand all camp.
*In today's paper, coach Ault commented he was concerned with the defense, especially the secondary. Huh? Not from what I saw this fall. Coach speak!
*ESPN broke the news that coach Ault selected a starting QB (Kaepernick).
*They also broke the news that BSU selected a starting QB (Moore). And lost a QB (Lomax).
*And that Grambling State selected a starting QB (what ever his name is).
*Speaking of ESPN, they've been doing Nevada a solid by listing Wolf Pack players amongst the top non bcs players at their positions. This included Kaepernick at the number 6 QB, Lippincott at the number 2 RB, and in an amazing selection of genius, Marko Mitchell is listed as the number 1 (yep, numero uno) WR amongst non bcs WR's in the country.
*The two deep shows mostly what we thought all along. Dom Green may be given some more time to get rid of little nagging injuries and Kevin Basped may split snaps with Ryan Coulson for similar reasons. Generally speaking the team is very healthy otherwise.

So what are we predicting for this weekend?

1. Drae Dog and Nate Dog destroy the Grambling center and guards and the Tigers rush for less than 100 yards.

2. Kevin and Dante's Inferno destroy Gramblings tackles and quarterback and get 3 sacks between the two of them. Coulson will get in on the action too with a couple tackles for loss.

3. Mauga gets bored and breaks up a couple of passes.

4. The secondary gets a pick.

5. Luke "The Duke of Mackay" goes over 130 on the ground and collects at least one TD. He begins his quest to defend his rushing title and has 200 all purpose yards.

6. A back other than Luke will collect a TD in this game.

7. Kaepernick throws his first TD pass of the year. And has his first TD run of the year.

8. Mitchell has a TD catch but does not lead the team in yardage. Mike McCoy has a big game!

9. Virgil Green will catch a pass. He always does on NCAA 09!

10. Nevada will go over 40 points and Grambling will stay under 15. (A-B = Wolf Pack victory dummies!)

11. And the bold prediction of the week.....Brad Langley will pin the Tigers inside the 10 on a rare Nevada punt.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hey CFN...You Suck!

If there is any site out there that does not give Nevada a lick of respect, it's CFN (College Football Nohomeworkonnonbcsteams dot com).

Let's talk about their recent "unit rankings". After ESPN's Graham Watson called Nevada's QB duo of Colin Kaepernick and Nick Graziano "the best quarterbacking tandem in the country", CFN decided to rank the QB units on teams across the country. Where did Nevada's duo fall? Top 5? Nah, Graham got carried away with that comment. Ok. Top 10? Top 25? Top 50?

Try 52.

New Mexico State 14? #1: if you think Chase Holbrook is that much better than either of our guys, think again dummies. #2: if Chase goes down, then what?

Notre Dame 34? And Jimmy Clausen is a candidate for the Maxwell award....oh wait a minute, I guess he is.

And don't even get us started on Running Backs. You MF'ers! SOB's! You've got us hopping mad now.

The leading rushing attack in the WAC. The returning WAC rushing champion.


Fresno State 21? I bet they can't even name a Fresno St running back without cliff notes.

Boise State 8? Really! Number 8 in the whole nation! Didn't rush for more yards than Nevada did last year. But we understand. Ian Johnson proposed to his girlfriend on national television. Luke Lippincott might not even have a girlfriend for all we know.

We think ESPN is a much more reputable source of information than CFN, so we're sticking with their assessment.

By the end of this post, we've calmed down a bit. CFN, we'll forgive you. But mark our words, when this season is over we will be reminding you of your errant ways.

Tiger's Camp Sounding Familiar

Scrimmage #1 for the Grambling St. Tigers produced no scores by the offense.

Scrimmage #2 for the Grambling St. Tigers produced two scores by the offense.

That doesn't sound a whole lot different than the Nevada Wolf Pack's one score in scrimmage number one and two scores in number two.

The biggest difference that we see though, is that unlike the Wolf Pack quarterbacks, the Tiger quarterbacks have been bit by the interception bug. Quarterback Greg Dillon threw 3 picks while sophomore J.P. Tillman threw another in their second outing. That should bode well for ball hawks like Mike Evans, Antoine Thompson, Isaiah Frey, and Jonathon Amaya.

With just about nine days to go before kicking off the 2008 season, the Tigers are planning to begin shifting focus to preparing for the Wolf Pack. I hope they know what they're getting themselves into!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Luke Goes Live on ESPN and Some QB Thoughts Too

Today on ESPN Live Chat, Luke stopped in to answer some fans questions. He did a real nice job of keeping things PC for the most part and answered the questions in full. We like that he didn't dodge questions like "who would you want to beat most this season from the WAC?" (answer was BSU) and "can you win one of the big 12 games" (answer was a short and sweet YES).

