Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Mustang Defense and Regular Season

Now that we've examined what these two teams are primarily known for, you'd think that their lackluster defenses would be less interesting to dissect. And you'd be (mostly) right. Without divulging much of the analysis to come, let's just say the less said about these two defenses, the better. There are intriguing bright spots to be found for those with the persistence to unearth them -- like the Mustangs' Chase Kennemer here -- but those are infrequent bits of flotsam floating in an entire sea of "Eeeeeeeesh!" (The NCAA's statistical rankings were my inspiration again this week)

SMU's defense yields 404 yards per game, only slightly more atrocious than Nevada's 398.92 per game. And neither team has much room to brag when it comes to surrendering points (29.08 for SMU, 27.17 for Nevada).

But each team boasts a unique strength that usually gets lost amidst the criticism and flak their respective units get. Here at PWtW, you probably know all about Dontay Moch's impressive tackles for loss stats and the fact that Nevada's rushing defense has remained fairly good in spite of its secondary, right? Well, have you heard of the feats of SMU's secondary? Probably not, because when you're giving up 234.83 passing yards per game, the fact remains that you're still not that good, even if your opponent is second-to-worst in the country in that category. But surprisingly enough, the Mustangs have forced 27 turnovers this year -- 16 of which have been interceptions. Their pass efficiency defense is worth a double-take, too: 122.07, which makes them the third-best team in that category the Pack will have faced this year behind Boise State and Louisiana Tech.

Going back again to Kennemer for a minute, this kid is incredible. On a defense of pretty unremarkable little boys, this guy stands out as The Man. He averages 6.33 solo tackles and 10.5 total tackles per game -- both in the top twenty in the nation. Needless to say, his efforts will be critical if the Pistol ground game is to be slowed down in any way.

The rest of the defensive stats of note are kind of a mixed bag that slightly favor the Pack. SMU has been a little better at preventing red zone scores (80% scores surrendered, next to Nevada's 88%) and the aforementioned interceptions, while Nevada has the Mustangs beat in sacks (28 to 20), tackles for loss (83 to 61) and slightly beat in third and fourth down conversion percentage defense. Both teams were about equal at recovering fumbles (Nevada 10, SMU 11) and first downs allowed per game (19.5 to 20.08).

Now here's how the Mustangs reversed last year's 1-11 effort and reached their first bowl game since the pre-death penalty 1980s:

1-0: SMU 31, Stephen F. Austin 23 (Dallas)

SMU needed a 17-point fourth quarter rally and 6 turnovers to beat this very game FCS opponent.

2-0: SMU 35, UAB 33 (Birmingham)

The Mustangs got off to a quick lead, but saw it falter in the second half before finishing off the Blazers.

2-1: Washington State 30, SMU 27 in OT (Pullman)

Along with Nevada's loss at Colorado State, a bizarre, baffling loss to a team they should've easily beaten in retrospect.

2-2: #11 TCU 39, SMU 14 (Fort Worth)

SMU actually led for about a quarter and a half, but in the end the TCU defense proved to be too much to handle.

3-2: SMU 28, East Carolina 21 (Dallas)

Lacking in most categories except the final score, this was by far the Mustangs' best win of the regular season.

3-3: Navy 38, SMU 35 in OT (Dallas)

Another heartbreaking overtime loss, especially since the Midshipmen never led until nearly halfway through the fourth quarter.

3-4: #17 Houston 38, SMU 15 (Houston)

The good news? Case Keenum was held to 233 yards passing and one TD.

4-4: SMU 27, Tulsa 13 (Tulsa)

Kyle Padron's first start was a good one, and the Mustangs iced it with two minutes left.

5-4: SMU 31, Rice 28 (Dallas)

Three blocked kicks by SMU -- one returned for a TD -- were the difference makers in this battle of former WAC foes.

6-4: SMU 35, UTEP 31 (Dallas)

Probably the wildest game of the year, the Mustangs once again won where it counted most: the scoreboard.

6-5: Marshall 34, SMU 31 (Huntington)

Much like the Navy game in that SMU was burned on the ground and came up just short in the end.

7-5: SMU 26, Tulane 21 (Dallas)

The Mustangs led most of the way, but needed a late TD to seal the deal and guarantee themselves a bowl.

What stands out most about how SMU's season unfolded were the close ones, which is to say a whopping nine of their twelve games to date. Nine games were decided by 8 or fewer points, and the Mustangs went 6-3 in those contests. For a team that was, as June Jones himself put it after the Tulane win "browbeat worse than any players [he'd] ever seen," this is a big psychological advantage to carry into a bowl game. Nevada played only one game that was decided by less than 10 points. Quite simply, if the game is close, SMU will have the confidence -- and perhaps the ability -- to pull off the upset. Scoring on them early and often will be critical for the Pack, but maintaining a comfortable lead once it's been attained will be even more important.

So there you have it. By now you should have all the relevant stats you need to know so you hopefully don't end up looking like one of the many trash-talking Fresno State fans who got served a heaping helping of humble pie on Saturday. This blogger, at least, would be laughing more if the game hadn't cost him so many of those damn confidence points in the ESPN Bowl Mania contest. Will we have another entry up before Thursday? Not sure, but keep checking back in.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breaking Down the Mustang Roster and Offense

Here's one means by which we'll take a closer look at the SMU Mustangs leading up to the Hawai'i Bowl on December 24th.

According to their athletic department's most recent press release upon receiving the bowl invitation, like in most of their previous games this season the Mustangs will be noticeably younger than their opponent. If the depth chart in the release holds true up to the game itself, the SMU starting lineup will look something like this:

5 Freshmen (QB, LB, CB, holder and long snapper)
10 Sophomores (4 OL, 2 WR, 2 DL, FS and short snapper)
6 Juniors (RB, WR, DT, 2 LB and P/PK/KOS)
7 Seniors (OL, WR, LB, CB, SS, PR and KR)

Not surprisingly, the Mustangs' most eye-catchingly productive players are upperclassmen, both on offense (receiver Emmanuel Sanders and running back Shawnbrey McNeal) and defense (linebacker Chase Kennemer and safety Rock Dennis -- yes, that's his actual name). No fewer than four true freshmen are currently pegged as starters for the Mustangs in this game -- two on defense and one each on offense and special teams. To give you an idea of how uncommon this is, L.J. Washington and Duke Williams were the only true freshmen who started for Nevada this year. This makes SMU's turnaround from 1-11 last year to 7-5 now all the more commendable and is proof of why the future is beginning to look so bright in Dallas nowadays.

On offense, the Mustangs mostly run four wide receiver sets with a single running back not unlike June Jones' offenses at Hawai'i. However, for a coach whose principal claim to fame is airing it out from a shotgun spread of players, the Mustangs boast a surprisingly balanced offense. They average just under 36 pass attempts per game and just under 30 rushes per game, whose combined efforts have yielded about 380 total yards of offense per game -- nothing too spectacular, but good enough to win more often than lose.

