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