Perhaps Luke should consider majoring in communications, although psychology probably isn't a bad choice considering his father, Brian, is said to be a pretty good psychologist himself.

10 Days to Kick Off and No Official Announcement on Quarterback

Perhaps coach Ault is playing the silent game vs. BSU's coach Peterson here. Let's see who will be the first to make an official announcement? Everyone seems to be writing about the Pack's quarterbacks (ESPN had a lengthy article today on the matter: It's a good problem to have and it's interesting to see every one's perspective on the matter. Each writer seems to have their own opinion and thoughts.

Well anyway lets take a look at some important numbers and occurrences over the past seasons and camps:

Spring of 2007:

Scrimmage 1, Graz 5-14 for 71. Kaep 4-8 for 85

Scrimmage 2, Graz 5-15 for 96. Kaep 3-9 for 47

Scrimmage 3, Graz 10-13 for 150. Kaep 5-9 for 67

Spring 2007 totals, Graz 20-42 (48%) for 317. Kaep 12-26 (46%) for 199.

Fall of 2007:

Scrimmage 1, Graz 13-25 for 162. Kaep 4-8 for 41

Scrimmage 2, Graz 16-20 for 216. Kaep 8-13 for 133

Fall 2007 totals, Graz 29-45 (64%) for 378. Kaep 12-21 (57%) for 174

Just 4 days before the first game in Lincoln, coach Ault announced Nick Graziano as the starter for the 2007 season. He also said that Kaepernick would be playing in "situational" spots to utilize his abilities. What stands out to us is a few things. Graziano had almost double the pass attempts as Kaepernick during camps. Percentage wise, stats were similar. Neither player was allowed to show their running abilities too much as protecting the two players takes priority over showing off in a scrimmage. We also know that Ault has stated in the past that he does not prefer a two quarterback system. And before Graziano was injured, Kaepernick had only seen a very limited amount of time at the ends of the Nebraska and Nichols St games. Two blowout games. That tends to disagree with the comments before the season about one playing situationaly. Another reason to believe coach when he says he does not prefer a two qb system.

Now here we are just 10 days away and in a similar situation.

Fall of 2008:

Scrimmage 1, Kaep 8-12 for 73. Graz 3-12 for 39.

Scrimmage 2, Kaep 10-23 for 88. Graz 6-15 for 143.

Scrimmage totals: Kaep 18-35 (51%) for 161. Graz 9-27 (33%) for 181.

What can we make of this based on previous history? It will be interesting to hear about this last scrimmage that's coming up. Right now, Kaepernick is running with the "ones" as Nick was at this time last year. You can see that Kaep has had more attempts, but not to the extent that Graz did last season. Kaepernick's completion percentage is much better, but Graziano has made his connections count for greater yardage, leaving many fans forgetting the actual numbers and remembering the big hitters. And again, neither player has been allowed to show off their running abilities for injury reasons. However this season is probably different from last as we've now seen what Kaepernick is capable of in game situations.

The one thing that we here at PWtW do feel fairly confident in is that when coach does make the announcement one of these players is going to be disappointed. And if trends remain the same, we will not be seeing a split role at the position. One player will take the reigns. We just hope that the other player will remain with the Pack and be ready to play just in case something happens like last season did.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Defense 2 - Offense 0

Round 2 goes to the defense. Again.

Ok. Sure. Some will try and say it was even.

6.5 tackles for loss. 3.5 sacks. And that was only Dontay Moch by himself!

The defense wracked up 15 total tackles for loss and 9 sacks in the 101 plays that the Wolf Pack ran on Saturday.

The defensive front looked impressive as they were constantly causing problems for the Wolf Pack offensive front. Dontay Moch made big play after big play including a massive hit on quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the blind side in leading the defense with 8 total tackles. Nate Agiaiva was next in line with a pair of sacks as well.

When the front group wasn't causing havoc, the defensive backfield was causing problems for the Pack quarterbacks and wide outs. Antoine Thompson led the group with 3 pass break ups as he had Marko Mitchell blanketed much of the day. Freshman Marlon Johnson mixed it up a bit as well as he had an interception and fumble recovery on the day as well as a couple of pass break ups. Again, Thompson and Evans looked solid with younger guys like Isaiah Frey continuing to push for reps on the field this season.