Much has already been said about each team's offensive strengths playing into the opponent's defensive weakness, but in a way the Mustangs' passing attack isn't all that different than the one Nevada already boasts -- at least, on a per catch basis, anyway. Yes, the Mustangs do throw more often per game (35.9 throws per game, compared to Nevada's 22) and have more passing yards to show for it as a result (267.2 yards per game, compared to Nevada's 159.3). To put that in perspective, Hawai'i, Notre Dame, Idaho and Missouri all finished the season averaging more passing yards per game than SMU, and they're ranked right around where Boise State is in that category. They're in the top quarter in the nation in passing yards, but they're about in the middle of the pack when compared to some of the other offenses Nevada has faced this year.

But in spite of what sound like fairly daunting numbers, there's actually very little separation between the two teams when it comes down to effectiveness: Nevada averages 12.3 yards per completed pass. The Mustangs? 12.6 yards. Both receiving corps have exactly 20 touchdown catches each to show for their efforts, as well. And what about interceptions? Kaepernick has thrown a paltry 5 all year long, while the duties shared by Bo Levi Mitchell and Kyle Padron netted 14 between the two of them. You could make the argument that, were they to start throwing more often, Nevada's passing numbers wouldn't be all that different from SMU's.

But one thing that stood out to me while examining SMU's offense was third downs. The Mustangs have only converted about 29% of their third downs on the season, which is definitely lacking next to Nevada's beefier 51%. The Pack even has the advantage on fourth downs, too: 73% compared to SMU's 40%. As good as the Mustang offense looks at times, they're vulnerable on third down, and keeping them (relatively) in check will be a matter of the defense making sure it doesn't let too many easy stops slip past them and the offense making the most of its chances to score.

I found this site to be of great value in my analysis for this entry. In the next entry, I'll take a in-depth look at what the Mustangs will bring to Honolulu on defense, and analyze how their regular season transpired.

Also, this is already old news for those of you who regularly visit, but the Pack netted some pretty impressive mid-year signings today. If you're a premium subscriber (why you wouldn't be I have no idea) you can read all about them there.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Don't Know Much About...SMU

Bowls were finally announced yesterday.

First observation: as much as Packfan7 and others like to rag on Fresno State fans, they should be commended for taking this one for the team. Getting shipped off to the same bowl game two years in a row against a mediocre opponent is the equivalent of diving on a live grenade. Twice. Hopefully for the WAC's sake they can take care of business against a pretty average-looking Wyoming team.

Second observation: the folks at the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS have some balls. Big, shiny, chrome-plated balls that light up and play a tune that sings "You suck because you don't have musical balls." In the next few days, you're going to hear a lot about the outrage and controversy surrounding the Fiesta Bowl match-up, and a lot of it will be totally justified. But for one second, take a step back and marvel at the huevos it took for a room full of highly paid people in expensive suits to gather around a table and come to a decision like that one.

" can we minimize the risk of a BCS team wetting the bed on national TV against riff-raff like TCU and Boise State? And make it impossible for those same teams to earn any national respect? And preserve our cushy fake jobs? WAIT! Let's make them play each other! Goddamn we're smart! Someone give me a raise and fetch me another puppy to kick."

But enough of all of that. Nevada finally has a bowl destination and another opponent to train its sights on. Now the question is: how much do you know about the SMU Mustangs? Let's swipe the Wayback Machine from Mr. Peabody and see...

From the end of World War I to the Clinton administration -- 78 years, to be exact -- the Mustangs were a member of the old Southwest Conference. The now-defunct conference boasted a membership that (at one time or another) included Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Baylor, Rice, Texas, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech and Houston before it was dissolved in 1996. Its former members eventually landed in the Big Eight (now the Big 12), the SEC, the WAC, the Mountain West and Conference USA.

During their time in the Southwest Conference, the Mustangs won three national championships and ten conference titles while appearing in eleven bowl games. Their players frequently received All-American recognition, and to this day the school's lone Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker (pictured below) is the namesake of the award given annually to the nation's best running back.

By the 1980s, SMU was experiencing its golden years. But its boosters and supporters often found themselves breaking numerous NCAA rules in order to ensure the program could keep pace with rival programs two or three times larger than theirs. In the span of a decade from the 70s into the 80s, it was placed on probation five times. A "slush fund" of booster money was used to pay prospective and current players. The NCAA meted out bans on bowl games and TV appearances, too.

But in 1987 the NCAA felt it had no choice left but to bring the hammer down. The Mustangs' entire 1987 season was cancelled, as was half of the 1988 season. The program lost a total of 55 scholarships over the next four years, and was prohibited from appearing in bowl games for two years.

Needless to say, the impact was devastating. Even after the punishments were served, the program never again reached the dizzying heights it was accustomed to. Since the infamous "death penalty" was dealt and football officially came back in 1989, the Mustangs have gone 66-169-3, with only two winning seasons in that span and no bowl games. Until this year.

Knowing all of this, I'm amazed their return to postseason play isn't getting more national attention. Phrases like "life after death" and "rising from the ashes" sound cliched and melodramatic, but considering what this program has been through the last twenty years, they actually fit in this case.

In a future entry, Pistol Whipping the WAC will take a look at what the Pack can expect from this Mustang team in Honolulu.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Well, yours truly had the chance to drive up to Boise on Friday morning for the (unofficial) WAC championship game. On top of seemingly everything else that didn't go according to plan -- getting pulled over for speeding in Oregon, having to explain to the hotel desk clerk that I didn't, in fact, cancel my reservation, tailgating in the rain -- the Wolf Pack came up short in its bid for an outright title. The winning streak is over. Sunrise, sunset. Sigh.

The aforementioned rain lasted up to halftime, and as a result, I was reluctant to whip out my digital camera as often as I usually do for road games. After seeing how quickly my group's white foam board signs became soaked, I think you would've reached the same conclusion (Hence why the above photo is not from me, but Liz Margerum at the RGJ).

