Tuesday, April 29, 2008

2009 Draft Looks to be Better for the Wolf Pack

Now that the 2008 NFL draft has concluded, the speculation is already starting on who some of the top prospects are for the 2009 draft class.

One of the big college football sites: Scout.com, has named three Nevada Wolf Pack players to their lists of top draftable players by positions. They are:

Dominic Green listed as the #16 Center

Joshua Mauga listed as the #22 Inside Line Backer

Uche Anyanwyu listed as the #25 Strong Safety

We tend to think that a few other Wolf Pack players will get a solid look over the course of the year as well.

No doubt the scouts will be hanging around the campus this season.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Butler Headed to the City by the Bay

How funny would it be if Ezra Butler was leaving the Reno area for San Francisco to get away from the earth quakes?

One thing I'm sure that wasn't funny for Ezo was day two of the NFL draft when his name was not called out. Butler was at one time projected as a 3rd round pick. But with nagging injuries after the season and questionable off the field issues before it, Butler's stock plummeted. Now perhaps fortune has smiled on the former Nevada line backer less than just 24 hours later.

Butler will join the San Francisco 49er's for their spring camp as a free agent looking for a shot at making the roster. For Butler, the chance is as good as any as he brings a great skill set to a team that is playing a 3-4 defense. A scheme that requires 4 line backers on the field vs. the traditional 4-3 that requires three. 4 backers on the field means 4 backers in reserve and probably some more behind that. With Ezra's speed and tough play, the sky's the limit.

PWtW wishes Ezra and Adam both all the luck in the world with their futures in football.

Bishop Signs with Jaguars

Former Nevada TE Adam Bishop will be signing a contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars to try and earn a spot on the team this spring. For players who are not drafted, the advantage becomes the player pursuing a team through free agency. Bishop can play as a TE or as a long snapper on special teams.

Bishop is a tough player who was named the teams Offensive Player of the Year, was one of four team captains, earned one of the teams "striker" awards (only six players earned these awards with fellow free agent Ezra Butler being one of the others) and was a second team All Wac selection.

Good luck to Adam and his future career in the NFL

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Shut Out!

Nevada's recent senior football players who were hoping to be drafted in this years NFL draft will have to take their chances on the free agent market.

Although many people thought that Ezra Butler and Adam Bishop would have good chances at being picked off the board during this year's event, neither received that phone call from an NFL team before the 252 picks were all over.

PWtW wishes all the players the best and hopes that these young men will prove the experts wrong before their football days are over.

Good luck young men.

Draft Update

It is now the fourth round of the NFL draft and a few former Wolf Pack players are still waiting to hear their number called. LB Ezra Butler, TE Adam Bishop, and OL Charles Manu hopefully will be picked up before the end of the day. If not, the guys will have to test the free agent waters for a shot to play on the big stage.

We'll keep you updated as things progress...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sporting News....WTF?

Ok, so I guess I just don't get why a guy like myself should write a free blog while guys like this Tom Dienhart get paid by national publications like the Sporting News to write opinions backed by zero facts.

What am I talking about?

A recent article written by Tom describes his version of ranking the 52 Non-BCS coaches. He's got:
1. June Jones (now SMU but must be based on his body of work at Hawaii)
3. Pat Hill; Fresno
5. Chris Peterson; Boise
8. Dick Tomey; San Jose
20. Chris Ault; Nevada

Now let me break this down for you kids.

1. June Jones (9 years CFB experience): 75-41 record. Got destroyed by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. Last 6 years, 1-5 vs. Boise. 1-9 vs. ranked opponents with first win coming over Boise in Hawaii this past year. 2 WAC championships, 1 shared with Fresno in 1999 and last year's undefeated season. 3-9 in 2000 and 5-7 in 2005.
And somehow this resume leads to the #1 coach in the nation of the 52 non bcs coaches? 2 losing seasons and 2 league titles in 9 years is the best, huh?

3. Pat Hill (10 years experience): 85-55 record. 1 WAC championship shared with Hawaii in 1999. A .500 record in bowl games. A 4-8 record in 2006. 1-5 vs. Boise.
Good old Pat Hill. The dawgs have had the same M.O. year after year. Be competitive against BCS teams, and then not win the WAC. As seen in his 1 shared championship in 10 years. And losing half your bowl games? But still the 3rd best...okay.

5. Chris Peterson (2 years experience): 23-3 record. 1 WAC championship in 2006. 1 BCS bowl victory in the Fiesta Bowl. 1-1 in bowl games.
So a guy inherits a primed team from a coach who actually probably does belong high on this list (if he hadn't went to a BCS team), leads said team through one magical season including a one hell of a bowl game, has a pretty good year in his 2nd season which ends on a bowl loss, and he's now the #5 coach out of all non BCS coaches? I guess experience really counted for a lot on this list.