The defense held the offense to 88 yards rushing (4 yards per rush) and 313 yards passing on 24 of 57 (a paltry 42%).

Speaking of offense, Vai Taua led the RB's with 9 carries while Courtney Randall led in yards with 27. The two are making their cases for carries during the season behind Lippincott and Fragger. Michael Ball was on crutches (stress fracture) and we missed seeing Lampford Mark as well.

On the quarterback battle, no ground appeared to be lost or gained. Graziano led the group in yards with 143 yards, the majority of that coming on a couple of pretty plays with Marko Mitchell going for a 54 yard score, Shane Anderson catching another 50 yard post, and a nice screen play to Vai. Unfortunately as seen with last weekend, Graz's completion percentage failed to impress as he was 6-15 for 40% and was lucky to not have a couple of balls intercepted. Colin Kaepernick had an average day as he was terrorized in the backfield much of the day. Quick whistles prevented any running razzle dazzle and Kaepernick's completion percentage, unlike last weekend, wasn't much better than Graziano's as he was 10-23 for 43% with just 88 yards. The bulk of that came on a 31 yard touch down pass to Brian Fludd on a nice pump fake that left Fludd all alone as the defender bit hard. The 3rd spot looks to be as much or more of a battle as the 1st spot as Tyler Lantrip had a decent day with 7-14 for 75 yards vs. Luke Collis at 1-5 for 7 yards.

The wide receivers were slightly better with hanging on to the ball this time (still a few drops but nothing as bad as last weekend). Mitchell led the way with 2 catches for 63 yards and score and besides the other above mentioned plays and players, red shirt freshman Tray Sessions looked alright with a pair of grabs for 26 yards.

The offensive line appeared to have a rough time with the defensive speed and stunting all day. It appears they are still figuring out which players will be where as John Bender was moved back to tackle for much of the day after playing the guard spot earlier in camp. Snaps to the quarterbacks were overall much better as just a few came out low but most were right on.

Next weekend is a closed to the public scrimmage that wraps up the fall camp portion and begins the preparation for kick off with Nevada's opening opponent, the Grambling Tigers.

We would like to see the offense put a few more scores on the board and get things going before that time. The nice thing this year though is that if the offense isn't 100% gelled, they don't have to figure it out in front of 85,000 in Lincoln Nebraska.

And let's hope the defense doesn't let up and only gets better over the years to come.

P.S. Just 12 days to go now. Almost in single digits!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bloggers Gettin Crazy! 15 Mas Dias

Although PWtW is not a site that posts multiple reports on a daily basis ala OBNUG (hey we get it, nothing better to do in Idaho) that doesn't mean that PWtW doesn't read those blogs.

And it doesn't mean that at times, we don't get side-swiped by data.

This morning on the RGJ's blog (yep, the Reno paper has a blog too) it was reported that Luke Collis appears to be solidifying the number 3 spot behind Kaepernick and Graziano. But the more important data that was reported (and why it's not in an article but just a blog is beyond us) was that Graziano didn't participate in practice. WTF! Coach Ault said it was just to get Collis more reps. And the RGJ appears to be speculating that it's because he doesn't need any more work and Kaepernick does. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh the guy was out 2/3rds of last season, all of spring, and part of the summer and you're trying to tell us that the #3 guy needs more reps? Or that he's already rebounded and doesn't need the work? Boy we sure hope everything is cool and that's all it really is. Nevada has the top QB group in the WAC but if either Graziano or Kaepernick can't go, that position gets real thin real fast.

On the lighter side of things, the RGJ also reported a funny story (maybe not so funny to BSU fans who might read this) about Kaepernick taunting red shirt freshman and recently named starter Brandon Marshall:
(From RGJ Blog): "Back to Kaepernick's jaunt. The team was in scrimmage mode when Kaepernick rolled right from about his own 35 and saw a lot of daylight. He sprinted down the right sideline with red shirt freshman linebacker Brandon Marshall giving chase from across the field. Marshall began to close in when Kaepernick bellowed, "You gotta take a deeper angle than that." Kaepernick pulled away for the touchdown, leaving an astonished Marshall to just say, "Damn, he's fast!"" (

Also, speaking of OBNUG, they give their thoughts on Nevada and I have to say for them it's not too bad. They give some respect as hard as that probably is for them to do. I can only imagine what this QB battle must be doing to them. Go with the frosh or the senior? We are just sort of hoping that when it comes time to play Boise, their QB's name is Bush. The possibilities are endless...... (