With that said, some of my parting thoughts from this bittersweet game include:

  • I'm proud of how the team played. Say what you want about the obvious need to not spot the Broncos 20+ point leads early in the game, but there was absolutely no quit in this team. In a situation when others would roll over and accept their fate, the team raised its collective head and soldiered onward.
  • The secondary didn't get beat on deep passes. You read that correctly. Kellen Moore and his receivers got their yards and points on short to moderate routes, yes -- the fact is they're just too good not to. But for an area that has consistently and thoroughly plagued the greenhorn secondary since Coach Burton's arrival last year, they didn't yield the 40- and 50-yard bombs we're accustomed to seeing a few times every game.
  • The defense was not fooled by trick plays. The two-point conversion in the first quarter -- unusual for most teams, but not for Boise State -- and the halfback pass in the third quarter were both snuffed out.
  • The defense, as a whole, played well enough to win. Both defenses, in fact, made some good adjustments in the second half, each forcing a turnover and only surrendering 17 points apiece. Unfortunately...
  • Nevada's offense and special teams did not play well enough to win. Colin played noticeably better than last year's 19-of-50 showing, but got less effective protection as the game wore on. And any time the team is held to about 100 yards less than their rushing average on the season, a tough task is made even tougher. The word "frustration" will one day show up in Webster's with a picture of Boise State's opening kick-off return for a touchdown. The one touchdown special teams surrenders all year long, and it comes at the worst possible time!
  • Boise State's fans -- in person, at least -- were exceptional. I experienced nothing firsthand that would change my belief that they are some of the best you will find anywhere. Some of their Internet fans will continue to get a bad rap, but you're in the wrong place if you expect me to pile on the criticisms of them (of which I still have several, make no mistake). Instead, consider something the author Michael Crichton once said. When explaining the conclusions he ultimately drew while researching for his book State of Fear, Crichton said "The world changes. Ideologues and zealots don't."
  • The Pack fans who made the trip were also exceptional. What they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. They made more than their share of noise and seemed to relish being greatly outnumbered. But what made me the most optimistic was their average age: looking around me, the majority of them were either current students or recent graduates. They were fans who probably have little to no familiarity with the Tormey years and -- dare we say it -- can actually see how bright the future is for this team and want to be a part of it. Even as the clock wound down and the loss began to sink in, I still smiled a little and felt a twinge of pity for the Renoites who still insist on sitting at home because of their myopic disdain for one guy on the sidelines. I'll say this about my fellow diehards: we don't always come out on top, but we always have more fun! And on that note...
  • The people of northern Nevada have a team they can be proud of. We're all disappointed the team still can't seem to get that signature win it needs. But if that's the reason why you might be hesitant to come out and support these guys, you're still missing out on something really special. Look at Packfan7's entries on the history this team continues to rewrite. Listen to anyone who goes to the games tell you how dynamic and exciting this team is to watch in person. Pencil in some season tickets for next year. Do something -- anything -- to show this team how much you appreciate their hard work and sweat translating into great things on the field! Be the positive change you want to see at Mackay. Be the fans that help the team get to the next level.

If you didn't already notice, I'm not bummed about this loss -- at least, not that much. It was an unfortunate end to the regular season, but it's not the end of the season. Now the hard part will be waiting one more week as the Pack's bowl fate is left in the hands of the college football gods.

Or Commissioner Benson...


On second thought, I've always been meaning to start praying more.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Interview with OBNUG

Since OBNUG wasn't really doing the whole "blog bets" thing this year....WHEW, we did a little Q and A with them instead.

Here is what they had to say before the game, and here is our postgame reactions to that.

1. We've read a lot of Boise fans stating that the 4-2-5 is Boise's base defense and is the "spread killer". Recently it was pointed out that against Oregon this year and against Nevada last year, the Bronco defense did not use it's base defense and that instead ran a lot of 6-1 cover zero. Do you think that is true and what do you expect them to do this year? Also, why do you think fans say that the Pistol is a spread offense? A lot of Nevada fans feel that it has evolved into a power running game with Wing-T and triple option principles.

I have not heard anything about the Broncos playing a 6-1 against Oregon and Nevada. Lies! Lies, I tell you. Who are the six and who is the one? It might seem like a 6-1 since the linebackers are so sold out to the run, but that is nowhere near the alignment. Also, the Broncos rarely play a cover zero defense. It is more often a combo zone based upon the short and wide sides of the field. I could see a single-safety zone against Oregon or Nevada with everyone else playing short zones underneath, but a cover zero? Rarely.

Don't get me wrong. The idea of a 6-1 is very intriguing to me, but if the Broncos were to have played a 6-1 against either Oregon or Nevada, I would have known about it because the Idaho Statesman would have written about it. Oh wait. I'm confusing the Idaho Statesman with the imaginary newspaper that writes about things I care about. And has Sally Forth cartoons.

Today, I covered a new wrinkle that the Broncos might use on Friday ( It's a base 3-4 look or, as your friends might call it, a "6-1 cover zero." The Broncos play a defensive end at outside linebacker, bring their nickelbacker into the box at the other OLB, and move a defensive tackle out to defensive end. It is the same personnel as the 4-2-5 but a different alignment based on what the offense shows.

No matter how the Broncos line up, I think that a lot of elements from last year's defensive strategy will remain in play. I see Boise State putting a defensive back on Kaepernick. I see the Broncos pinching the interior lineman and flooding linebackers up the middle to take away the dive. I see TFLs and sacks and turnovers. I have 40/80 vision and may need corrective lenses.

As far as Nevada's spread goes, here's the deal: How do you define a "spread" offense? If we are being really particular about it, a "spread" offense is simply an offense that spreads its players across the line of scrimmage. As such, any three-WR base offense is a "spread" offense, and Nevada runs a "spread" offense. Boise State's 4-2-5 works against the "spread" because it replaces a slow linebacker with a faster linebacker/safety hybrid who matches up better with a third receiver without giving much away in run support.

What Nevada does from the spread is where the real debate lies. I would totally buy into the power running game angle because I think that is really the intent and purpose of the Pistol and it is the M.O. of this Nevada team. To be considered a power running team, it doesn't matter what formation you run from so long as you can run at will over an opponent. Ipso facto, Nevada's a power running team.

(I'm not quite sold on the "Wing-T" theory since it is a formation rather than a play. The triple option I'll buy, provided there are indeed three options on a particular play.)

Post game response:  Boise is who we thought they were.  As many times as we saw Iloka firing up from the safety position to make a tackle on Taua (like the first two plays of the game) and saw safety Jerone Johnson and corner Kyle Wilson up in Kaep's gril on run support, it was obvious that Boise sold out to stop the run and the read option.  Nevada looked good for a little bit in the first half throwing the ball and it lead to a couple of 2nd quarter scores.  In the end, a team who's only thrown 37 times in it's last 3 games combined isn't likely to come out slingin it consistently for 4 quarters of football against the leagues best defense.

2. Someone recently pointed out that they felt Boise was actually better last year than this year and used WAC points allowed as their basis. The numbers are 22 ppg this season vs. 12 ppg last season. Do you think that last years defense was better or is this years WAC better from top to bottom?


I think both are true. Last year's defense was an all-time beast of a unit that was more dominant than any Bronco defense in school history. Don't bother checking that statement with facts; I didn't. The WAC teams on the Broncos' schedule this season are some of the best opponents that the conference has ever had. I think this is a direct correlation to the fact that Brent Guy, Tom Brandstater, and Taylor Bennett are no longer in the conference.

Boise State's defense would have challenged the 2008 version if it had been able to play up to the potential it showed in this year's Oregon game. Obviously, that has not happened. Whether it be mental lapses, breakdowns in fundamentals, or whatever, this year's defense just hasn't been as out-of-this-world good as last year's. How much worse have they been? Marginally. And let me be clear that being worse than last year's defense is not that bad. The defense that takes the field against Nevada on Friday night will be, in my estimation, the best one that the Wolf Pack have seen this year.