8. Dick Tomey (27 years experience): 175-129-7 record. Too much to list!
Hey, I'm not going to insult Tomey. The guy's got as big a resume as any. In 11 seasons as a WAC head coach, he hasn't won a championship though. He's had 7 losing seasons in his 27 years. He does have a Pac 10 championship to his name and a 5-3 bowl record.

20. Chris Ault (23 years experience): 191-85-1 record. One induction into the Hall of Fame. 1 WAC championship in 4 years. 2-3 record in bowl games. 3 losing seasons in 23 years.
So he's in 4 seasons of WAC coaching, and CA's got as many championships as Hill. He's in the coaching HOF. His 3 losing seasons were records of 5-6, 5-7, and 6-7. None as bad as Jones's 3-9 or Hill's 4-8. And he'ld have to have a losing season each year for the next four to match Tomey. Ault has a victory over a ranked team (Fresno to be exact) which means he has as many in 4 years as Jones had in 9. And with all that said, Ault is middle of the road, #20.

So now that you see what I'm talking about you can understand my frustrations. I should be getting paid too. How can Mr. Dienhart write these things and be serious? It's like he just looked at who's been good the last couple years and who's expected to be good this year and then formed a list off the top of his head.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Preview Opponent...Grambling State Tigers

First up on the schedule this year is a home game for the Wolf Pack. If it seems like it's been awhile since we opened with one of those, that's because it has. You have to go back to 2005 when we opened with Pac 10 opponent Washington State. That unfortunately was a 55-21 thrashing in front of the home crowd. You have to actually go back to 2003 to find an opening home victory, when Nevada's Logan Carter blocked an extra point late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 24-23 point victory over Southern Utah. Chance Kretchmer ran for 170 yards on the offensive side of the ball and Carter turned in an interception and recovered a fumble for a score on defense in that game.

This year the Wolf Pack will entertain the history rich Grambling State Tigers. The all time series is 0-1 with the Pack dropping a 37-3 decision in Grambling LA, back in 1972 under head coach Jerry Scattine. That year Grambling was 11-2 under famed coach Eddie Robinson. Coming off an 8-4 season under 1st year head coach Rod Broadway in 2007, the Tigers should pose as a reasonable tune-up for the Wolf Pack heading into the meat of their OOC schedule.

The Tiger's spring wrapped up with a mostly defense dominated spring. That defense will have it's hands full stopping the pistol offense and it's skilled group. Key players to watch on the defense will be DB Jeffrey Jack (lead team in tackles with 64 total) and DE Christian Anthony who lead the team in tackles for loss and sacks. LB Keefe Hall also figures to be a presence as he was #3 in tackles, #5 in tackles for loss last year, and had a bring spring this year.

When the Pack is done scoring and has to kick to the Tigers, the front four will be getting after Senior QB Brandon Landers. Landers finished with a 56% completion rate last season and tossed for 23 TDs but also gave up 18 INT's on his way to a 121 passer rating. Mr. Mauga and company will be charged with stopping a pair of sophomores who ran for 901 yards and 565 yards and had 5 TD's each as freshmen last season in Frank Warren and Cornelius Walker. And for the revamped Wolf Pack secondary, they should have a great chance to get their feet wet as Gramblin graduated their top 3 WR's and their TE. Expect Jon Amaya and Uche Anyanwu to have a field day against the you Grambling wide outs.

When it comes to the half-time show, I don't think the Nevada band is going to be able to keep up with the "Greatest Band in the Land". But expect Ault's pistol offense to fire off a big round of scoring and expect the defense to shut down the Tiger offense.

PWtW way early prediction: 42-10 Wolf Pack

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Who Wore It Best

In the tradition of great publications such as the US Weekly that comes to my wife each Thursday night, we look at two players making a fashion statement and determine who looked best doing it!

Today's hot trend is a capri style short pant with vertical stripes down the side. These two like the knees to go naked when they hit the field for their adoring fans.

PWtW wants your opinion: Who wears the short football pant the best and why.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

M & M's a Real Treat for the Wolf Pack

This year's real treat for the Nevada Offense (and it's young QB's) is the return of two of the most productive offensive weapons of the past two seasons. Senior WR's Marko Mitchell (6'4" 200 pounds) and Senior Mike McCoy (6'0" 190 pounds) will be lining up for the Pack for their final seasons as collegiate athletes in 2008.