Post game response:  Boise's defense may well have been the best we faced this season.  For Nevada to have scored 33 points against them in their house is a solid guage of just how far the offense had come from the 35-0 shutout at Southbend to start the season.  Up next:  Work on the passing portion of the pistol offense to compliment the dominating run game it generates. 

3. Kellen Moore is having a fantastic season for you guys but recently got left off of the Davey O'Brien finalists. Boise State is in a position that even with a win this Friday they may find themselves left out of the BCS picture, again. How frustrated are you with the hideous orange and blue colors your team wears that prevents you from being the chic pick in any event? And also how frustrated are you with your AD for not scheduling at least one more Oregon quality opponent this season? Are you in favor of the 2-1 games (whatever it takes to get us in the ring with the big boys) or are you in the "we've proved ourselves and why should we have to settle for anything other than 1-1 deals" camp? It was rumored that BSU wanted $1M recently to play someone big. True? Thoughts?

College football is the devil, and no matter how Jesus films I ship to its address, it will always be the devil. I have given up trying to find a way for the Broncos to succeed in this backwards-thinking mess of a sport. If Boise State schedules tougher opponents, the BCS will find new ways to screw the Broncos over. It is a never-ending cycle of disappointment, anger, and depression, followed by my running giddily into the open arms of the NHL playoffs.

Instead, I've chosen to focus on the virtues of the Boise State football team and celebrate the privilege of rooting for one of the best all-around teams in the country. That's why a Bronco loss on Friday will pretty much end me. Until the NHL playoffs, that is.

Post game response:  The Bronco's may well just slide into the BCS as an at-large with the no show that Oklahoma St pulled today.  It will be interesting to see how things shake out.

4. You have an interesting situation brewing that you might not be aware of. Earlier this year you picked ESPN's Graham Watson as your public enemy number one. You had Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick as a close second. Graham Watson is picking you guys to win this game. Colin Kaepernick is playing you in this game. If Kaepernick has a monster game and Boise St doesn't win.....Do you fault the person who jinxed you or the person directly responsible? Does Watson remain your #1 enemy? Does Kaepernick take over? What if Ault pulls a Blount and sucker punches Pete after the game? Does he take over?

My site has been about one or two years behind in each of its Public Enemy choices. The first one was Dan Hawkins, well after he had already spurned the Broncos for greener pastures. The Graham Watson choice would have been much better in 2008, rather than in 2009.

Officially, Watson retains her title until the new PE#1 is crowned next spring. Unofficially, I've been hating Craig James pretty bad for about a month or two. If Kaepernick has a monster game and then votes the Broncos No. 18 in his poll, he might give James a run for his money.

Post game response:  We were  honestly just hoping and praying that it would be the Ault punch to Peterson's face that happened.  There's always next year.

5. Speaking of Kaepernick; he along with Vai Taua and Luke Lippincott became the first trio of players ever in the NCAA to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season on the same team. They did it in 11 games. How impressive of a stat is that and what do you set the over/under for rush yards allowed by Boise in order for Boise to win this game? What do you think the over/under for Boise State's pass yardage is in order for Nevada to win this game. What is the over/under on number of "trick plays" (I.E. half back pass, fake punt/fg, onside kick, etc) attempted in this game?

Congratulations! You did it! World's best backfield! Good job, everybody. [/Elf'd!]

Here are my predictions.

Over/under on rush yards allowed for Boise State to win: 250. Nevada got under 150 last year and came close to pulling out the W. I've seen the Broncos withstand some pretty big ground games this season, so I'm thinking this defense (and offense) can handle at least 250.

Over/under on pass yards allowed for Boise State to win: 200. If Kaepernick gets hot, I think Boise State is in trouble. Passing yards can keep the Wolf Pack in the game, provided they don't turn the ball over. If Kaepernick gets over 200, a game we shall have.

Over/under on trick plays: 70. I consider every play run from the Pistol formation a "trick play."

Post game response:  OBNUG called this one pretty spot on.  We were just under 250 rushing (242) and Kaep was under 200 (141).  It was still a game, regardless but we could have used a little more of both in the second half and the turnover that OBNUG so kindly mentioned was a momentum changer.

6. One last question: When you look back on the season, where do you feel this game ranks in order of difficulty and importance? Some were calling the Oregon game the biggest in Bronco Stadium history. Does this one surpass that?

The Oregon game will always remain the biggest game of the season. Pat Forde was there. Duh.

However, I think that this game might be the most important WAC game at the stadium in several years. The Wolf Pack will be the most serious threat to Boise State's conference reign since Colt Brennan's Hawaii teams. Those games always had a special feel. This one does, too.

Post game response:  Although it was a huge game and turned out to be fairly close in the second half, the initial down pour of Boise points gave the game a feel of it never really being the battle it was billed to be.  It's too bad.  Had Nevada kicked off and forced them to earn the points through a long drive like they did on Boise's second scoring drive, it may have given the entire game a different feel.  Instead it just gave it a hopeless feel.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The Nevada Wolf Pack has become the first team in NCAA football history to have three different players rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season.

Think about that.

No seriously.  THINK ABOUT THAT!

The first recorded game took place in 1875 between Tufts University and Harvard University.

We know that Tufts vs. Harvard really isn't the same thing as todays game.  It is safe to say that they've been doing the college football thing for a solid 100 years now.  And with 120 teams in todays game, you figure Nevada is the first team out of somewhere around 10,000 previous teams to accomplish the feat.

Pistol Whipping the WAC wanted to give a shout out to the following:

Chris Ault - inventor and implementor of the offense that made it happen and the coach of one of the guys who did it.

Chris Klenakis - the guy calling the plays.

Jim Mastro - the guy coaching the other two guys who did it.

Cameron Norcross - the guy coaching the guys who blocked for all those yards.

Scott Baumgartner - the guy coaching the guys who had to block downfield to make this happen.

Ken Ackerman, Jose Acuna, Chris Barker, John Bender, Alonzo Durham, Mike Gallett, Steve Haley, Joel Bitonio, Aaron Huck, Stephen Jeffers, James Laughlin, Jeff Meads, Jeff Nady, Alex Pinto, Jon Rabe, Jack Reynoso, Steve Werner, Kevin Bohr, Virgil Green, Talaiasi Puloka, Zack Sudfeld, Kelton Hall, Josh Morrow, Shane Anderson, Joseph Huber, Kyle Larimer, Darvin McCauley, Moe Patterson, Zack Quilici, Dwayne Sanders, Tray Sessions, Malcolm Shepherd, Shea Slayton, Jeffery Taylor, LJ Washington, Chris Wellington, Brandon Wimberly, Michael Wyman, Luke Collis, David Fales, David Fisher, Tyler Lantrip, Emir Lopez, Mason Magleby, Mike Ball, Brandon Fragger, Stephon Jefferson, Cameron Loeffler, Lampford Mark, Courtney Randall - every single offensive player on the roster who blocked for these guys in a game, scrimmage, or practice.  Who hit them with the bag and challenged and pushed them each and every day to get better on the practice field and in the weight room.

Vai Taua, Colin Kaepernick, Luke Lippincott - they guys who allowed themselves to be pushed to be the best they could be all year and were able to stay healthy and unselfish long enough to accomplish such an amazing feat.

Monday, November 16, 2009

3 X 3000?

Earlier this year, Nevada became only the second team ever in college football to have three running backs reach the 2,000 career yards mark in the same season.

And everyone knows that this year Colin and Vai have crossed the 1,000 yard mark and if Luke gets just 154 yards in his last 3 games, they will become the first team in NCAA history to have 3 different players rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season.

Now here's another little nugget of info we thought about:

With Luke at 2,846 career yards running, Kaepernick at 2,738, and Vai at 2,692 the Wolf Pack could have three players go over the 3,000 career rushing yards mark in the same season.  We believe that would be a second "never been done" accomplishment for the Pack.

Luke will need 154 yards (there's that number again!) which would mean 52 per game including the bowl game.  That's 35 yards below his season average per game.  And when you consider he didn't carry against Notre Dame then you have to believe he'll get there.

Kaep will need 262 yards which will mean 88 per game including the bowl game.  This is 13 yards below his season average per game.  This will probably be the most difficult one for the Pack to achieve as you know teams will be gunning to keep Kaep in check.

Vai will need 308 yards which will mean 103 per game including the bowl game.  Vai has ran for over 100 yards in 6 consecutive games.  That number is 15 yards below his season average, and considering he did not carry against Missouri then you to believe he'll get there as well.

This pistol offense that coach Ault has firing sure has been exciting to watch.  There are a lot of very interesting and historic things taking place right now on the field for the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

In Memoriam

Every fan of Wolf Pack football lost a dear friend this weekend. A man who never failed to make us smile, lift our spirits or brighten our day with his sense of humor and general outlook on life. A man who quite literally had a hand in helping to bring pride and dignity back to college football in Reno. The phrases "class act" and "credit to his profession" are thrown around a lot these days, but in this case both are completely justified. I'm speaking, of course, about UNLV head football coach Mike Sanford.

Yes, loyal reader, I'm afraid it's true. In two weeks, after what will have been five seasons of completely and utterly sub-par football, our friend Mikey will be shown the door. In his place another ambitious rube will commit another five years to continuing the Rebels' long and proud tradition...of completely and utterly sub-par football. The Circle of Life is beautiful in its simplicity.

Oh Mikey! You graced the Pack with your presence once a year for five years, and provided us with many happy memories which will not soon fade from our hearts. Who could forget the 2005 game in which you so graciously returned the Fremont Cannon -- all critical pieces intact and accounted for -- to Reno? Or your tireless efforts to help bring the largest crowd in rivalry history into Sam Boyd Stadium in 2006, and quickly out again after the second half began? There was the 2007 game, and your refusal to plan for another scoring drive even as the Pack scored the winning touchdown (you were always such a kidder, Mikey!). Remember the 2008 game, and all your hard work getting your players to believe their own hype just so Nevada's players could appreciate dropping 49 points on them that much more? We do, too. And what about Mike Ball? He and his mom both swear up and down they think you're a nice guy. Honest.

And let us not forget any of the smaller, but no less poignant reminders we'll always have of why we love you. Little things like...

  • Giving Nevada students an excuse to rush the field.
  • Giving Nevada students an excuse to rush the field in Las Vegas.
  • Rocky Hinds, and how he could've walked on water if he'd only stayed healthy.
  • Kicking a field goal with less than five minutes left in the game to courageously prevent a shutout.
  • Snapping a field goal over the holder's head.
  • Seeing you claim -- with a straight face -- that you beat the "school up north" in head-to-head recruiting.
  • Frank "The Tank" Summers and his rolls of neck fat.
  • T-shirts that said "It Takes a Tank to Win a Cannon."
  • The pleasure of seeing your players bite on the same fake hand-offs over and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...
  • Taking time out of your busy schedule in order to help rewrite Nevada's record books for rushing stats.
  • Listening to Rebel fans sitting around us wonder out loud -- without a clue or a trace of humility in their voices -- "How did this quarterback end up in Reno?!"
  • Rebels2k3, and the wonder that is The Beatdown thread on Silver and Blue Sports.
  • The one time Colin held out the ball on a read option, and his running back accidentally ran behind him...and Colin still picked up five yards on the play. Seriously Mikey, it takes a special kind of defense to bite on a fake hand-off to an invisible running back!
  • Giving Nevada punter Brad Langley a breather for the entire 2009 game.
  • ...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...and over...

But as warm and fuzzy as all of those memories will continue to be, nothing -- absolutely, positively, Scout's honor, no bull, NOTHING -- can top the Iowa State Meltdown:

Yes, we're aware that Sanford wasn't told the play had already been reviewed and confirmed...but therein lies the beauty/comedy/tragedy of it all. The cluelessness, the trip and fall, the insistence upon making a scene in order to get what you want -- that, in a nutshell, is UNLV football.

And while the meltdown in Ames will never be topped, at a press conference yesterday our friend Mikey tried his hardest to do just that. And frankly, he almost succeeded:

After outlining the choice we all have between being a victim and using circumstances to help make one's self a better person...he then throws his entire athletic department under the bus for not giving him enough time and resources. That's not very nice, Mikey! We do appreciate what you said about Nevada's facilities being better than yours, though -- you're honest about one thing, at least.

So goodbye, Mike Sanford. Goodbye to your quick smile, your quicker excuses, your naive optimism and your totally unjustified confidence. Enjoy your fate as a skid mark on the underwear of college football coaching, and please let all of us here at Pistol Whipping the WAC know how "out-recruiting" the "school up north" is working out for you.

Cause If You Don't Know, Now You Know

Oh yeah baby.  One of the smack talkinest fan bases in the WAC saw their team go down HARD this weekend at the hands of the #1 rushing offense in the country as the Wolf Pack exerted their dominance over the Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of 52-14 in front of a good crowd at Mackay Stadium.

The win takes the Pack to 7-3 on the season and 6-0 in the WAC.  Next up is a little payback trip to the New Mexico St Aggies.  A game that is being shown on ESPNU at 7:30 pacific time next Saturday.

Now, next weeks game is great and all, but we aren't finished with rubbing a little salt in the wound of our other red wearing friends from the south.

Yeah, we heard it all this week.  Won't be able to stop Mathews.  Gonna find which team in the WAC really knows how to run the ball.  Hands down Fresno is better than Nevada, etc, etc, etc.  You remember last year we did a story comparing the Bulldogs of Fresno to Uncle Rico?  Listening to their fan base you would think they could throw the ball over a mountain.  Or at least run all over Nevada while stopping the Pack rush attack.