Mitchell who comes to the team from York, Alabama via Mesa CC in Arizona lead the team in yardage last season with 1,129 yards on 53 catches both team highs. He also accounted for 8 TD receptions which also lead the team. And his 21.3 ypc was number 2 in the country behind Brennan Marion. In 2006, Marko was second on the team with 493 yards on 39 catches trailing Caleb Spencer. His 4 TD catches were second on the team also to Mike McCoy.

Marko will be looking to build on his break out 2007 season to position himself as another potential NFL prospect for the Wolf Pack. And we look forward to watching him do it. His circus catches make many highlight reels, including a grab off the turf last season that earned him a Sports Center top ten clip. Of course, if the NFL doesn't work out, there's always an acting career as the lead in the Terrell Owens life story. For those of you who haven't seen Marko up close he bears a striking resemblance to the often controversial Cowboy's WR.

On the opposite side of the field will be the sure handed Colfax, California product Mike McCoy.

McCoy saw some action as a Freshman for the Pack when he grabbed 17 balls for 230 and a score back in 2005. In 2006, he would blow up in the end zone and lead the team with 9 TD grabs. He would also lead in ypc at 15. He had 23 catches for 346 as a sophomore. Then last year Mike accounted for 4 more scores and 32 catches for 617 (a huge 19.3 ypc) including a 90 yard TD grab from QB Nick Graziano against the red devil's from down south.

A fan favorite of many, Mike will be looking to go out with a bang in his senior campaign. His toe-the-line out routes and sticky hands will keep the chains moving more than once in 2008. It's those clutch plays (and one's like the game winner againt NMSU) that will put Mike in the position to surspass that 2006 TD total and make his own history at Mackay.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mean Dom Green

In 2003, Nevada's Nate Burleson was drafted in the 3rd round of the NFL draft. In 2004, Maurice Mann and Jorge Cordova were picked up by NFL teams. Tony Moll went to the Packers in 2006. And in 2007 we saw QB Jeff Rowe go to the Bengals. In a week from now we hope to see Ezra Butler's name called in the draft. Perhaps we'll see Adam Bishop or Charles Manu get with a team as well.
And in 2009, center Dominic Green looks to be the early favorite for an NFL draft pick out of the current Wolf Pack roster.
So a little about the Wolf Pack's most versatile (and nasty) offensive lineman.
Green was born in 1986 in Sacramento. He attended Jesuit High School in the Sacramento area and was a three year starter. He won various all league and section awards. He was also a part of the 2003 state rugby championship team in high school.
Once at Nevada, Dom red shirted in 2004. He then earned a starting position in 2005 at right guard. He would soon move to the center position where he finished out the season as the starter. In 2006, he started at the tackle position all 13 games. He was awarded with two Basalite big blocker awards and was named 2nd team All WAC. In 2007 he was named to the preseason Remington award watch list. Fought through injuries all season and was named 1st team All WAC. Earned his third Basalite award. For the second time in three years was a key part of a line that produced the leading rusher in the WAC. Going into the 2008 season, Dominic has already been named to the 2008 preseason Rotary Lombardi Award. He is mentioned as a preseason All American candidate and NFL draft prospect as a center.
Dominic is currently the 10th ranked center in the draft class of 2009 according to nfldraftscout.com
So the next time you get out to Mackay, better make sure you get #61's autograph before it'll cost you.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nevada "O" vs. Fresno "Oh"

Uncle Rico = Typical Fresno State Fan

So apparently some Fresno fans have been getting a little out of hand this spring thinking they are going to have the best offense in the WAC this year.


Excuse me, did I miss something here?

The Pack was ahead of the puppies last year in scoring. And in rushing yards. Oh yeah, and in passing yards. And we return just about every key part of that.

So what makes Fresno think they are going to be better? A preseason #23 ranking I guess. Maybe because some of them think Tom Brandstater is going to be the next David Carr? Were those the same fans who were begging for Sean Norton just 16 months ago? Maybe it's because they have the Freshman of the Year, Ryan Mathews. No wait just a second. Actually it was our guy who got that award. But if you talked to any Raisin loving fool down there you wouldn't know it. And besides, he ran for what was it? 866 yards. Our back went for 1400! Their WR's caught 15 TD's on the year. We had a QB who played 8 games and threw for 19!

I mean, even though we lost we still put up more offense in last years game than you did. And no, you didn't play your 3rd and 4th stringers all game. I saw starters in late.

Get off the kool ade guys. The fact that you're not talking about your defense as much as most years should be your concern. Not how great you are going to be at moving the ball. You guys sound like uncle Rico: Could throw it over that mountain if you wanted too, right? You might be the early favorite in the conference but to start the "We are going to be the best offense in the WAC" at this point is about as silly as saying "we are going to the BCS this year" with Rutgers, UCLA, and Wisconsin on the schedule and knowing you can't ever win the WAC outright itself. And it's also just the sort of thing that is going to backfire on you big time come one Friday night in Nov.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Preview Opponent...Missouri Tigers

Last season the Missouri Tigers were a Big 12 championship game win away from playing for the national title. They didn't win, losing to #9 Oklahoma 38-17. Entering that game the Tigers boasted the #1 ranking in the country.