Let us tell you something boys and girls:  Before Mathews got hurt, Mathews was getting STUFFED.  He had one memorable carry for 20 yards on Fresno's second drive.  Subtract that and his remaining 7 carries netted him 12 yards.  In fact, checking the play-by-play, he had 3 carries of -1 yard each.  But that's right.......Nevada only has a good run defense because they haven't played anybody.  Their stats are inflated.  They aren't that good......We hope Ryan Mathews is ok.  That was a nasty collision with safety Jonathon Amaya.  We just wish he could have finished the game so his 100 yards rushing streak could have been broken without the excuse of the injury.  At the 4ypc he was averaging before the injury, he would have had to carry 17 more times with his team being behind 10 points at the time he left the game.

You want to keep talking ooc games?  Who cares.  0-3 vs. 0-3. 

So you played Wisconsin in Wisconsin to a 34-31 game.  And Cincinatti in Cincinatti to an 8 point game.  You played Nevada to a 52-14 whipping in Reno is what you did there.  Who cares if Nevada got drubbed in week 1 at South Bend.  Like that really has anything to do with Nevada in Reno in week 11.  Get over yourselves already.  La Tech played LSU to a 24-16 score tonight in one of, if not the toughest stadium to play in in college football.  La Tech is 3-7.  It means NOTHING!  We're sick and tired of the whole, "boo-hoo, Nevada embarassed the WAC in ooc.  We hate you because you make our conference look bad."  Oh yeah?  Well guess what....We hate you because you melt down in our conference every year and never live up to the self made hype you project all season.  Or maybe we love that about you.  We aren't sure yet.

And as for ourselves.  Well it looked to us like you knew what was coming and you were powerless to stop it.  Lippincott had 14.9 per carry and a buck fifty.  Taua at 10.5 per and a buck seventy five.  Kaepernick chipped in 95 and, well, we guess you could say you were mildly successful in that you held him to 7.9 per which is actually below his NCAA leading 8.3 per.  We didn't even have to wear you down.  We were getting playstation numbers on the ground during the first quarter.

BTW, since we return most everyone as does Boise St next year.....and with Idaho getting better and Utah St and La Tech being young, well coached programs.....enjoy your stay at "middle of the WAC team" for the next couple of seasons.

We'll stop there.  It's pretty harsh but that's what happens when you run off at the mouth all season.  It gets slapped.  All those Fresno fans walking around Reno this weekend who would stop and bark at fans wearing the silver and blue all the sudden got real quiet Saturday afternoon.  Just like we like em.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Undoing History is Hard Work

Just a quick entry today on the eve of what should be an epic showdown with Fresno State tomorrow afternoon.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard the big news out of Legacy Hall: Nevada and Cal will play a three-game series in football, and the Golden Bears are coming to Reno next year for the first third of the series.

In the last four years alone, Nevada has secured home-and-home series with the likes of Northwestern, Texas Tech, Missouri, Oregon and Arizona and two-for-ones with UCLA and now Cal, all while playing a paltry number of FCS opponents. Furthermore, as per the athletic department’s press release announcing the series, Nevada is seeking out one last game to complete what would be a 13-game schedule for next year, and the program’s first seven-game home slate in nearly twenty years!

I’d like to be the first – and if not the first in general, then at least the first to do it in cyberspace – to declare that Nevada’s senior associate athletic director, Rory Hickok, deserves a raise. Yes, times are tough and money is tight everywhere you look, but this guy deserves a lot more praise and positive attention than what he’s currently getting. He’s done nothing but work minor miracles with Nevada’s football scheduling, and this recent agreement with Cal is perhaps his finest achievement to date. Because of his efforts, Nevada has finally orchestrated a series with one of the two BCS teams in its backyard that has inexplicably avoided it on the gridiron for more than sixty years. Yes, Cal and Nevada played in Berkeley in 1996, but only because the team originally slated to visit – Pacific – dropped its entire football program beforehand, and the Pack answered Cal’s call for a replacement opponent.

Whether Cal’s athletic director strong-armed Bears coach Jeff Tedford into this series or if he finally gave his own consent is unknown, and frankly, doesn’t matter. The fact that it’s a two-for-one and not a home-and-home series? Fuhgeddaboudit! Berkeley is the easiest football road trip a Pack fan could possibly ask for – even easier than San Jose – and in the next six years you can look forward to making it twice. Doublemint was right: double your pleasure, double your fun.

And to those of you who believe Nevada is "settling" for a two-for-one series here, in the immortal words of my best friend from high school: don't get your panties in a bunch. As my twin friends here illustrate, two really is better than one in this case. Besides, I seem to recall the men’s basketball team “settling” for a two-for-one series with Kansas a while back…

So if you ever happen to see Mr. Hickok in person, be sure to thank him for everything he’s done to elevate Wolf Pack football. Heck, take a few minutes out of your day and send him an e-mail to let him know just how freaking sweet this all is. A pat on the back or a handshake is easy compared to reversing sixty years worth of history.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Poster Get's in the Mix

And recaps the beatdown of San Jose that was doled out on Sunday.

An Introduction, and a Road Trip Report from San Jose

Before I begin, an introduction is in order. I am a recent Nevada graduate, a current season ticket-holder for Wolf Pack football and men’s basketball, and an aspiring blogger who has (perhaps foolishly) decided to apply for work in this monkey organization Packfan7 is running. In addition to attending as many home games as I can manage, I’ve traveled all over this great land of ours to watch the Pack play. Seattle , San Jose , Stockton , Fresno , Las Vegas , Boise , Logan , Chicago and South Bend have all bared witness to my borderline clinical obsession with the Pack, and I vow to add even more locales to that list in the coming years.

I’m looking forward to my future contributions, and to dialoging with any and every reader who happens across this blog. Packfan7 has granted me the ability to blog about basically whatever I want regarding the Pack – a decision he will come to regret.

With that throat-clearing out of the way, here are my observations (and pictures) from the beatdown that was San Jose 2009:

The tailgating scene next to Spartan Stadium. Give the Spartans this much credit: their fans throw a pretty good party. And consider this the next time you want to complain about parking at Mackay: a space in this lot? $30.

Vai Taua's dad and grandfather were kind enough to offer us some of the fantastic BBQ they were serving up, along with this all-important checklist.

How quant!

Not so quant.

You can barely see him, but the guy standing behind the girl on the right is wearing a Michael Vick jersey. Classy.

His career with the Raiders winding down, Tom Cable decides to try his hand at DJ. What loyalty he continues to show his (future) ex-team!

Bay Area sports fans...snooty? Surely you jest! Now pass me another merlot.

The proper way in which to settle any tailgating dispute -- dance-off!

The drunken dancing aside, this guy was terrible. Here he is trying to "rock tha mic" as you kids call it.

The view from what would've been my seat if I'd stayed put. Oddly enough, this is also what the stadium looked like for most of the night.

The closest the Spartans would ever get all night.

The Spartan Marching Band enters.

Downtown San Jose from the top of the east bleachers.

And this is how the Spartan defense felt for the entire game. Quick aside: why is Wolfie wearing pants, but Alphie isn't?

Drake's opening kick-off.

Our new seats afforded our group a better view of the players. Even while we made general fools of ourselves throughout the game, the players stayed focus. What troopers we cheer for!

Alonzo Durham had some cheerleaders of his own. What are the chances the athletic department could start a "'Zo Knows" ad campaign?

Good view of the players. Better view of the cheer and dance teams.

How good is Colin at running the Pistol? Even my highly trained (translation: not trained whatsoever) eye can't tell who has the ball on this play.

Coach Ault and Colin discussing something after another score.

In San Jose this is considered over 11,000. And I'm not making that up.

One of the cheerleaders who so kindly put up with our group repeatedly butchering the fight song that night.

Arguably the most underrated assistant coach in the WAC, running backs coach Jim Mastro.

The offense prepares to take the field again.

Given how often this offense scores, these cheerleaders probably ran several miles worth of end zone that night.

Even opposing band members like our cheerleaders.

The PAT that followed Vai's long TD run. Crushing spirits is fun!

Pulled out in the third quarter, Colin's greatest enemy for the rest of the game was boredom.

Tyler Lantrip prepares to lead the second-team offense.

Courtney Randall prepares to take a hand-off and remind us why he's the team's short yardage back.

Kevin Basped: "I dunno, we're just awesome, I guess!" (Disclaimer: I don't know what Kevin actually said, but pretending is fun)

For the sake of getting home earlier, we decided to head out right here. The team must've sensed we had left, because they didn't score again for the rest of the game -- how nice of them!

Thanks to all of my friends for taking part in what was a great experience. And great job, Pack -- keep the good times rolling all the way through Boise and whichever bowl game you end up in!


Hey, thanks a lot of the pics and thoughts PBAM.  If you keep doing more, we'll keeping posting them up.

Friday, November 6, 2009

No Forgiveness

So how many of you remember this image?  Apparently it's the only one the rest of the college football world remembers when the words Nevada Wolf Pack are mentioned.  Or so it often feels that way.

For whatever reason Nevada stumbled out of the blocks.

A team that was thought to be a BCS buster type was shut out on opening day against a Notre Dame opponent it was supposed to give a run for it's money.  It was then embarrassed two weeks later by a Colorado State team that has proved to be anything but spectacular.  And a week after that on national television once again, it looked like perhaps Nevada was finally going to get a win against an undefeated Big 12 opponent....only to stumble late to a team that has since lost 3 of it's last 4.

Going into this game Sunday night with the struggling San Jose St Spartans, Nevada needs to make a statement on national TV.  The Wolf Pack needs to stop the whole business of going into the half up or down by a score.  We need a good old fashioned "taken them to the woodshed" type of game out of the gates.  It won't be easy.

San Jose has played two of the top Pac 10 teams on the road (USC and Stanford), a ranked Utah team, and three of the top 4 WAC teams with two of those (Fresno St, Boise St) being on the road as well.  And if you didn't watch that game at Boise, then we'll fill you in.  It should have been a 10-7 game at the half in Boise.  A bizarre series of events that began with a poor call (resulting in a WAC official being suspended this weekend) and ended with 14 unanswered points in under a minute made it a much different ball game.

The last time Nevada was at Spartan Stadium it looked like the Pack was going to cruise to a victory up 24-10 at the half.  Two quarters, 17 unanswered points, and a missed 37 yard field goal later and the Pack had to make the long bus ride home as 27-24 losers.

That simply can't be the case this year.

Our message to the team for this weekend is this:  Don't leave your hearts in San Jose.  If you get your foot on their throats early, step down hard.  Keep blitzing.  Keep scoring.  Don't let up.  You are capable of it and you'll need all the momentum you can muster for the short week of practice heading into the final home game against Fresno St.

Good luck and Go Wolf Pack!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trick or Treat


Last year we did a Halloween post and it was loved by all.  We thought: lets do another one!  We wanted to celebrate the impending slasher film that is going to take place at Mackay this Saturday when the Wolf Pack offensive attack hacks, slices, and carves its way into more records against a decimated and depleated Hawaii defense.

If you're a fan of the Halloween movies, then you probably know the one rocker who loves the ghoulish holiday and it's demonic undertones more than Michael Meyers himself.  We asked Mr Zombie if he would tell us something about the Nevada Wolf Pack.  After some thought he decided to comment on coach Ault's Pistol Offense.  And here's what he had to say:

Wow!  We don't usually use that sort of language around here but we'll give you a break this time seeing as how you're a rock star and all.

And since Mr. Zombie was kind enough to talk about the Pistol, we figured we would honor him by talking about some of our favorite Wolf Pack players using Rob Zombie and White Zombie songs to describe them.

Kevin Basped / I'm Your Boogie Man:  Quarterbacks must feel like the Boogie Man is coming when they see Kevin line up in 3rd and long situations.  Like the kids say, "He's gonna get you.  The boogie man is coming."  We're pretty sure KB is coming at whoever manages to start for the Warriors this weekend.

Colin Kaepernick / Demon Speeding:  When defensive backs think they have the angle on Kaepernick only to realize he's blown by them on his way to 6, they must feel like he's demon speeding.  Or using some other form of supernatural power to suddenly shoot past.  Idaho coach Rob Akey called him superman.  Hey, maybe we need to do this list again some time using super heroes.

Luke Lippincott / Never Gonna Stop:  "Never gonna stop me, never gonna stop.  Scream if you want it.  Cause I want more."  Luke wanted more so badly he came back for a 5th year.  And as we've seen over and over.  Opponents can't stop him no matter how hard they try.

Dontay Moch / Superbeast:  When you have the most tackles for loss in the nation, it's safe to say you are a beast.  A superbeast.  Dontay has been playing the run and pass as well as any defensive end we can remember in recent history.  It should be another day of sacks and tfl's this weekend against a Hawaii team who has been struggling to protect the QB this season.

Vai Taua / Soul-Crusher:  The third of Nevada's current 2,000 yard backs may be it's most consistent.  As a sophomore he was named first team all WAC and lead the conference in yards.  With twelve 100 yard games already in his career, he's just one away from being tied with Luke even though he's a full year behind him in school.  With Nevada lined up in it's new two back set, opposing defenses must feel like their soul is being crushed.

Coach Ault / I Am Legend:  At 202 wins and counting, as well as a Hall of Fame career, it's safe to say that coach Ault is a Legend.  But that's not enough for a living legend.  Coach Ault is now the creator of the unique offense that is leading the nation in rushing at 320 yards per game.

Happy Halloween Wolf Pack Fans.  Enjoy the game this weekend and stay safe when you go out to celebrate afterwards.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ok. Here's The Thing......

A while back these three men dressed in dark clothing broke into our house, murdered our dad and stole a bunch of our stuff. Ever since that time we've been trying to recover and haven't had time to write.