They would go on to romp over Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl on New Year's Day. The Cotton Bowl, for those who do not remember or can't keep things straight, is not a BCS Bowl game. So to sum up the last three weeks of Missouri's season: Defeat the #2 team in the country. Earn the #1 ranking. Lose to the #9 team in the country. Drop to #6 and get passed up by the team you beat (Kansas) that was #2 when you beat them, and the #7, 9, 10, and 13 teams and play in a crappy non-BCS game.

And that's just the success that the team had. I didn't even talk about the success of individual players. Although the Tiger's had some pretty big time players all over the field (like big time tight end Martin Rucker) the one everyone knows is Heisman Finalist; QB Chase Daniel. Daniel threw for 4,300 yards and 33 TD's vs 11 INT's for a passer rating of 147.88

But guess what kiddies?

Our QB Colin Kaepernick threw for a better TD:INT ration 6:1 vs. Chase's wimpy 3:1 ratio. And he threw for a better passer rating at 150.77 Advantage Pack.

We also have a RB, Lippencott, returning who ran for 1,400 yards. Missouri's returning leading rusher is a WR who amassed 375 yards. Advantage Pack.

At the WR, it's a wash I'll say as Marko Mitchell had slightly more yards than Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin (the leading rusher) who had one more TD on the year. A wash.

At TE they don't return theirs and we don't return ours. Again, a wash.

On the line, we return 4 and they return 3. So that's another advantage for the Wolf Pack.

That's three advantages to the Wolf Pack and a couple of toss-ups. No advantages for the Tigers.

On defense they return more than we do, so I'll give them an advantage there. They gave up an average of 25 points per game. We gave up 32.

Looks like we could catch a Tiger sleeping and unload some points on the campus in Columbia.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Preview Opponent...Texas Tech

After an opening game with D1AA opponent Grambling, the Wolf Pack will take on Big 12 opponent Texas Tech in a game that will take place at Mackay Stadium in Reno, NV.

Hopes are high this year for the Red Raiders. A common preseason pick to make a BCS bowl game, the Raiders are returning two of the biggest names in college football. Quarterback Graham Harrell and Wide Out Michael Crabtree are two of the more popular picks for the Heisman race this upcoming season. With 10 starters returning on the offense, and 8 more on the defense it would appear that things look bleak for our Wolf Pack to come out of this one with a win.

But appearances can be deceiving!

2002: 51-48 loss to North Carolina St (the other Wolfpack)

2003: 49-21 loss @ North Carolina St

2004: 27-24 loss @ New Mexico

2006: 12-3 loss @ TCU

In the last 6 seasons the Raiders are 0-2 against teams named "Wolfpack" giving up an average of 50 points in those games. They also have three road losses OOC. If the Red Raiders are going to lose an OOC game this year, it probably won't be at home against weaklings like SMU, Eastern Washington, or UMASS. It will probably be on the road to our Wolf Pack. And considering our offense returns a number of players itself and finished number 12 in total yardage, TT could find itself in a serious shoot-out and also some serious trouble.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire

For those who didn't pay attention or were sleeping under a rock somewhere: ESPN featured a couple of Nevada Wolf Pack football players on the front page of it's college football site for a number of days last month.

The article focused mostly on QB's Colin Kaepernick and Nick Graziano and the decision that will have to be made next fall by head coach Chris Ault on who will be the full time starter. The article also talked about the focus on defense this spring and some of the up and comers at the different positions on the defensive side of the ball.

You can read the article here:

Leading Rusher Returning for More

Welcome to the first edition of Pistol Whipping the WAC. My attempt at proving the impossible, that the University of Nevada is in fact a football school that has just been mascarading as an NBA factory as of late.

Last year's leading rusher in the WAC was not Ian Johnson of Boise State. It wasn't Frosh sensations Ryan Mathews from Fresno nor Deonte Jackson from Idaho.

The number one rusher in the WAC was Nevada's feature back, Luke Lippincott. And he ran in the WAC's numero uno rushing offense, the Pistol. Lippincott piled up over 1,400 yards on the ground and accounted for 15 scores as well. His total rushing yards was good for 18th overall in the country.

With the majority of Nevada's offensive line returning this season, look for 2008 to yield another WAC rushing crown for Luke "the Duke" (or in this case the king of current WAC running backs).

Pre Season Prediction: First Team All WAC, 20 TD season. Blow up game will be @ Hawaii