Ooops, wait a minute we're getting that confused again with Mike Ball, Luke Lippincott, and Colin Kaepernick ripping out the hearts of UNLV fans and killing Mike Sanford's career. Never mind.

No seriously, it's not the 0-3 start that killed the motivation to write. It's not the shut out at ND. It's not the ridiculousness that took place at Fort Collins. It's just that it takes a lot of time and energy to keep a blog going. Call it lazy. Call it selfish. Call it what you want. Still love the Wolf Pack. Still watch every game for detail. Still cry a little each time we think about the trip to South Bend. Still smile a little bit every time we think about Beat Down Part Deux.

We know we missed out on commenting on some great things in Wolf Pack history. We did not address coach's 200th win (shame, shame, shame). We did not address the three 170 yard rushers rolling over UNLV like Patton's tank treads rolled over the Nazi in North Africa. Hey: How's The Beat Down Feeling Guys!

In a word to summarize us....Slackers! Yes, that is what we are. Big old slackers. And it also doesn't help when S& keeps doing better and better coverage of Wolf Pack football with photos, podcasts, professionally written stories, a couple of really really ridiculously good looking owners, etc. It's like, "why write here when I can go there and enjoy their hard work for free" (or for a small $89.99 price per year). It's the American way you know!

We probably should have done this a long time ago. If there are Wolf Pack fans out there who would like to contribute and write their own stories and opinions about the Wolf Pack and have them published on PWtW we would be more than happy to add you as an author. In fact, we had sort of always intended for the site to go that route. We won't live forever you know. Please email us at and let us know a bit about yourself if you are interested. I know the guys over at have gotten some great stuff out of some of you. Unfortunately here we just don't have the time to keep it going on a daily basis. You don't have to worry about anything either. If you write something we don't like or agree with, we'll just not publish it! See how easy it can be for you.

So we didn't have a lot of time on our hands. Then we got lazy. Then maybe just a tiny bit depressed from the Notre Dame start and that didn't help matters. It's not that we didn't still love the Wolf Pack. It's not that we didn't want to write something. It was just hard to find a way to be a braggart about anything after they basically put their finger in the end of our pistol, took it away from us, and gave us our own pistol whip. Then days turned into weeks. Weeks to months. Months to years. Well not really but you know what we mean. So please; help us fall back off the wagon and into an addicted mess of Wolf Pack shit talking if you would.

We are still planning to honor our bet with Bronco Country (incase they are wondering).

Big game this weekend against Idaho. Who ever would have thought we would be saying that in the context that we mean it? Big win, even if it was a bit ugly, on the road in a tough place to play last week against the bAggies (don't forget that the last time we played in Utah we needed a 4th quarter TD pass from Kap to McCoy to pull out the 3 point win).

We'll try to make a better effort to keep on howlin this year.

See you all this weekend at Mackay!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh Captain, My Captain

The Nevada Wolf Pack announced it's team captains on Saturday. Sticking with tradition, the team named two players on each side the ball as it's captains for the year.

On offense, 2008 captain and Senior RB Luke Lippincott and veteran, pre-season All WAC selection OT Alonzo Durham were named captains.

On defense, 4 year starter and former walk-on DB Jonathon Amaya and junior DE and tackles for loss leader Kevin Basped were named captains.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rod Smith Cautions, Lou Holtz Excuses

The guys are talking Notre Dame today and Rod Smith cautions them to not overlook Nevada.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If This Doesn't Fire You Up, Nothing Will

This is one of the better pre-season articles we've read on the game coming up with Notre Dame. Blue and has this article out, full of quotes and comments that we get to hear straight from Wolf Pack players on the game, what they plan to do, etc.

It's getting so close now. It's hard to contain ourselves.

Bring On The Big Stage"

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nevada Wolf Pack Media Snowball

Wow. That's all we can say. The Pack love is snowballing and the snowball keeps getting bigger and bigger.

We know the season is just two weeks away, but this is really nice for a change. Nevada Wolf Pack football is getting as much media love as we can remember for some time. It started with a picture on the front page of the sports section of USA Today a couple of days ago (which was followed by a larger picture and article on the inside). Then there was a second article in USA today the following day.

Regis Philbin mentioned the Pack (because he's a big Notre Homer) on his show Live with Regis and Kelly this week.

ESPN has been getting in on the action too.

Bruce Feldman, senior writer for ESPN the magazine has been pumping up the Pack and our man Colin Kaepernick. A couple of weeks ago they had a little segment on CFL when talking about Notre Dame that showed some Nevada highlights and was titled "Pack of trouble?" in reference for to the trouble ND may be finding themselves in on Sept 5th.

Mel Kiper Jr rated Kaep in his top 5 Junior QB's this week.

And now today, Ivan Maisel puts this little blurb out on his 3 Point Stance write-up: 3 Point Stance

It sure is a fun time to be a fan of Wolf Pack football!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


The pistol offense was installed as the primary offense the Nevada Wolf Pack run in 2005. That season was Jeff Rowe's junior year. The Pack won the WAC title. And things were good.

During that season the offense showed what it could do with 5,392 yards and a 5.7 ypp average.

In 2006, let's call it a sophomore slump with 4,654 yards and a 5.5 ypp average.

2007 started with Graziano in games 1-4 and then the Colin Kaepernick era started. That season the offense took a big jump up to 6,077 total yards and a 6.4 ypp average.

And in 2008 (last season) the offense in Kaep's second season really took a leap with a whopping 6,611 yards of offense and a 6.5 ypp average.

So the question is.....Can the Wolf Pack offense break 7,000 total yards this season? We think it can, although it will be tough. Our guess is around the 6,940 yards mark.

Does Moore Work for the Guys at OBNUG?

A few days back some Silver and Blue posters were making a comparison that involved BSU's QB Kellen Moore (credit poster Slapdad).

Then today while reading replies to a question we posed to the boys over there, we realized a reply that came from a poster named OBNUG Intern

This posters picture is:

Coincidence? Hmmmmm

Monday, August 10, 2009

Looking for an Underdog to Rout For?

How about Nevada senior LB Kevin Grimes. A recent article on Grimes illustrates his hard work and Nevadatude. Grimes figures to be a contributor to the depth chart and on special teams this season.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

4 Weeks And Counting

Just 4 weeks to the day for kickoff in South Bend.

It will be here before we know it! #23 vs. #40 according to the USA Today poll.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pretty Good Take on Nevada and the WAC

These guys (the on-line sports guys) do a recap on each team and how they feel they will perform during the season. We like their thoughts on Nevada, especially the comment about the pistol being "organized chaos" and "high risk/high reward".

The On-Line Sports Guys Blog Predicts the WAC

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sporting News Talks to Coach Ault

Interview with Chris Ault

Writer Ryan Fagan does a Q and A session with Nevada Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault.

Some highlights of the interview are coach's thoughts on playing the big boys like Missouri and Notre Dame, lots of comments on the defense, his thoughts on last years BSU game, and a couple of players on each side of the ball he expects to make an impact this season.

Click the above link and read the full article.